Monday, May 7, 2012

High Teas and Birthdays

I started off this weekend by joining my parents and my niece, Neve, on a High Tea adventure at Sakasa Tea & Coffee in Ashburn.

This is probably because I was raised by my mom, who loves a good ladies social, but I love high tea. And the older I get, the more I like dressing up and eating fancy food and using all the good silver and china. So, whenever I think of High Tea, I think of regal ladies with excellent posture, elegantly sipping tea from delicate porcelain china cups in between whispered gossip and tiny bites of tiny, crust-less sandwiches. You know, high collared dresses and extended pinkies and such.

Mmm, yes. Quite.
So the four of us got dudded up and headed out to enjoy some fine "White People Sports" as my dad called it.

What we got, however, was a Goodwill quality coffee shop in a mini-mall.

the only linen table cloth in the joint

what swanky tea house is complete without mis-matched 1990's Southwest pastel Hotel art and 72" flat screen TV?

Now this is where I probably get way too, "I was raised on vintage Noritake and cloth linen" fussy (read: needlessly elitist). But I cringed when I sat down and saw paper napkins and stone wear tea cups. I understand cutting down on overhead, but for $27 a person, you think you'd get a little more... atmosphere?
the nylon table cloths were also a nice touch.

Corning Wear's finest
We were the only ones sitting down for tea, surrounded by empty tables that were decorated with actual tea porcelain cups. Now this is the part where my mom and I decide to be dicks about the cup situation. I asked (politely) if there was anyway we could switch out our tea cups for some of the porcelain ones sitting on the bookshelf, waiting to be used.

Waiter: No, sorry, we have a lot of parties planned today, so the cups have to stay in pairs.
My mom: Well... there are 4 porcelain cups on that table, and 4 cups here, we just wanted to know if we could switch them.
Waiter: No, sorry, they have to stay in pairs.

And then he was gone. So we were like, uh... right. On a confusing note, he came back a couple of minutes later with a fancy tea cup, for Neve, who could have cared less.

not pictured: Mom's look of jealousy

I guess this is the time to describe our waiter. Besides telling us in every other sentence how busy they were going to be that day ("We can only brew one pot of tea at a time because we have a lot of parties planned today." "We are out of soup because we have a lot of parties planned today." "We have a lot of parties planned today, so we have a lot of parties planned today."), he was well versed on the menu and the different options we had. But it definitely did seem like he was mis-placed in this tea house. As my dad put it, it looked like he got up from his poker game in order to serve us. I couldn't get a picture of him without looking like a total creep, so this is the best likeness I could muster from google image:

I did a search for "retired prison guard turned tea mistress"
But, despite the hospital waiting room like atmosphere, the tea and vittles were really good, and that's what really counts. We had orange and white spice tea, and various sandwiches with cream cheese, basil, horseradish and cucumber; and freshly warmed scones and cupcakes and brownie bites and fruit filled cookies. But, the best part was that we had a good time making fun of it, so that's what further counts.

warmed pastries and tea sandwiches. nom
Neve, once again unimpressed
white people
3 year old queen of despair
So, we learned a valuable lesson, and thus, we know better: if we want to have a High Tea, then we should just do it at home. It's cheaper, prettier, and probably tastier. And, to continue chugging along on the "Lessons Learned" train, High Tea is historically not fancy. It refers to a meat heavy, dinner type meal served on a high set table. Low Tea, or Afternoon Tea, was the elite social ladies gathering, served on low set table. Apparently UK tea traditions in the mid-1800's were based strictly on table heights.

But speaking of better parties, on Sunday, Mary and I threw a better, Pioneer Woman themed brunch for my dad's 55th birthday. Since my dad's online boyfriend is The Marlboro Man, Mary made the Marlboro Man's favorite steak sandwich and his favorite Apple, Pecan and Blue Cheese salad and I made the Pioneer Woman's/my famous blackberry cobbler.

Mary at the onion chopping helm

talking linen shop with my mom

nommy steak sandwiches and salad. I would have taken more pictures but I was too busy eating

happy birthday, dad!

Here's to a pseudo-fancy weekend interspersed with hangovers.

Now it's time for coffee and to catch up on all the Sunday night TV I missed and to convince myself not to call out of work for the 4th day in a row. Yay, depression and life issues. But that's an entire blog unto itself.


Kim said...

What is scary is if you had added Past NFL to your google search, you might have come up with a picture of our guy!! And you failed to mention the spine-tingling (and not in a good way) he kept calling Neve Princess. You and Mary pulled off one heck of a brunch!! Yay!!! dad and I are still talking about it!! Thanks!

Jess said...

Cute dress :-)

Cara said...

This is the most firstworldproblems-riddled post I have ever read in my entire life. And I lol'd.

Audrey Turner said...

Right? White People Problems.

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