An Ethereal Regency Tea…

This past Saturday  was a beautiful weekend filled with ethereal Regency costumes, sweet treats, finger sandwiches, talks on buttons and Regency-era sewing implements and, of course, a bit about the 200th anniversary of Napoleon and Josephine’s reign over France, and more. 

Come with me to a tea-fête fit for a king {and queen!}…

Gracie and her mama… ;)’
Laura of Decor to Adore  held a Napoleon and Josephine tea at her home here in the greater Dallas metropolitan area this past weekend. Held to commemorate the 200th anniversary since their reign (I believe) the tea was a resounding success!

I didn’t line myself up right as this was an “interactive mirror”
where one could put him or herself under the bicorn hat! I was
just trying to get a decent selfie, ha!… Love the bar cart!!!
I was one of many on Laura’s wait-list and luckily for me, someone dropped out so I was able to attend!

A few of the guests awaiting the next talk after tea.
Several guests including Jayne and Dartanyan (both left).
Here Laura is telling us about the upcoming courses of tea and as everyone chooses where to sit for high tea. Guests who happened to sit at a spot with a red dot upon their napkin were surprised with a sweet handmade pin cushion favor!

Twenty-five guests in total, many of whom are members of the Dallas-Fort Worth Costumers Guild, all dressed in Regency (English, 1800-1815 approx.) and Federalist (American, same time period) attire enjoyed a lovely afternoon.

Twins! Becky and her daughter who came along to help
share the family’s collection of buttons on cards and boxes.

Button, button… Who has the button?

The first talk was given by Becky Coker who belongs to the Fort Worth Button Club.  Becky shared some of her extensive button collection which are labeled and attached to heavy cardstock. She talked about all the different types of buttons from metal buttons, enamel and resin buttons, bone, shell and so much more. At the end of her talk, Becky passed out a letter-size pamphlet to each guest covering many of the different types of buttons ever made. Truly, truly interesting!

Here is the “Ice Skating” button…

Aren’t these Bicentennial commemorative buttons cool?!

One button was called “Ice Skating in Central Park” which cost $600 and could be sold for that amount today. One member asked how old was Becky’s oldest button and she answered that she has one from the mid to late 1600’s. Really incredible!

Everyone enjoyed learning this mini history lesson about buttons. Unfortunately, I was late in arriving so I only heard the last 20 minutes or so of Becky’s talk but I enjoyed what I did hear, and I am sure you would have enjoyed her talk, too.

Laura playing mother for each guest as she pours Ladurée tea.

Napolean and Josephine’s High Tea begins…

Our high tea began around 2:00pm with a black tea from the bakery house of Ladurée. (Funny, all this time I thought Ladurée was a parfumerie!)

The second tea course was a rose tea which was quite lovely and from a local source here in Dallas! 

The charcuterie and cheese board decorated with orange
pomanders and French flags… Tasteful and tasty!
Guest brought either a savory or a sweet to share. Laura and her attendees put together the main platters, of course.

Small dessert plates were perfect for partaking of each small savory. The French-wrapped crackers with gold foil stickers were gifts from Laura to each guest. Mine held small chocolates, hard candies and three pretty buttons plus red confetti!

I brought Victoria Magazine’s scones as my sweet carried in a Longaberger cake-taker basket ~ perfect for taking scones and more to parties! (Sorry no pics thereof except the heart-shaped scone, above.)

Laura shared that this cone of sugar is how you would have
received your sugar back in the 17th and 18th centuries. 

Tiered trays held the day’s fare as well as single platters with the cutest éclairs decked out as battleships flying the French flag or pierced with little swords! The French navy couldn’t have looked better or more regimented… 

Soft brie and cream cheese, red grapes, almonds and other fare typical of the time period were shared. I think my particular favorite was the custard or le flan. Oh my! C’était délicieux! {I had two small helpings…}

Gorgeous roses in teapots on every tea table!

A cute shot of Laura serving tea…


Holley is dressed in period style! She has been to England several
times and has a friend there whom she purchases old sewing pins
as well as other ephemera for sewing work.

Holley’s Regency Sewing Boxes

Here I will only share just a couple of photographs as Holley had so many incredible sewing implements to share that this short section wouldn’t do her talk justice. 

Love love love the paper etching which was either there in this sewing box originally or was added to replace the original mirror (which must have broken) when it was restored. Did you know old sewing boxes held mirrors? These boxes were multi-purpose items which were used as vanity mirrors for their owners and sometimes contained vials of perfume for cleaning one’s hands while doing whitework, etc.

One Regency era sewing box with its steel needles, tiny snipping
scissors, small barrels for thread, and mini lidded compartments
for holding sewing accoutrements.

As in Becky’s talk about buttons, had I been there earlier I would have a separate post on those, too.

Your author in the Regency era dress she finished hemming at
12 noon ~ hence why  I was late to the button talk before tea…

Throughout the day, Laura and a few other ladies had leftover fabrics for sale. Quite a few ladies bought goods for future projects, including myself.

The final fun of the day was a white elephant gift exchange where stealing was encouraged and several ladies, including Becky!, were vying for tins of buttons and laces. I came home with a beautiful lavender turban with pearl beads swirled into two fashionable pins along its front!

As the day came to a close everyone packed up their plates and favors, fabric they purchased, and said their farewells and thank-you’s to our hostess. French style was everywhere you looked and I particularly loved Storybook Cottage’s front door and little entryway garden…

Love the ostrich plumes and all the whole French style of Laura’s front door basket!

Isn’t this mini garden just perfect? Of course the statues had me as soon as I walked up…

And a fun last shot of Laura and her Gracie…

Sharing with
Shelbee on the Edge
April J. Harris
Blogging Fifty

Such a wonderful day,

8 thoughts on “An Ethereal Regency Tea…”

  1. How wonderful that you were able to participate in Laura's fete, Barb! You looked wonderful, as did Laura, and I love how you went into detail that Laura has not. I can tell you really enjoyed the content and the takeaways (and the food, of course!).

  2. When I saw Laura while we were in Dallas, she was telling me about her plans for this and it is such fun to see the photos here (and her blog) that tell the story of the day. It's so beautiful and the talks sound so interesting. I love your dress (If you had lined yourself under the hat for the selfie, we wouldn't have seen your pretty ones!). I appreciate the detail and all the info here — it sounds like an afternoon to remember!

  3. Wish I would have been able to make it! Looks like y'all had so much fun and everyone looked beautiful. I love that Laura put her table in the living room too. Great crowd and great post Barbara.

  4. What a wonderful event, Barb! Laura's Regency Tea looks wonderful – so much fun, and educational too! Thank you so much for sharing with the Hearth and Soul Link party.

  5. Barb, what a wonderful event! Everyone and everything look so lovely. I love the button collection. I have a strange fascination with buttons myself and have always loved to collect just random ones (nothing meaningful or collectible). They are just so much fun. Thanks so much for sharing and linking up with me.Shelbeewww.shelbeeontheedge.com

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