February 9, 2012

Valentine's Day Afternoon Tea







Isn't a great way to celebrate the month of love by hosting a decadently sweet afternoon tea party for your friends. And Valentine's Day deserves a special touch - vintage. Not many things can beat the charm of a colored old-fashioned tea table, mismatching teacups and saucers, old silver spoons and linen napkins. My friends and I did indulge our romantic side by taking delight in herbal or Earl Gray tea, laughing over red velvet cupcakes, heart shaped tea sandwiches, cheese butter triangles, watermelon, strawberries and chocolate pretzels. To create a real Valentine's Day atmosphere I dug out an old reproduction of a famous Antonio Canova's Venus & Adonis and made it a focal point of my buffet.




Searching and finding special items is as much fun as setting up the event. Even though my collection of vintage items is not a small one, I wanted something special and it didn't take me long to find the perfect Royal Doulton "My Valentine" collectors plates. In the spirit of the Victorian era, the back of each plate reads a poem and is decorated with pink roses. I didn't forget to look in my box with old photos and post cards and used charming vintage Valentine's Day cards to decorate the table. With just a little effort I created some simple personal touches; I used old bottles for the pink lemonade and wrapped them in vintage printed hearts. To make it even more inviting, I made heart tags and tied them to the linen napkins. Each cupcake was accented with vintage-inspired paper-and-ribbon topper. 

   

Pieces on my table do not match one another as I am convinced, it all adds up to the quirky vintage appeal. But I agree, one has to use the "good" china from behind the cabinet. Pretty is what we need for the celebration of love. Beautiful flowers are a must and you never can go wrong with a bunch of roses to brighten up the table.I used vintage jars and milk jugs for the flowers display. The lovely surprise to my friends was the row of sugar lumps, heart- stamped, a popular choice for weddings, but they made a great romantic statement on my table too.



     








 
Being a detail person, I have always enjoyed every piece of planning a party, collecting ideas, getting inspired and making kind of creative decisions, and most of all, having friends and family over to be entertained by it. Now, I am even more happy with the unique opportunity to share my enjoyment with you, dear readers, all around the world. Although some people think that food is the main aspect of an event, setting a well-thought table and an atmosphere infused with your own personal style made everything more inviting and welcoming for your guests. Celebrating love is simply showing love. At the end, what really matters is bringing people together to laugh, play, share and create lasting memories. What made our tea party really fun was reading the messages of love at the back of the vintage post cards. 
"I've fallen in love many times...always with you" was written on the one of them. How sweet is that!
"Happy is the Heart that Holds Love." How true is that!

  My Valentine 
" May time flow sweetly as a song,
   May bliss at morn awake you!
     May you and yours, the bright day long,
  Be glad as joy can make you!
      And round your heart may blessings throng
  That never shall forsake you! "
                               ( written on the plate )

HAPPY VALENTINES !






P.S. I'm not really happy with the quality of these images. I took the shots in a hurry and there wasn't enough light. ( Just for the record :)


I am sharing with Sherry~Home Sweet Home 
              Susan~Tablescape Thursday
              Debra~Vintage Inspiration Friday
              Honey~Potpourri Friday  
              Beverly~Valentine's Pink Saturday
                            Seasonal Sundays  
              Sandi~ Valentines Day Tea Time
              Terri~ Tea Cup Tuesday 
              Trisha`Tea Party Tuesday 
                   Vintage Thingie Thursday 






56 comments:

  1. So, so lovely. Every detail is perfection.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dear one, your eye for detail and beauty is JUST PERFECT!!!!!!!! Thank you again for featuring my little drawing on your previous post. SO SWEET OF YOU! HAPPY VALENTINES! Anita

    ReplyDelete
  3. I am dying here...so much beauty I don't know where to start. The tea-cups are beyond gorgeous and your eye for detail is wonderful. I love this post and will look at it often. Hugs, Deb

    ReplyDelete
  4. Wow!!!! I love it all so much,its heaven. I'd dream of attending this tea party so beautiful and perfect. I love all the detail and the jug and tea cups have lovely designs. x

    ReplyDelete
  5. This is such a pretty table for Valentine's Day celebration. I love it all. I have a small creamer and a bowl in a similar pattern as your pitcher with the white roses in it. Vintage china is so fun to collect and use. Happy Valentine's Day to you! Pamela

    ReplyDelete
  6. Everything is so beautiful Sylvia, right down to the sugar cubes. Your pieces are so pretty and I would love to attend such a thoughtful and love-filled tea party. Thank you for sharing.
    xoxo

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dearest Sylvia...lighting or no lighting, this is exquisitely GORGEOUS!!! :))
    Stunning and charming...thank you so much for sharing your amazing day!
    Sending lots of love to you, and wishing you a Happy, Lovely Valentine's day!!!
    Big Hugs,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
  8. Yowza!!! SO pretty! I love all the exquisite details of it all!!! It is obvious that you enjoy the planning and gathering as much as the setting up the event. I have always found that to be a lot of fun, too, to watch it all unfold. I turn on music and just go for it! It might take a couple of days, but that's OK. I like the rush of finding the perfect elements over time. Pretty sugar cubes, too! Everything is gorgeous. I will have to refer my students in my buffet-scaping class to your post. This is a definite "do" example! :-) Happy Valentine's Day to you and yours!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Wow, what a lot of beautiful images!! Ah, the simple life...we all long for it. Wouldn't it be simpler if we weren't all collectors? LOL Gotta have my stuff. Thanks for sharing. Happy Valentine Pink Saturday!! ~Lorraine ♥♥♥

    ReplyDelete
  10. Good evening dear heart!

    Oh, that is so sweet of you to value my drawing! Yes, that is me. I loved my little blue coat that my momma made me. I wish I still had it, but all I have left are the memories of wearing it! THANK YOU for YOUR visit, and I so enjoy your gentle view of life. I just want peace, joy, and the freedom to express myself. Enjoy a lovely weekend with your family!! Anita

    ReplyDelete
  11. Oh, perfect, right after our precious Anita!! Beautiful Sylvia, we are all sitting here and writing to each other in REAL TIME...I love it!!
    And I will accept your invitation to a tea party with joy and honor, dear friend!
    Someday??! :)
    Loving thoughts your way,
    - Irina

    ReplyDelete
  12. YES! WE HAVE A WEALTH OF LOVE in those men of ours, don't we dear? LOVE HIM TO THE END!!!!!!! Anita

    ReplyDelete
  13. Now this is more than delightful. How special it must have been to be invited to such a lovely tea.

    ReplyDelete
  14. i love your goregsous decorations and tea things. happy pink saturday and happy valentines day! xo

    ReplyDelete
  15. Gorgeous, simply gorgeous! I love the
    vintage details!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Oh my goodness, everything looks so beautiful! I love all the little details and your handmade touches :)

    ReplyDelete
  17. My word, your tablescape is perfect and simply divine looking.
    Happy Valentine's Day!
    Joyce M

    ReplyDelete
  18. Happy Pink Saturday Sylvia Sweetie...
    Oh how gorgeous, and I do mean absolutely gorgeous your table setting is. My goodness it is fit for royalty sweet friend. Truly it is.

    From the gorgeous photo background to the tiny little hearts on the sugar cubes. Not one little stone was left unturned. Not one.

    I loved the way you dressed up the bottles of pink lemonade. That is so pretty and I will definitely keep that in mind for future gatherings, loved it.

    Your tea settings and place settings are so pretty and detailed. I would imagine each of your guests will not want the evening to leave. Just so elegant.

    Thank you for sharing sweetie. I so enjoyed this preview peek of your table setting. Many hugs and much love, Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  19. Hi Sylvia,
    Oh my, your Valentines table is just lovely! I like mismatched teacups too and I find I'm liking a rose in an old jar more and more. Perhaps it's my age, but vintage is just so charming and cozy. Thank you for sharing your lovely table. Hope you're having a delightful Valentines Pink Saturday weekend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  20. Breathtaking photos !
    Super inspirations for Valetines
    Day !!!!!
    Hello from Florida !

    ReplyDelete
  21. Sylvia - you have such a gift with creating a beautiful tablescapes! You should host parties for a living. :) Everything here looks just fabulous --- right down to those sweet little sugar cubes!

    xoxo laurie

    ReplyDelete
  22. What a beautiful tea party. I love the mix and the match of the china...always so much more interesting and lovely than when everything perfectly matches. Love those darling sugar cubes! I feel the same way...it really is an expression of caring and love when you prepare such a beautiful setting/home for your friends and family. You said it beautifully!

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fabulous post for Valentine's day. I love your pink!

    Flamingo Love is my one of my pink this week. Have a great weekend.

    ReplyDelete
  24. How can you be unhappy with these pictures? They are stunning! Oh how I wish I could take such amazing photographs!

    Thank you for sharing your lovely ideas in this gorgeous post. I loved every single picture!

    Best wishes,
    Natasha @ 5 Minutes Just for Me

    ReplyDelete
  25. Slyvia~ I always feel like an issue of my favorite magazine has arrived when I visit! I scroll with anticipation from photo to photo~ your styling & photography are always inspiring and beautiful! I love your stacked cups...the mismatched pieces lovingly selected with care...and those sweet heart stamped sugar cubes displayed on your spoons! Wishing you a Happy Valentine's Day ♥

    ReplyDelete
  26. Everything is gorgeous! That first photo is perfection and I adore your tea set. I'm your newest follower!
    Cindy @ Art,Books,Tea

    ReplyDelete
  27. This is just amazing. I love the color scheme. Just a bit different for Valentine's day. The attention to detail is wonderful. I'd love to have you join Seasonal Sundays.

    - The Tablescaper

    ReplyDelete
  28. SO very lovely. I am new to your blog from Seasonal Sunday... Glad I stopped by. You have some darling ideas here. :)

    Happy Valentine's Day!

    ~Liz

    ReplyDelete
  29. First time reader, found you from The Tablescaper.

    Oh my WORD, your party is gorgeous, absolutely stunning.

    Every single thing is just lovely.

    Your colorful pitcher and teacups picture takes my breath away.

    I want to come to tea at your house!

    WOW. WELL DONE!!!!

    ReplyDelete
  30. thank you for your lovely post. I love your verse. Cheers SpecialK XoXo

    ReplyDelete
  31. I'm so happy that you decided to join Seasonal Sundays. Hope you'll be here next week too!

    - The Tablescaper

    ReplyDelete
  32. I can't believe how many fabulous ideas you have within this post! Your party setting is so lovely. I love the tags. They are so simple yet so elegant. And the cupcake toppers, and the wrapped bottles, and......all of it! Happy Valentines Day! ~Marti

    ReplyDelete
  33. So sweet...what an adorable post today...perfect for a celebration! Love all your little heart touches...sending you oooodles of Valentine bliss!

    ReplyDelete
  34. How I would have
    simply LOVED to
    have been a guest
    at your tea party.
    I adore taking tea
    with friends and
    agree whole-heartedly
    that the love is,
    indeed, in all the
    sweet details. Your
    friends must have
    felt truly cherished
    to grace this gorgeous
    table!

    Happy Valentine's Day,
    Sylvia. So happy to
    know you : )

    xx Suzanne

    ReplyDelete
  35. Such a joy to read and view your posts, and this one especially, so much pretty and pink! Wonderful :)

    ReplyDelete
  36. What a lovely tea you have created. You have attended to all the finest details. The setting is lovely.
    Happy Valentine's Day, Sylvia!

    ReplyDelete
  37. Elegant, beautiful, and delicious!

    ReplyDelete
  38. Back once again, beautiful post! Thank you for sharing it with my Valentines Tea party. Happy Valentines Day, my friend.

    Blessings,
    Sandi

    ReplyDelete
  39. So nice to meet you. Happy Valentine's Day!

    ReplyDelete
  40. Hi: I must say, if this was a test, you won! This is the most beautiful Valentine's Day post I have seen. Everything is just stunning. You reminded me of the set of Valentine plates I own like yours. Thank you for this feast. Blessings, Martha

    ReplyDelete
  41. Gorgeous! Love the painting above your tea. Thank you for joining me at Home Sweet Home!
    Sherry

    ReplyDelete
  42. Hello Sylvia,
    Your Valentine's Day post is truly lovely. Your eye for detail and desire to delight your guests is amazing. What a beautiful environment you have set up for tea and friends! Each and every aspect of your setting is wonderful. All your china is gorgeous, and it looks fabulous all mixed together.
    Your friends must have had a lovely time with you.
    Hugs,
    Terri

    ReplyDelete
  43. Oh! Everything is so gorgeous, makes me smile! I have the first year of issue of the Royal Doulton Valentine's Day plate, it's such fun to get to see yours.

    Happy VTT!

    ReplyDelete
  44. What an elegant way to spoil your guests! The chocolate cakes look wonderful too!

    ReplyDelete
  45. Wow! I keep browsing through your photos and I love every single one!! Beautiful photos, Sylvia!

    ReplyDelete
  46. where can I buy that print of venus and adonis? or who is it painted by?

    ReplyDelete
  47. As far as I know this is originally a sculpture by Antonio Canova, but you can find a frame print at any Art & Framing stores , I think . I hope this helps.

    ReplyDelete
  48. I was googling images for Afternoon Tea and now I am here, loving your pictures, the story they tell and the beauty in it all.

    ReplyDelete
  49. Sylvia, I know this is a terribly belated wish for Happy Pink Saturday and Happy Valentines, but your post is so gorgeous that I made sure to save my reminder for when I had time to savor it all.

    Your tea party is beyond exquisite, and all those attending surely must have felt special and cherished. You have such lovely things. And, your photography is absolutely stunning.

    Thank you for joining us for Pink Saturday. I hope you will always join us to share your wonderful touches of pink.

    ReplyDelete
  50. Fantastic pictures! We'd like to feature them in an upcomming issue of My 365 Mag. Please message kiki@my365mag.com. Thanks.

    ReplyDelete
  51. I am going to use some of these ideas for my Valentine baby girl's 1st birthday tea party!

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hi Sylvia I have a portrait just like the one that u have but mine is a painting no name and the frame is so heavy I had to have someone help me to put it in my trunk. I bought it at a thrift store the clerk told me that someone had just donated it.I would like to send u a picture of it please give me a call I'm hoping u get this comment I think that u have very good taste and imaimagination. 1-509-538-0438.

    ReplyDelete
  53. Hi Sylvia I font know if u got my message I sure hope so. Nice idea u came up with especially intertwining. Please call me Linda 1-509-538-0438.

    ReplyDelete