Sunday, April 24, 2016


If you said you were "getting the royal treatment,"  what would that mean to you?  When I go to Virginia to visit my daughter, I "get the royal treatment."
  • I have my choice of beds
  • I don't have to cook, or clean or do the dishes  
  • We go shopping
  • We enjoy lunch or coffee out
  • I don't have to answer my phone or emails
  • We watch favorite movies together
  • She brings me tea
  • I enjoy a spa bath
  • I relax on the deck
Actually, if I experienced any combination of these things at home, I would consider myself getting the royal treatment.  This is the kind of atmosphere I like to create at my tea parties - a sense of getting away, and enjoying time for oneself that is above and beyond a normal lunch or casual gathering.  

I had recently attended an afternoon get-together, which included a variety of fresh vegetables and fruit, wine and light soft drinks, and.... a foot spa.  The atmosphere and enjoyment stayed with me for a long time, and I just knew I wanted to share this with my friends.

So now I was thinking, "royal treatment" equals atmosphere, relaxation and tea!

When I heard that Queen Elizabeth was celebrating her 90th birthday on April 21, 2016, I realized her birthday would be an opportune time to get together and share "the royal treatment."  So I began searching for the Queen's favorite food recipes, and as always, starting to compose my guest list.

It could be a delightful afternoon get-together, a foot spa, "getting the royal treatment," served with tea time treats. I knew that either this would be a successful event that I'd want to hold again, or that it would be a one-time event.

"Royal Treatment = relaxation (foot spa), atmosphere (tea party), tea (Raspberry Earl Grey Tea created with the Queen's birthday in mind.)

Treat yourself to a Royal Afternoon

Thursday, April 21
1:00 pm
Foot Spa and Tea Time Refreshments

In honor of Queen Elizabeth's
90th Birthday

By Sarah with Arbonne
Tea by Plum Deluxe

If you aren't interested in a foot spa, come to enjoy some Royal tea time refreshments

I must admit that it was a challenge to choose attire that would fit in with an afternoon tea, but would be comfortable and appropriate for a foot spa.  I realized this might create a challenge for my guests as well, so I made sure to encourage them to dress for comfort. "You have hats for us, don't you?"


Another goal that I had for this afternoon's gathering, was to provide a respite time for my daughter who recently had her sixth child.  I encouraged her to bring her little guy, so we could show him off but I also had an agenda in mind.   "I know that we can't true royaly this afternoon, but it has been confirmed that we will have a visit from the Prince."  I knew that Prince Simon Charles would be a welcomed addition to our "Royal Treatment Celebration."  Once Sarah K. began explaining the products, and we dipped our feet into our own foot spas, Prince Simon sat on my lap, and gazed at all the ladies enjoying their own royal treatment. 

Shortly after, I laid him on the floor in the other room where he could enjoy some quiet time, and soon he was fast asleep.  And my daughter?  She was enjoying herself immensely. Based on the pleasant responses and laughter from the afternoon get together so far, I knew that I would want to provide an experience like this for my guests again. It was already a success! 

In between enjoying my own foot spa and experiencing the royal treatment of the products Sarah K. had chosen for us, I steeped the tea and arranged the first course food on the tiered plates for the guests.  

It is a pleasure to welcome you all to my home.  Here is Sarah K, enjoying some tea after a fun royal treatment foot spa.  

I found a wide assortment of recipes for Queen Elizabeth favorite foods. I created my own version of this recipe I found on Pinterest for chicken salad.  I used freshly cooked chicken, finely chopped, and a blend of mayo and Greek yogurt with honey, a small amount of curry powder, and fresh dried celery leaves, with chopped mango as well.  To accompany the chicken salad on tea buns, I served apricot appetizers from a Tapas menu.  I had never tasted cream cheese, basil and honey together, so I suggest you try them first before you decide.

I loved the flavor of the honey, basil and cream cheese mixture so much (even though I am lactose intolerant) that I added basil and honey to my cottage cheese.  Try it!

I would usually serve scones for the second course, but I chose Queen's Cakes for the occasion, which I served with lemon curd.  If you have enjoyed other English bakery such as Heavy Cake or Currant Cookies, you will enjoy the Queen's Cakes.  I'll definitely be making them again.

For the dessert course, I made a chocolate brownie torte.  It was the perfect size for eight servings, and turned out to be about the size of a loaf pan.  I used this recipe for the chocolate brownie, and keep in mind it doesn't rise much.  

So I cut it into three evenly shaped rectangles which became the layers of the torte.  The cream layers are sweetened cream cheese (sour cream and powdered sugar added), to which I also added about 1/2 tsp or so of the loose Raspberry Earl Grey Tea from Plum Deluxe.  Made the night before, the flavor of the tea had time to permeate a bit.  Along with the torte I served a cranberry oatmeal cookie which is my version of an oatmeal raisin cookie, but with cranberry butter instead of the raisins.  This cookie will be very moist and freezes well.   

 Many of my guests say that it is often hard to imagine sitting down to tea with people they don't know.  But it isn't long, and everyone is sharing their ideas and perspectives; their favorite teas or how much they are enjoying dressing up and having some time away from life's tense moments. Kathy, Karen, Jan, Wendy, Lisa and Deb - had spent some time with a spa treatment on their skin, and now they are drinking it in!

Deb is demonstrating a metal tea infuser she found.

Karen and I shared a dressing room in the recent PAAC production, "Revolutionary Brassiere." Karen admitted that she didn't drink a lot of tea, but I think she is open to trying new flavors.  She has a new acquaintance who is English, so tea drinking is going to be a more regular activity for her.  I am so glad we could share the afternoon together.

My cousin Wendy, and long-time friend and tea-loving associate always surprises me with her tea-time attire - the dress, matching jewelry, fascinator, gloves, purse, and shoes - are all coordinated.

 And look where Prince Simon Charles is sitting!  An enjoyable afternoon was had by all, Sarah K!

 A Royal Treatment Celebration was a fabulous afternoon.  Until we meet again, may you be as blessed as your friendship is to me!


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