Miriam Landsman Hosts an Outdoor Tea Party at her Cotswold-Style Manor House in Greenwich
Growing and arranging flowers IS Miriam Landsman’s life-long passion. “I like creating free-spirited, cottage-style arrangements,” says Landsman. Every year, inspired by the blooming of her climbing New Dawn roses, she hosts an outdoor tea party for mothers, daughters and granddaughters at her Cotswold-style manor house in Greenwich. “I love the creativity of entertaining and creating special things for my friends to enjoy,” says Landsman. In celebration of summer, friends are invited to participate in the art of conversation and the taking of tea. Creating the scene is like setting a stage reminiscent of early 19th-century England.
Legend has it that the tradition of afternoon tea began with Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who began requesting a cup of tea and some sweets to ward off hunger in the afternoon. She soon began inviting friends to join her, thus creating a new social event.
Traditional tea party essentials include a tray set with a teapot and a pitcher of hot water to warm the pot; a sugar cube server and tongs; a pitcher for cream; and a dish of sliced lemons. Linen-topped tables set with cups, saucers, dessert plates, flatware and linen tea napkins host a variety of foods, from assorted cakes and macarons to sandwiches and savories.
Landsman puts her own spin on tradition by using treasures she has at her fingertips—from vintage lace to layer atop linen tablecloths to English Lusterware cups and saucers patterned with a silvery rose motif. Guests are greeted by the hostess in the sunken garden with a glass of Prosecco. They then move to the east terrace lawn, where tables are dressed in linen tablecloths. While vibrant Knock Out roses surround the scene, the floral theme continues in the fanciful cakes and macarons from La Tulipe Desserts and a selection of tea sandwiches (vegetarian, chicken and fish options) made by the hostess.
As the Earl Grey or mint tea is poured, the party takes on an intimate, fanciful mood. The festive day honors friends and traditions, old and new.