tea and roses and vintage silver

by Sharon Santoni

roses and meringues on silver laid table

Last weekend I was unable to join in with Anita’s French Country event, on the theme of vintage French silver …. so today I put together this little tea table as a late contribution.


silver cutlery and black and white china

It doesn’t happen very often that I get the chance to lay a proper tea table … alas!  I think that a real tea table laid with delicious tiny portions of sweet and savoury  is one of my favourite meals to prepare.

roses and meringues on silver laid table

My grandmother used to prepare the most divine high teas … a table set in front of a roaring fire, bone china tea cups,  tiny sandwiches, and slices of home made cakes …. very precious moments and good memories for me.

When my children were little, I lost count of how many chocolate cakes were baked in this house; how many scones were cut; how many biscuits prepared …. now the opportunities come less often.

roses and meringues on silver laid table

So today, as I laid the table, I thought about my grandma, and how traditions and pleasures get passed down the generations; … why I love to entertain so much, why my children find it natural to prepare dinners for their friends ….. I guess it comes down to the pleasure of sharing, of making a table look pretty, and offering delicious food to those we care for.

roses and meringues on silver laid table

And while I was in that reflective mood, I picked a few flowers from the garden, where we are entering autumn, and was surprised to find that I had picked a gentle white and pink bouquet …. not the colours you normally associate with autumn, but they work quite happily on this table.

chocolate cakes on black and white china

Oh yes, and why are we not surprised?  ….. while I was picking the flowers, my tea table got an early visit!  …… hmmm ….  welcome to my life!

ghetto the dog looking at cakes


erika garcia September 4, 2014 - 7:08 pm

this is just so so lovely!!!

Madonna/aka/Ms. Lemon September 4, 2014 - 7:15 pm

Your tea is certainly an incentive to start having one of my own. Each Christmas time we are invited to an Afternoon Tea. They go all out to entertain us. It is always a happy event.

Love those dahlias.

therese September 4, 2014 - 7:24 pm

Superbe Table et les fleurs rose sont belles . Doux week end

Miss Diane September 4, 2014 - 7:24 pm

Vous avez une très belle table Madame, je m’inviterais bien moi aussi..!

Louise September 4, 2014 - 8:34 pm

Prendre le temps…tout simplement!

Debbie September 4, 2014 - 7:31 pm

Oh Sharon, we have both been blessed with grandmothers who valued a beautiful tea table, good food and great company and who blessed generations to follow! I still have the china floral demi cup that I drank out of at Grandma’s tea table. Her daughter, my mother always had tea on the table when I came home on school breaks or when I came with my family for vacations and holidays. When my daughter graduated, my mother gave her a teapot which she now uses when I visit her. The beauty for me are the connections I continue to have with those women. Athough my grandmother passed away in 1990, I still feel a closeness to her when I set my tea table too. Thank you for sharing the beauty of your tea table with us.

La Contessa September 4, 2014 - 7:36 pm

Beautiful…………that goes for GHETTO TOO!

Sandra Lambiotte September 4, 2014 - 7:44 pm

Dear Sharon:
Your table and flowers are just beautiful. There is certainly something about a lovely tea table that makes one pause and enjoy the moment and the beauty which surrounds them.
Even just a cup of tea in a lovely cup takes us to a different place.

I know your work is very time consuming, however it is so appreciated by so many. Our world needs what you do and to be reminded of beauty!

Kindest Regards,

Sandra Lambiotte September 4, 2014 - 7:47 pm

Almost forgot what I wanted to say about Ghetto. I think you may not understand that he believes the table was set for him. He has such personality and such an attitude. Just love him!!

Leslie in Little Rock September 4, 2014 - 7:58 pm

So pretty and with a Ghetto pic to boot! I love those dishes too! They have a fun personality. I’d love to know what they are.

taffy holvenstot September 4, 2014 - 9:14 pm

All very lovely, as is your norm. However, in the interest of accuracy and charm, I must point out that this setting is afternoon tea, not high tea. High tea is a working man’s dinner, with most savory things such as beans on toast, welsh rarebit, that sort of thing, and of course sloshed down with lots of strong good tea. Perhaps people have irrobeoysly referred to this sort of light afternoon repast as high tea because they think it is something the high or upper class does routinely.

taffy holvenstot September 4, 2014 - 9:16 pm

That was supposed to read “irroneously” in the last sentence!

Kim September 4, 2014 - 9:50 pm

That setting is beautiful, Sharon. Sorry you were unable to join us last Sunday. Love the shot of your dog. Bailey would not have hesitated to dig right in.

susan September 4, 2014 - 10:01 pm

thanks for the info about High Tea- I never used the words but was interested in you explanation of its true meaning. I am more into the German Kaffeetischkulture as is said there – the difference between tea cups and coffee cups, tea spoons and coffee spoons… the Germans have a very involved table culture- which is probably passing away with the last generations. But their main time for coffee and cake is about 3 in the afternoon- on up to 4. It is a social event and a way to give you the caffeine boost to get thru the rest of the day. Susan

susan September 4, 2014 - 10:58 pm

My own PS- The Germans have lots of beautiful linen (like the French) and have some of the biggest thickest damask napkins I have ever seen in my life. Italy has the best lace tablecloths. The French have a beautiful cloth called Eau de Nil (water of the Nile). It is almost sheer but has a light blue green glow.They then embroider into it. The Americans brought back many table linens from Europe during the 20th century, so you can get them here in the USA too. They have fallen out of favor compared to 1980s when they were very expensive – now the prices have fallen.

Madeleine September 4, 2014 - 10:46 pm

I once made a lovely tea party for myself, a friend, and our children. I had just finished telling her how well-behaved my new dog was (Dalmatian), when we had to go and check on the children outside. On our return, we found not only had every last biscuit been eaten, but the dog had polished off both cups of tea!

We’re just starting Spring here, and I think that’s a good enough reason to invite my girlfriends for a tea party.


Heather in Arles September 5, 2014 - 10:19 am

I love this story. 🙂

Karena September 4, 2014 - 10:58 pm

A most beautiful tea table! The HIgh Tea, a great tradition I wish we would observe more!

The Arts by Karena

Susan September 4, 2014 - 11:40 pm

I just want to know if the furry devil took anything?

Barbara Sparhawk September 4, 2014 - 11:58 pm

Nothing to match high tea, I loved your description of your grandmother’s, and yours is glorious, well done. Flowers and beautifully crafted everything, and a well disciplined pupkin. Really splendid, brava.

Denise September 5, 2014 - 12:19 am

The table is beautiful, The pastries look delicious.
Best part is that Ghetto. Did get the cakes or did he behaved??
Please let us know. He’s so gorgeous.

Katherine September 5, 2014 - 12:37 am

It is always a pleasure looking at your photos and reading your posts. The table you created calls for a lovely company, laughter and delicious food :))

Delaine September 5, 2014 - 1:40 am

Beautiful pictures as always of your gorgeous tablescape! And that precious Ghetto never misses out on what’s going on in your busy life! Love both your puppy dogs!

suzanna September 5, 2014 - 1:42 am

Absolutely Precious…..not much high-tea over here except at the Ritz Carlton that I enjoyed….you are Very Talented, this is so sweet and that pup staring at the yummies is hilarious ! I adore Linen, sheets, clothes, you name it, fantastic for Florida sun over here…..NEVER goes out of style….Divine !! xo

Colleen Taylor September 5, 2014 - 5:01 am

Your table, settings, flowers & of course Master Ghetto is breathtaking & oh so delicious looking. Such a pleasure to see all of this. X

Rachel September 5, 2014 - 7:40 am

Your table setting looks amazing, right out of a catalog or magazine. Great job 🙂

Heather in Arles September 5, 2014 - 10:19 am

Sharon, this is just so insanely gorgeous… 🙂

Nancy September 5, 2014 - 1:53 pm

I think Ghetto has a great sense of taste! Your table is lovely as are the pieces you used….I think maybe we all need to use our good things more often and take time to enjoy !

hopflower September 5, 2014 - 2:25 pm

A most beautiful tea table indeed. But it is not High Tea; it’s Afternoon Tea. High Tea is served later, and is supper actually; with meat and other savouries. It is commonly confused, but worth pointing out our cultural heritage properly.

Katherine September 5, 2014 - 2:46 pm

This is so lovely and welcoming.
So many women in my age group have great memories of events like this with their Grandmother’s. Just reading your words made me think of the special things my Grandmother did with me – all wonderful memories. I sometimes watch my own Granddaughter baking or crafting with me and think she is having fun and storing memories all at the same time. I hope she can look back later in life and feel as sentimental about the events as we do.
Thanks Sharon – this really made my day. Enjoy the weekend.

ann hodgkins September 5, 2014 - 2:56 pm

Lovely pictures to see in the morning. It starts the day off on a calming note! Your pictures and writing are always a treat.You have inspired me today.
I am off to a store here in the US called Home Goods for additional goodies for a “Tea for Two” basket I am putting together for a fundraiser.I still need a teapot amongst other items.

Sharon Santoni September 5, 2014 - 5:30 pm

Thank you for all the lovely comments 🙂 For the record, Ghetto did not get the cakes, nor even attempt to grab them …. he has many character traits, but a food thief is not one of them.

Thank you also for the precision about ‘high-tea’ …I know all about a proper high tea, and I love it. This of course is not at all a high tea, but I just like the phrase, so since this is my blog I gave myself the right to use it out of context!

wishing you all a happy weekend!


Florence September 5, 2014 - 10:07 pm

What beautiful photographs! Tea is one of the most important things in my life (ergo, so is Mariage frères!) but I don’t often get a chance to use silver and lace, more’s the pity. Nothing is quite so lovely as a silver teapot!

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Maria Teresa de Bracamonte September 28, 2014 - 8:29 am

Everything looks so pretty, you sure are gifted! I’m dying to know if you made those delicious pastries….


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