Tag Archive for Alice in Wonderland

Q is for Queen

Q is for Queen

I’m joining Alphabe-Thursday ~ this week’s letter assignment is the letter Q.

Charlotte, NC is known as the Queen City; named by Scotch-Irish settlers who came along the Great Wagon Road from Philadelphia. The name for this new settlement was Charlotte in honor of the wife of King George III, who was the king of England. In 1768, Charlotte became an incorporated city, in the new county of Mecklenburg, which was also named in honor of Queen Charlotte’s homeland of Germany.

Perhaps one of the most confusing intersections in Charlotte, the Queens Road/Queens Road intersection. (I’ve been a resident 25 years and I still get confused!)

 The history of afternoon tea can be traced to Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, lifelong friend of Queen Victoria~ whom she served as a Lady of the Bedchamber. Finding herself feeling peckish at around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, with the prospect of dinner only at 8 o’clock in the evening, she asked for a tray of tea, bread and butter and cakes to be brought to her private chambers. She later extended this habit by inviting friends to join her, and so the tradition of afternoon tea was born.

Queen Victoria’s reign lasted 63 years and 7 months, longer than that of any other British monarch and the longest of any female monarch in history. I highly recommend watching The Young Victoria, if you haven’t seen it ~ beautiful costumes,  beautiful scenery & beautiful Emily Blunt!

Maintaining a tradition that began in 1860 with Queen Victoria, every year Queen Elizabeth II opens the private gardens at Buckingham Palace to host three afternoon tea parties, each attended by 8,000 guests.

The Queen and the Duke of Edinburgh, accompanied by members of the Royal Family, enter the garden at 4:00 p.m. as one of two bands plays the National Anthem. Taking a different route, each Royal circulates amongst the guests. High ranking, dignitaries, and special guests proceed to the Royal tent to join the Royal Family for afternoon tea. The remaining guests are served tea from a 408-foot long buffet table.  At 6:00 p.m., the Queen and Royal Family depart for the Palace, where once again the National Anthem is played to indicate that the party has ended.

 Queen Elizabeth II, facts here.

Buckingham Palace Garden Party Statistics

(based on attendance of 8000 guests- list courtesy of Buckingham Palace)

Food

  • 20,000 various tea sandwiches

  • 5,000 bridge rolls

  • 9,000 butter drop scones

  • 9,000 fruit tartlets

  • 3,000 butter cake fingers

  • 8,000 slices chocolate/lemon cake

  • 4,500 slices of Dundee cake

  • 4,500 slices of Majorca cake

  • 3,500 slices of chocolate/jam Swiss roll

Beverages

  • 27,000 cups of Maison Lyons tea*

  • 10,000 glasses of iced coffee

  • 20,000 glasses of fruit squash

*Maison Lyons tea is a special blend produced exclusively by Twinings for the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties. It is a blend of Darjeeling and Assam leaves which gives the unique flavor of peaches or Mussat grapes.

Equipment

  • 12,000 tea cups and saucers

  • 10,000 teaspoons

  • 10,000 tea plates

  • 6,000 glasses

  • 408 foot buffet table

Staff

400 waiting staff and 30 management

The Red Queen from Alice in Wonderland

This is my favorite Queen :-)

This tea pot, cream & sugar is Royal Doulton/Royal Albert English Chintz.

See the rest of this tea party in its entirety here.

 Quick & Easy Mini Fruit Tarts

For these mini fruit tarts, I used Dutch Ann Frozen Tart Shells. Bake the shells according to package directions. Allow to cool. For filling, mix 8 oz. softened cream cheese (I used reduced fat) with 1/2 jar of lemon curd and 1/3 cup sweetened condensed milk. Chill filling and spoon in baked tart shells. Add a mixture of fresh fruit. Glaze with orange marmalade thinned with water, if desired.

Paula Deen’s Benedictine Sandwiches~ a great little tea sandwich~ recipe here.

And last, but not least, a Queen you may not be familiar with, The Sugar Queen, an edible review here.

 Thanks to all my hostesses to this week’s parties I’m linking to:

 Jenny Matlock’s Aphabe-Thursday for Alphabet Fun

 Susan at Between Naps on the Porch for Tablescape Thursday

  Michael Lee at Designs by Gollum for Foodie Friday~ Stop by & see what’s being served!

Mad Hatter’s Tea Party

I was inspired to put together a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party after having seen Disney’s Alice in Wonderland (in 3D no less :-)

 The Hollywood Reporter calls it:  “Truly, Madly, Wonderful”  &  Roger Ebert says : “Enchanting”.  And, as my friend Annie, film aficionado that she is says: “It’s Not-To-Be-Missed!” 

See the Madly Wonderful Johnny Depp in the trailer Here. Better yet, go see the movie if you haven’t already!

  

 This tea party has all the hallmarks I could find of Alice in Wonderland~

Composed of mismatched napkins, Teapots, odd and single Cups & Mugs, consignment store finds, and family hand-me-downs. . .

A Bunny Cream & Sugar represent the March Hare (although he doesn’t look demented enough :) or the White Rabbit, who’s always late! He’s surrounded by marzipan fruits for this tea party. The pressed glass pedestal belonged to my grandmother.

 

The Queen of Hearts or Red Queen. . .

 A version of a stolen tart on a filigree silver plate consignment store find. . .

The butterflies on the table and hats, represent the Blue Caterpillar, which is his incarnation in the movie. This pattern is Vivaldi by 222 Fifth that I found at Home Goods this spring. I loved the square plate.

 This one of five of my husband’s grandmother’s hats that I embellished with the addition of a pin. One thing led to another, and I ended up adding pins to the napkins too.

 

A Cheshire Cat that had me doing a Great-Big-Ole-Happy-Dance in the aisle at Home Goods when I stumbled on it.

Cheshire Cat: “We’re all mad here.”

 Mad Hatter to White Rabbit: “No wonder you’re late. Why, this watch is exactly two days slow.”

This is a single mug that I paired with my Fitz & Floyd Classique d’Or saucer. This little spoon is part of my great-aunt’s silver service. It’s marked S. Kirk & Son. . . mine by default because it has a W on it, which is a M upside-down :)

 A Queen’s Frog Footman . . .

Another embellished hat (I hope she would approve–they have been sitting stacked inside a hat box at the top of a closet for years.)

  Another consignment store find– with the silver basket casting shadows.

 A flower detail inside a bone china teacup.

 Little cakes for Alice to grow taller:  “Curiouser and curiouser!”

 This is a two-in-one teapot and cup set by Caldo-Freddo.

Clocks for tea time (all day!) & a key for Alice to unlock the door . . .

A “drink me” potion to help Alice shrink . . .

 

Queen of Hearts:   “Why, sometimes I’ve believed as many as six impossible things before breakfast.”

This sugar bowl is part of a set by Royal Doulton/Royal Albert in the English Chintz pattern. It’s part of the 100 years of Royal Albert collection. See more here.

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