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The Ultimate Tea Party Party

FLOWER sets a pretty table for an afternoon tea to celebrate the 40th anniversary of Replacements, Ltd.

It’s the grand finale of our celebration marking four decades of Replacements, Ltd. Flower magazine style editor Amanda Smith Fowler once again set to work shopping the Replacements website for beloved china patterns and heirloom silver pieces—this time to set the table for a virtual tea party to live up to the magic of our childhood memories. Click the arrows, or swipe if on a mobile device, to see her selections.

Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, stack of teacups and saucers in assorted patterns with a blue and gold color scheme

A variety of cups and saucers allows guests to select a pattern they love. Pictured, from top to bottom: Royal Limoges Olivier Gold cup, Bernardaud Grace teacup, Wedgwood Anthemion Blue teacup, and Anna Weatherley Spring in Budapest cup and saucer, available from Replacements, Ltd. Photo by David Hillegas

“Mixing china patterns can be like creating a great floral arrangement. Choose your palette, and then vary the shapes and textures to produce an unexpected but lively table.”
– Amanda Smith Fowler

Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, tea caddies
We adore a tea caddy! These lovely, versatile containers can hold all sorts of treasures beyond loose tea—pearls, candy, or a child’s collection of shells. “I love taking items made for a specific purpose and finding ways to use them throughout the year for everyday living and entertaining,” Amanda says. From porcelain options (Pageant by Coalport) to vintage sterling silver, select a tea caddy that speaks to your personal style. You’ll find more of our favorites when you “Shop the Look” below.
Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, silver tea strainer
If one handle is nice, two handles are even better! We fell for the intricate pierced patterns that make this tea strainer unique. Pictured: Trianon tea strainer by Dominick & Haff (1885).
scone bowl, biscuit barrel, pierced silver bowl

An abundant afternoon tea menu of freshly bakes scones, savory cheese wafers, and biscuits (or cookies, depending on which side of the Atlantic you’re on) calls for pretty serving pieces to show them off. Pictured, clockwise from left:

  • Fruit basket (Flora Danica by Royal Copenhagen)—in production since the 1700s, each hand-painted piece of this most treasured pattern is a work of art. Fill the fruit bowl with scones; when they’re gone, guests can admire the botanical painting at the bottom.
  • Biscuit Barrel (Rothschild Bird by Herend)—openings in the lid and sides of this barrel hint at the treats inside. Photo by David Hillegas.
  • Pierced Silver Bon Bon Bowl (by Whiting Manufacturing Co.)—what a delightful shape with layers of pattern and detail. Fill it with cheese wafers, candies, nuts, or mints.
We didn't forget the tea sandwiches—the ultimate serving tray for those is coming up in no. 8, and it will surprise you.
Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, silver tea caddy spoon, cracker spoon, preserves spoon, butter pick and sugar tongs

Each of these artful serving tools is a conversation starter in its own right. Pictured, clockwise from top left:

  • Tea Caddy Spoon (Hyperion by Whiting Manufacturing Co., 1888)—ideal for loose tea as well as candies or nuts.
  • Wafer/Cracker Spoon (New Art by Durgin, 1899)—perfectly sized to scoop up a nice portion of cheese wafers from your favorite local bakery. The gold wash on the silver adds a soft glow.
  • Preserve/Jam Spoon (George W Shiebler, 1890)—the medallion on the handle was a signature of Shiebler’s; the hammered bowl also adds interest.
  • Butter Pick (Chrysanthemum by Tiffany & Co. Silver, 1880)—designed to spear curls of butter for scones; on another occasion, use it to serve stuffed olives, cocktail onions, or citrus wedges.
  • Sugar Tongs (Strawberry by Tiffany & Co. Silver)—one lump or two? The workhorse of any silver chest, this piece can serve sugar, ice, or anything in between.
tea plates, Wedgwood Wild Strawberry salad/dessert plates
Of course, you need plates so that guests can partake of your spread of sweet and savory delights. We chose Wedgwood Wild Strawberry salad/dessert plates, featuring delicate blossoms, vines, and bright berries that bring spring to the table.
Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, silver sugar and creamer
Stieff Rose by Kirk Stieff is Amanda’s favorite silver pattern. The floral detail on top is the icing on the cake—or the sugar bowl in this sugar and creamer set.
Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, crystal epergne
Introduced in Europe in the early 1700s, the Epergne is a grand centerpiece. Fill the vase with garden blossoms, then stack scrumptious tea sandwiches high on the tray. Pictured: Epergne by Waterford; tulip photo by Sara Essex Bradley.
pressed glass drinking glass, Fostoria American
Classic Fostoria is always in season. This is the American pattern, first produced in 1915. Use it for iced tea, lemonade, and water.
Replacements Ltd 40th anniversary tea party, silver tea set
Closing with a scene stealer: This tea set boasts clean lines set off by intricate details crafted by Codan, a Mexican silversmith in the first half of the 20th century. Find more tea sets, as well as teapots, in “Shop the Look” below.

Teatime History

In 1840, Anna, England’s seventh Duchess of Bedford, introduced “afternoon tea” to the social scene. Late dinners were in vogue at the time, and an afternoon menu of tea served with sweet and savory goodies kept hunger at bay. Fun to plan and fun to host, this is one tradition we hope stays around for a few more centuries. For more tea traditions, read tastemaker India Hicks’ essay “Tea Is Served,” and try her recipe for Chocolate Brownies with Fresh Raspberries.

More from This Series

The Ultimate Cocktail Hour

The Ultimate Oysters & Martinis Celebration

The Ultimate Dinner Party

Produced by Terri Robertson and Amanda Smith Fowler

Sponsored by Replacements, Ltd.

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