Olde English Tea at St. James Episcopal Church in Wichita

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Today was the 84th annual Olde English tea at St. James Episcopal Church in Wichita. It’s only the second time I’ve been able to attend, but I do love it.

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Even though it was a little wet, I walked through the garden area because they had made it so beautiful with the cloth and flowers.

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They seem to be aware that details are important, and had these matching flower arrangements at the door.

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Just inside the door they had these lovely vignettes.

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Centerpieces were teapots with flowers on each table.

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I didn’t know the story of their tea until this year, but apparently Mrs. Walter Wintle, a recent transplant from England, held the first tea 84 years ago. She arrived to find the church in desperate need of $300 for roof repairs. She had a tea in her home and secured all the needed funds. A tradition was born!

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The lemon curd is still made with the same recipe. They are also famous for the toffee, which you can purchase by the bag to take home.

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They have a series of buffet tables, and just keep bringing food out. You can help yourself to whatever appeals to you.

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A little touch they do, which I really love, is they have vases of flowers on each tray. So, even if the food is gone from the tray, it’s never empty. It’s beautiful and practical.

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They also do cucumber sandwiches with different varieties of toppings. I loved this combination. They also have them with shrimp on top, as well as other goodies.

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Both years I’ve been they have these little mice, which are really adorable.

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They have someone pouring tea at each end of the buffet table. They also offer coffee. And I noticed today they had water on a sideboard. I always try to take bottled water with me to an event like this because I can’t drink caffeine and I know how difficult it is to manage special requests at an event.

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This was the bouquet at our table.

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I met my friend, Jan, there. She is so much fun – always laughing.

They also offer a fashion show a couple of times during the day. I couldn’t resist a few photos of other details before I left.

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I am completely in love with this little vase. Delicate little vintage vases with pink accents thrill me for reasons I can’t fully determine!

The Olde English Tea at St. James Episcopal Church in Wichita is always the first Saturday in May so mark your calendar!

See last year’s post here: http://patsysponderings.com/2012/05/st-james-tea-in-wichita.html

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