The other weekend I received some fabulous pictures in my inbox from Jacqui, a recent customer in New York City. A week or so earlier, Jacqui had bought this bright yellow cake stand made from vintage Colclough, Royal Vale and Regent china from our shop.
After a nail-biting week and a half of tracking the package on its journey across the Atlantic, including an unexplained detour to a tiny town in a different state 250 miles from New York then to Long Island, the cake stand eventually arrived at its new home in Brooklyn just in time for Jacqui’s Downton Abbey party! Phew!
Downton has been a huge hit here in the UK, but I hadn’t realised how popular it’s been in the US and, in fact, all over the world. According to Wikipedia it’s the most successful British costume drama series since Brideshead Revisited, which aired in 1981. Downton certainly has all the ingredients of a good costume drama: an uppity matriarch, numerous ‘will they, won’t they’ love stories (both upstairs and downstairs), burgeoning feminism, all set within the context of a changing Britain, which signalled the beginning of the end of big country estates and their microcosmic societies.
Jacqui’s party had all the essential elements of a high class period soirée. Delicious cakes from Tea and Sympathy in NYC and home-made treats such as ginger scones and crumpets were served on a selection of beautiful vintage china plates and dishes. I love how Jacqui used her grandmother’s 1930s vintage linen luggage case as a cake stand. It’s a great backdrop to the mismatched vintage china tea cups and saucers.
Here is Jacqui’s Nancy’s Tea Shop cake stand piled high with biscuits including mouth-watering honey and lemon, and chocolate and raspberry flavours and some delicious finger sandwiches. Branston pickle and cheddar cheese even made it into the selection – a British classic!
Even the drinks were something the Downton ladies would have been proud of. Signature cocktails included the Lady Mary, the Lady Sybil and the Lady Edith. They all sound delicious but I think I would have gone for the Lady Mary, nicely complemented by a strawberry ice cube!
It’s been fun reliving Jacqui’s party through her pictures. Thanks for sending them Jacqui! I’ll definitely have to schedule my own Downton party soon and I hope that it will be as much fun as this one!
All photos (except the first one) courtesy of Jacqui Thuener-Rego