Of course, there’s a story behind the creation of my Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape! In 1998, I went to England with my Mom and Dad to attend a friend’s wedding. Charlie doesn’t like to travel, plus someone needed to stay home to care for our 2 cats and 2 dogs. I’d been to England one time before (in 1973) on a tour of Europe, but had only visited London for 3 days and then it was off to another country.
This time we were there for 2 weeks, spending time in quaint villages in Suffolk and I fell in love with all things English. When I came back to the United States, I decided to start collecting tea cups and saucers as a reminder of that wonderful time in a beautiful, enchanting country. Once I made that decision, tea cups and saucers seemed to come out of the woodwork!
So, to slow down my new obsession and try to rein in some control over the size of this burgeoning collection, I decided to limit my collection of tea cups and saucers to only those made in England. And, not only was I collecting tea cups and saucers myself, but family and friends started giving them to me as gifts! So, another tactic I implemented to slowdown my collecting was to limit new purchases to only those tea cups and saucers for which I could find matching dessert plates!
We lived in the country, on the same property we live on today, so in those early days, the internet was not available. This is probably a good thing because I would have spent all my time on EBay in search of tea cups and saucers with matching dessert plates! Instead, I grew my collection by visiting local area tea shops (there were only a few) and antique stores.
At that time, we had a pine dining room set, which was perfect for our country home. This dining room set included a pine hutch with open shelving, perfect for display. My tea cups and saucers covered every surface of that display.
Then one day we went shopping for a new sofa and decided it was also time to get a new dining room set! The one we chose included a buffet with no hutch above. So, I packed my tea cups, saucers and dessert plates carefully and stored them in a metal shed on our property where I could get to them easily anytime I wanted to use them.
A month after doing this (buying the new dining room set and packing away my tea cups, saucers, dessert plates and teapots – yes, I managed to collect a few of those, too!), the Southern California fire known as the Witch Fire raged through our valley and beyond into San Diego, burning our home to the ground. I’ve written a 20-part story about the fire and our rebuild and you can read it starting here: Any Way the Wind Blows.
But, my tea cups and saucers, dessert plates and teapots and anything else that was glass or ceramic and stored in that storage shed, survived the fire. Because the storage unit was also on top of an asphalt pad, when the fire hit it, it burned all the paint off the sides of the storage shed until the paint was gone. Seeking new fuel, the fire moved on.
The inside of the storage shed was filled with smoke and anything plastic melted. But, if an item could be washed, it could be salvaged. Suddenly, we went from losing everything we owned to finding salvageable treasures within piles of twisted, melted ruin. My collection was intact and these items became precious to me. For a year, they remained in that smoke-filled storage shed awaiting cleaning.
You see, we moved to a small condo while we tried to rebuild our lives and had no room for boxes and boxes of tea cups, saucers, teapots and other things glass and ceramic. Once we were able to move home to our new, rebuilt home anything we could salvage became part of our new decorating plan. And, my tea cups and saucers took center stage.
I found a new dining room cabinet with shelves and lighting that would do my tea cups and saucers justice. That cabinet is now the focal point of our dining room and I have the pleasure of seeing my beautiful collection every day! But, I don’t actually use it often, so whenever I can come up with an excuse to have a tea party, I do.
So, this year, I decided that a having Valentine’s Day Tea Party was the perfect way to design a Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape! Want to create your own Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape? Similar items are available on Amazon. Take a look:
Link to Amazon: Red Chargers, Set of 6.
Link to Amazon: Romantic Red Hearts Tablecloth.
Link to Amazon: Lenox Butler’s Pantry Earthenware Dinner Plate.
Link to Amazon: Royal Albert New Country Roses Set.
Link to Amazon: Elegance Silver Plated Footed Princess Tray.
Disclaimer: I was not compensated to write this post, but this post does contain affiliate links to the products listed above, which will take you directly to these products on Amazon. Toot Sweet 4 Two is an Amazon affiliate and receives a small commission if a product is purchased through these links. If you click on the link and purchase a product, I will receive a commission of approximately 5% on the sale. If you don’t want me to receive any commission, you could just open a new browser window and search for the product on your own. But, if you do use the links to purchase products, THANK YOU! This does not change the cost to you; thanks for helping to keep content on this site free!
Link to Amazon: Pair of Crystal Candlesticks.
Link to Amazon: Red Candles, Set of 12.
Link to Amazon: Summertime Roses Teapot.
Link to Amazon: Teapot Warmer.
Link to Amazon: Red Stemware Glasses, Set of 4.
I think that about covers it! Now you can recreate my Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape and have all the elements delivered to your door in a flash! Oh, I forgot the napkins (which I didn’t photograph). They are similar to these:
Link to Amazon: White Battenburg Lace Napkins, Set of 8.
Mine were a gift from my mother. She gave them to me when she moved to assisted living a few years ago. I remember using these napkins for special occasions and holidays when I was growing up. A nice memory!
These Valentine sequined, heart-shaped topiaries are from Michael’s. They are new purchases this year. Part of my Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape, they flank a silver tray (that I inherited from my aunt) filled with crystal candlesticks with red candles.
These gorgeous red tulips are from my local grocery store’s floral department. I filled two vases with these magnificent flowers and they, too, flank the silver tray.
My collection of tea cups and saucers and dessert plates don’t match. This was by design in my early days of collecting because there were so many beautiful choices of patterns that I couldn’t decide on just one. So, why not collect different ones?
When I took these pictures, I’d forgotten to put out napkins for my Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape. I used white lace Battenburg napkins to pop against the red tablecloth.
My red stemware was in the storage shed during that horrific fire, too, so they were saved from the fire.
The red tulips curl over the tall vases seeming to wave in the wind (even though there was no wind in the dining room!).
One of my Dad’s abstract paintings hangs on a wall in our dining room. You can see a peek of that beautiful painting just beyond the tulips on my Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape.
This well-known pattern is called Old Country Roses. It, too, is available on Amazon. Here’s a link: Old Country Roses. I just have a dessert plate and tea cup with saucer but this pattern is available as a complete set of everything.
I could go on-and-on, but instead I’ll just share the rest of the pictures from my Valentine’s Day Tea Party Tablescape.
Here’s a collage to pin to your Pinterest board. Thanks for sharing!
People ask me all the time where I got this or that. I’m happy that I’m sometimes able to help out by sharing links to items that can be purchased through Amazon! I’m looking forward to my Valentine’s Day Tea Party tomorrow!