With winter in full effect here in San Francisco, I've been drinking cup after cup of piping hot tea. Although I used to be a die-hard coffee drinker, a few years back, I switched completely to tea after noticing that coffee was bothering my stomach, and became a full-fledged convert. In particular, I became addicted to the teas from Mariage Frères, a French brand that a friend first introduced me to when she gave my husband and I some as a wedding gift (it is aptly named!). I do still love a good latte, but a good cup of tea warms my body and soul.
When I heard my photographer friend Anna Wu mention the idea of a throwing a modern tea party, I was beyond excited. The tea party needs a makeover! There's no reason the concept needs to be centered on mismatched china, doilies, frilly linens and sad finger sandwiches. We decided to throw a modern tea party that would honor our love of this delicious beverage AND good, clean, modern design.
We teamed up with our local friends Tea People (the same folks behind Boba Guys) to pour their delicious teas and teach us more about the different varieties, brewing methods, and history. Benj, our self-proclaimed tea geek, brewed up 4 different kinds, all unique and delicious. I love how different the leaves and the color of each tea look next to each other. And they all have such exotic names!
Of course for me, apart from the tea itself, I was most excited about designing a tablescape that was beautiful and unusual. I decided to go with a mid-century influence to bring in a modern vibe and then soften it with florals. I must have had 20 conversations with Melanie Tom of Hawthorn Flower Studio to try and describe what I wanted...I could see it in my head but it was difficult to communicate! But she read my mind and came up with the most gorgeous floral design that was both organic yet structured, romantic but not overly feminine, and had this amazing movement that filled up the negative space in the most incredible way. All the heart eyes.
With a modern take on the tea party it only seemed fitting to have modern sweets, too - and Craftsman & Wolves fit the bill perfectly. The lemon saffron tea cakes, banana travel cakes, and raspberry lime cream puffs were the crowd pleasers. But my personal favorite were the yuzu almond caramels...they had such a rich, intense flavor. I could have eaten the whole bag myself.
Naturally, one needs to be properly invited to a tea party, and I loved Bri Connolly of Brown Fox Calligraphy's modern take on this invitation suite. This was the first time I'd had a chance to design something on acrylic, and though a bit finicky to work with, it's such a fun material. Especially when you have Bri's gorgeous handwriting overlaid on top.
there is always time for tea!
Featured on Style Me Pretty Living
Planning & Design | Ruby & Rose
Photography | Anna Wu Photography
Calligraphy | Brown Fox Calligraphy
Desserts | Craftsman & Wolves
Flatware | Mrs. Peasy
Floral and Design | Hawthorn Flower Studio
Furniture | West Elm
Hair | Fox & Doll
Makeup | April Foster Artistry
Tabletop Goods | CB2, Crate & Barrel
Tea Tasting | Tea People
Venue | 1544 Events