“Surround yourself with the dreamers and the doers, the believers and the thinkers, but most of all, surround yourself with those who see greatness within you even when you don’t see it yourself.”
You might recall that archivist Ruth Bryan has been a media darling of late because of the silver plated tea set discovered in Keeneland Hall. Kentucky Educational Television’s (KET) answer to Antiques Roadshow, Kentucky Collectibles, did a feature on the tea set. It was expected to air today.
In her research, Ruth became intimate with Emily Post’s book, Etiquette. Post describes in great detail the art of high tea for which, one assumes, the Keeneland Hall tea set was used. Last week, Ruth asked if any of us would be interested in a Post style high tea while viewing the KET episode. Any excuse for a party, right? A different kind of party at that.
Becky Ryder and Gordon Hogg opened their home to the gathering. Ruth, Kazuko Hioki, Judy Sackett (supplies from Gail Kennedy in tow), Deirdre Scaggs, Stacy Yelton, and myself chipped in finger foods and other tea appropriate treats, in addition to a variety of delicious teas and beautiful tea pots.
Having closely read Post’s chapter on high tea etiquette, Ruth guided us through protocols for dress, serving, hosting, timing; virtually every aspect of what it was like decades ago when social teas were common.
The bad news was KET did not air Ruth’s segment, so we didn’t get to see it (yet). The good news was we learned a lot about how ladies (and select gentlemen) used to entertain. We sampled delicious teas and foods. We had an opportunity to appreciate fine china: both Deirdre and Ruth brought pieces once belonging to their grandmothers. Most importantly, at least for me, I had the chance to spend time with people who are very smart and eager to learn new things. They’re also kind and funny and generous and, after today, highly caffeinated. Who knew high tea could be so entertaining. Any day with these bright women (and Gordon) is a great day for me.