Thursday, June 4, 2015

Girls Day Out

For Mom's birthday, we decided to do something FOOFY this year! And what's more foofy than having tea with your girlfriends?

So we and the afore-mentioned girlfriends made a trek out to Ridgeway, South Carolina and had tea at Laura's Tea Room, followed by a leisurely antiquing trip back home. The ultimate day of girly FOOF!

Laura's Tea Room loans you a hat!
This was our first visit to Laura's Tea Room so we had fun taking extra pictures. Except for the fact that it seemed a little pricey to us, and the "tea" had some odd American twists, we thought it was a lovely place.

Here are the conspiratorial girlfriends, ready to have a party for Mom! Naturally, if you're going to have tea, you must wear hats and gloves. Laura's Tea Room provides hats for ladies who don't have one (we heard a lot of giggles as ladies tried them on). But we felt Highly Elegant since we already had our classy hats on!

Have hats, will travel!
Miss Rose's hat is what she calls the "Aunt Bea style" (watch the Andy Griffith Show if you're not sure what that is). Miss Jeannie's hat was dramatically decorated with strawberries because - as she pointed out - it is now strawberry season! Raquelle's hat might have looked rather tame with just black and white, until you notice that it has feathers that wave around while Raquelle guestures. (Note: Raquelle guestures a lot.) My hat is a pretty vintage straw hat that still has it's original velvet flowers - and just happens to match my dress perfectly!

The birthday girl!
Now, for the birthday girl! Mom decided today to wear something that she wouldn't need to take off later while antique shopping. So she opted for a "fascinator." She came up with the idea the night before and made one for herself that exactly matched her outfit! If you've never seen a fascinator before, I once heard a British newsperson describe it as a "sea urchin on your head." Actually, it's a lot cuter than that!

Laura's Tea Room not only serves high tea, they also have a more casual cafe where they serve soups, sandwiches and salads (how alliterative!). The cafe is on the main floor and is combined with a shop of all things tea-ish. When we arrived, they gave us a few minutes to look around the shop (and pick out hats to wear, except we already had ours). Then they took us upstairs to the "tea room" proper.

As another fun touch, we gave the birthday girl a tussie mussie - a Victorian handheld bouquet. Here are a couple pictures. And the flowers looked smashing with Mom's outfit!

There were lots of fun tea-themed decorating touches, like the little teapot napkin rings. And - what fun! - you get to choose your own tea cup as you head for the table! Decisions, decisions... I chose a pretty white and gold cup because I liked the way it looked with the little gold tea spoon. 

Everyone had a yummy cold iced tea glass at their plate. The odd Americanism was that they only gave us two teapots of hot tea for the whole table - one flavor they chose and one we chose. I prefer the English way of giving everyone their own pot so can choose your own flavor. But in this case, it was easy to decide what flavor to pick - we just had the birthday girl do the choosing! 

Another interesting Americanism was that we were served a pasta and spinach salad first. I suspect this was supposed to fill us up so we wouldn't notice that the "tea" part of the meal was a trifle on the skimpy side. However, it was definitely a tasty salad!

Once the salad dishes were cleared, we were served scones - that is, one scone a piece. They were American sized scones (i.e. not very big) but quite delicious. And naturally, one must have lemon curd with your scones! 
And for the grand finale, we were finally served the "real" part of the tea (in our opinion!). It was all scrumptious! Tasty little sandwiches, trifles, chocolate covered strawberries, and more! Of course, when you eat calories with friends, they don't count - right? 

After we finished eating, Mom opened her gifts and then we sat and chatted for quite a while. It was a slow day with a number of empty tables so we just had a good time yakking in the quiet room and catching up on each other's lives.

Here are a couple more pictures of the room so you can see how elegant we felt.

Then on our way out, we did one more quick pass through the shop to admire all the pretty items on the shelves. This is a fun place to "window shop" even if you don't purchase something!

Nope, we didn't buy anything - that's Mom carrying the "loot" she received for her birthday! Don't the ladies look color coordinated with all those teapots behind them? 

Before we left, we did what all good bloggers do - took a picture of ourselves by the sign! By the way, this is also a great way to keep your photos organized and remember where you went. (Free tip from a Dumb Blond Photographer! You're welcome.)

Then we all piled into the van with our assorted hats, flowers, and bags and proceeded to fill up the rest of the afternoon with stops at antique stores! Everybody found a "treasure" of some sort and we enjoyed looking at "treasures" we didn't need - such as the Confederate soldier garden statue. He was quite handsome, but just didn't seem right for our rose gardens. 

And that, ladies and gentlemen (are there any gentlemen reading this?)...was our fun girly day together! 


  1. Looks like a delightful day! If you ever visit Columbus we will take you to tea here. We have a Yankee soldier on our porch that Paul painted. The Soldier in your picture looks larger. They look,amazing painted up though.