Afternoon Tea and Local History Presentation
Eleanor and I at our afternoon tea service at Gallery 53
I've certainly tried a lot of afternoon teas this year. If you recall, I started off the year at the Friends of Long Hill Tea at the Wadsworth Mansion in Middletown. It was a large extravagant fundraiser at $45 a ticket, and there was very limited open table seating (8 seats in total in fact. Our group managed to get 6 of those seats!). Later we went for afternoon tea service at Tea with Tracy in Oxford, which is a combined tea place and restaurant in the middle of a mixed use residental/medical/retail space that used to be a quarry. Tea With Tracy afternoon tea service is only served on a tiered platter if two people order it at $28.00 a person. But if you like learning about local history, being in a local artist gallery/workspace, and being offered copious amounts of homemade tea sandwiches and desserts, then do experience a "Gilded Tea" at Gallery 53 for $30 a ticket.
Not only do you get a pretty filling afternoon tea service, but you also get a wonderful presentation put on by Christine Volpe, curator of the Barnes Museum. In this particular presentation she highlights the Afternoon Tea social ritual (popularized in the Gilded Age 1870-1910) by upper class ladies to avoid feeling faint before dinner and to dress up in their latest tea gowns and gossip. She also talks extensively about the Bradley/Barnes Family and their local contributions to the city of Southington and Meriden. What makes Gallery 53 special as a venue is that there is a gift shop on the lower level filled with jewelry and art made by local artisans. So if you attend this particular event, it's got tea, food, history, and shopping! There is a huge parking garage across the street from Gallery 53 that is free on weekends and it is also right next to the Meriden train station (which services the Hartford Line rail that connects from New Haven, CT to Springfield, MA).
What was I going to wear this time? It was super humid, and I still couldn't wear proper shoes yet for my outfits because of the broken toe situation that affected me for the entirety of July. I decided to try out this wonderful dress from Chinese Indie brand Soufflesong, the "Neverland-Wishing Stars" Hot Stamping Chiffon JSK. With elegant lolita fashion, you can get away with not wearing a blouse if you have a shawl. And I did have this very nice cotton shawl, which I had ordered from 42 lolita from the brand Miss Point. The ivory colored shawl is the most versatile in my opinon, and it actually matched the ribbon on the central part of the bodice quite well. I tied on a pearl and lace choker that came with a sweet outfit I purchased last year, white and gold (with pearl accent) wrist cuffs, white sandals with gold and silver accents on them, (my toe nails were painted navy blue with gold glitter like my dress), and I decided to once again ((like seriously this is the third time in a month)) wear my smoky quartz crown as my head piece. I wore a very lightweight petticoat that didn't do a whole lot shape wise, but I had to make choices for my health and safety even while participating in a fun fashion hobby. Oh and because I didn't do half of what I'd normally do for a coordinate, I spent a little more time on my makeup using the ABH Cosmos Eyeshadow Palette for that ultra dreamy starry look.
All in all it was a wonderful time I would recommend to anyone who likes afternoon tea, socializing, shopping, and history.