Mia – May 14, 2018
I’m sure I’m not the only one celebrating this beautiful spring weather after the interminable winter we just endured. After all those months in hibernation, I am more than ready to break out the summer clothes, fling open the windows and find any and every reason to kick up my heels.
As always, my husband and kids spoiled me yesterday with Mother’s Day flowers and breakfast in bed followed by a lovely afternoon in the garden. And last month, I stopped by The Danish Home to see what a proper High Tea looks like in preparation for my daughter Astrid’s eighth birthday party on May 5. Both events were festive, flavorful and fabulous.
Astrid isn’t the girliest girl, perhaps because she is flanked by older and younger brothers and learned early to meet them on their turf. But this year, she wanted a birthday tea party fit for a princess (or ten). “It sounds like you’re looking for a break from LEGOs and soccer,” I said.
“You know how much I like cupcakes and cake pops,” she said. “And it’s fun to dress up with my friends.” So we dragged every silk scarf, gown and bejeweled crown out of her dress-up box, and I pulled together a party of mild tea, sweets and kid-friendly smørrebrød.
The Danish Home’s High Tea on April 28 provided inspiration, as did these tips from the Danish owner of Hoogly, a British tea company. I would have loved to have served their chocolate brownie and apple strudel-flavored teas to Astrid’s guests, but the timing didn’t allow for a shipment from England. Hoogly, by the way, is the phonetic spelling of hyggelig, the adjective form of hygge, which is the Danish word for comfort, coziness and well-being.
I’m not sure any party could be more hyggelig than a tea party, and Astrid and her friends loved swishing their dresses and sipping their tea like a bunch of fine ladies. Nursing a cup of chamomile as I watched the girls take selfies with my smartphone, I decided I want my own princess tea party. And, thanks to Prince Harry and Meghan Markle (pictured above), I have the perfect excuse.
Royal weddings are relatively rare events. It’s already been seven years since my mom and I alternated between laughing at the ladies’ fascinators and entertaining my disinterested toddlers while watching the wedding of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge.
As we enjoyed that exquisite show of English pageantry, she shared her memories of watching Prince Charles marry Lady Diana 37 years earlier. “We even had champagne, but not until they kissed on the balcony of Buckingham Palace,” my teetotaler mother confessed.
My princess tea party 2.0 will also feature champagne, as well as scones, fruit and, as lunch time approaches, more sophisticated smørrebrød combinations than Astrid would permit. Coincidentally, the Women’s Auxiliary of The Danish Home will host its own smørrebrød celebration at a special luncheon that same day.
But long before the residents toast Harry and Meghan with their delicious open-faced sandwiches, my friends and I will be hunkered down in front of the flat screen, eyeing those crazy fascinators, awaiting the big reveal of Meghan’s wedding gown and hoping to catch a glimpse of my favorite Danish royals between sips of cinnamon tea.
Queen Margrethe attended the Cambridge wedding in 2011, but there’s been no official word if she or the Crown Prince couple will attend Harry and Meghan’s nuptials. However, some sources say it’s safe to say Margrethe will, as she’s a good friend of Queen Elizabeth II. Even if the Danes don’t make the cut, I’m sure they’ll be gracious. They are, after all, Europe’s oldest royal family.
So, in the darkness of Saturday morning, I’ll be whisking hot scones from the oven, brewing pots of tea, and putting the champagne on ice. It isn’t every day an American gets within six places of being the future Queen Consort of the United Kingdom. As far as I’m concerned, that’s worth celebrating.