“Friendship is born at that moment when one person says to another, ‘What! You too? I thought I was the only one.”
– C.S. Lewis
This is how friendship is for me and my dearest friend Sangeeta – not on one occasion, but on many did we have a “you too?” moment. Now years later, our friendship has pleasantly evolved into an effortless connection – we celebrate and worry without having to transform ourselves into someone else, we listen when listening is required and “fix” each other when that is needed! We both have ingrained fascination for tea (of course) and she makes yum sweet and savory tidbits which we always enjoyed with our favorite blends. We have to our credit hours or teaing and talking. We shared this phenomenal friendship for past many years during my time in Scottsdale, Arizona and even after I moved to Texas, we always stayed in touch. This July she made the time in her busy life to come see me and we had a blast! We talked and tried to to catch up with our lives, had long tea-sessions, cooked together and went antiquing together!! She turned out to be a lucky shopping-buddy for me. My haul comprises of beautiful vintage china, retro finds and antique treasures!
But among everything else we did, what really became fun of all the fun was creating a shoot together. Did I mention she bakes really tasty treats? Well she whipped her magic dough and made her signature cupcakes! The sweet scrumptious delights melt in your mouth with a class apart taste – significant to her baking. I had these cupcakes after more than three years and they brought back all the times I spent with her – she has baked them for me on my birthdays, for dinners at her home, for our mutual friends get-togethers. I could not let these cupcakes go without pairing them with my vintage dessert servers! I took some of the teaware out from my personal collection and put a tea table for two – featuring her cupcakes, some sandwiches along with some macrons! Here are the pictures from this joyful fancying up the tea table. I have styled many shoots but this one brought a feeling that thoroughly reminded me of my childhood days of playing dollhouse with a close friend!
The concept behind the shoot: For those of you who read my blog probably know I have a predilection towards low tea (remember the Gelantine’s shoot) rather than high tea so for this shoot, we went with the former. Low tea is served on center table (called coffee table in the US) and it is definitely one of the more formal ways of presenting tea to an intimate group visiting your home. It brings the typical tea and gossip ambiance with couches and comfy chairs to sit on – balancing cup of tea and your cake plate however is a challenge and comes with practice, something most tea drinkers are quite adept to (watch any episode of Downton Abbey and you will see Lady Mary or Lady Grantham with an assortment of china in their hands talking comfortably). In the US, formal tea taking is generically referred to high tea instead of a category of the service, but in tea houses across the world, you will find both teas served parallel. Fairmont Empress in Victoria, British Columbia, a historic hotel with typical Victorian charm serves both. So do Madam Posh in Windsor, England, although they are a much newer and modern tea saloon. But Ritz Carlton in Louisiana surprised us with charming low tea tables at their Davenport Lounge! (They also had a mix of two serving styles but naturally we picked the low coffee table). Serving tea on low table is typical in Pakistani and Indian culture and thus my preference!!
Friendship is the best therapy guys. Call up or visit the people who you have chemistry with. It’s good for your emotional well-being, sanity and believe me for your IQ. It’s important to be a good human and in order for you to be a good human you must spend at least some time with people who don’t judge you.
Friendship is much better with tea and tea is much better with friends!