Text & Photos By: Maria Moore
Sunday afternoon tea is always special, but never so much so as when the guest of honor is a Victorian Lady.
Such was the case when the New Hartford Garden Club recently hosted a Victorian Tea in celebration of their 50th anniversary. Club members transformed the interior of Berkshire Hall into a fine country mansion with cotton hangings, fresh flower arrangements and bone china settings. The members of the Garden Club were dressed in their Sunday best as they mingled with their guests, eating cake and sandwiches and, of course, drinking tea.
When tea was over, the Victorian Lady appeared at the tea dressed only in her undergarments. She proceeded to dress, adding layer upon layer, until, her waist squeezed tightly in her corset, she completed her toilette and stood before the guests in all her Sunday finery. She then spoke of the secret language of fans and that of flowers, much to everyone’s delight.
The presentation was soon over, but not before the guests had been transported, for one brief Sunday afternoon, to a gentler time, a time when ladies – and their beaux – dressed in their Sunday best and went to tea at each other’s homes.
The Victorian Lady, Kandie Carle, is an actress and historian who performs at small gatherings on different topics related to the Victorian era. To learn more about Kandie, visit her Victorian Lady website.
The New Hartford Garden Club is celebrating its 50th anniversary with various community events. The Victorian Tea was held on Sunday, June 25, 2012. To find out more about the Garden Club and its upcoming events visit the Club’s Facebook page.
Following are images from the Sunday afternoon Victorian Tea:
Many, Many Thanks: To the New Hartford Garden Club Members who make New Hartford more beautiful by the addition of the flowers and plants that they tend around the ‘Welcome to New Hartford’ signs, around Town Hall, at the intersections of town roads, etc. etc.