Lady’s Slipper Afternoon Tea

Lady's Slipper - The Provincial Flower of Prince Edward Island
Lady’s Slipper – The Provincial Flower of Prince Edward Island

June brings a plethora of flowers to bloom on Prince Edward Island.  None are more exquisite than the Lady’s Slipper, so named because its petals form a shape that resembles a slipper.  This member of the orchid family blooms on the Island in late May – June in moist, wooded areas, often under spruce, beechwood, or pine trees.

The Lady’s Slipper was adopted as the Island’s provincial flower on April 24, 1947.

If you come across these beautiful orchids that bloom in both pink and white in PEI, please just admire and enjoy them in their natural surroundings or take some photographs of them.  Please do not pick these natural flowers as that will affect their seed for continued growth on the Island.  They also do not transplant well and generally do not survive outside their natural habitat.  All the more reason why they should just be enjoyed where they are found.

The close-up photograph below shows the petals of the Lady’s Slipper.  I think the shape resembles an animal of some sort!

A few months ago, at a flea market, I came across a lovely plate with the Lady’s Slipper on it.  It is by Royal Adderley of England.  I bought the cake plate and moved along a few tables where I discovered a matching cup and saucer from a different vendor.  Of course, those purchases set my mind to thinking about an afternoon tea featuring the Lady’s Slipper china.

For the menu, I wanted to also feature some local, seasonal food product.  Rhubarb is still available on the Island so my choice was to start with a refreshing Rhubarb Cordial and serve a Rhubarb Torte with a good quality Assam tea.

Rhubarb Cordial
Rhubarb Cordial

Rhubarb Cordial makes a wonderful, refreshing drink on a hot summer’s day.  I garnished the drink with a wedge of watermelon, a sprig of mint from our herb garden, and a tiny pansy.

The “pièce de résistance” is the luscious Rhubarb Torte.  Our rhubarb season will soon be drawing to a close but I just had to have one more rhubarb dessert before that happens.  Of course, I have bags of it stored away in my freezer to enjoy throughout the year.

Rhubarb Torte
Rhubarb Torte

This torte features a graham wafer crumb base, followed by rhubarb sauce, smothered in whipped cream and marshmallows, and topped with vanilla pudding.  It’s as showy and colorful as it is tasty!  I love how the pudding on top looks translucent.

These tiny shortbread cookies, decorated in pink, just seemed the fitting addition for the Lady’s Slipper plate.

The photo below shows the detail in the plate design.

And the matching cup and saucer is filled with Assam tea.

The Rhubarb Cordial and the Rhubarb Torte make for a colorful tea table!

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