Lady’s Slipper Themed Afternoon Tea

As regular followers of my food blog will know, I love china teacups and teapots! I use them regularly and, in fact, enjoy my daily afternoon tea break with tea in one of the teacups from my collection. Today, my afternoon tea is a little bit more formal than usual and it is centered around PEI’s official floral emblem – the Lady’s Slipper which blooms in June.

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

The Lady’s Slipper is not an altogether commonly found flower in PEI though it does indeed exist in both pink and white. I have long adored these beautiful orchids and have amassed a collection of Lady’s Slipper themed dishes and china so, today, I have selected a couple of my Lady’s Slipper teacups, cake plate, teapot, and creamer for teatime.

My latest (at time of writing) Lady’s Slipper teacup acquisition is the lovely Lady’s Slipper pattern from Elizabethan’s Canadian Provincial Flowers series.

Floral Teacup
Elizabethan Fine Bone China Lady’s Slipper Cup and Saucer

The cup has a potbellied shape and sits upon a stylish little scalloped pedestal base. The cup features heavy embossing as well as gold trim on the rim, handle, and just above the pedestal base.  The handle is a classic loop broken style.

A large pink and white Lady’s Slipper set amidst green leaves adorns the front of the cup. A tiny Lady’s Slipper appears on the inside rear of the cup and a slightly larger on the reverse exterior, both mirroring the large floral display on the front exterior of the cup.

The companion cup and saucer I have chosen for my tea table is also from Elizabethan Fine Bone China but is in a different shape with straighter sides. The floral motif on this cup is the same as the potbellied cup above.

Teacup featuring Lady's Slipper
Elizabethan Fine Bone China Cup and Saucer Featuring Lady’s Slipper pattern

So, it’s obvious that pink is going to factor significantly into my color scheme for today’s teatime. I have selected tea-sized napkins with a pink background and, not surprising, a teacup pattern! A basic flat fold is simplistic, especially on a small tea table.

Teacup Napkins
Simple Flat Napkin Fold

As it is frowned upon to pick Lady’s Slippers because the orchids tend not to rejuvenate themselves if plucked from their natural habitat, I obviously do not have any of the lovely orchids on my table.  Instead, I went to my backyard flower garden and picked a selection of pretty pink and white tulips.

Tulips in vase on tea table
An Array of Pink Tulips from my Garden

My choice of teapot features, not only the Lady’s Slipper, but an iconic PEI lighthouse and a lobster fishing boat. There is no manufacturer’s mark on the teapot so I have no information on its origins.

Teapot with flowers, lighthouse, and fishing boat
Pottery Teapot Featuring the Lady’s Slipper, a Lighthouse, and Fishing Boat

I came across a small creamer that has a matching pattern to that of the teapot. The creamer was manufactured by Jubilee Fine Bone China (England).

Creamer with flowers, lighthouse, and fishing boat
Creamer with PEI Scene

I think the teapot and creamer make a lovely set. Today, for our teatime, the teapot is holding King Cole Orange Pekoe Tea.

Matching Teapot and Creamer with Lady's Slipper Pattern
Matching Teapot and Creamer with Lady’s Slippers, Lighthouse, and Lobster Fishing Boat

Because we are making teatime a little special event today, we are starting off with Grapefruit Mimosas, a lovely cool and refreshing drink.

Mimosa in tall glass
A Tall Glass of Grapefruit Mimosa

So, of course, we are going to begin with the savory course of afternoon tea and then work our way through the scones course, and then finish off with a selection of delectable small desserts. I don’t have recipes published for every food item in this posting but, for those that I do, I will put the hotlinks into the text for easy access.

Two-tiered server filled with scones, sandwiches, and stuffed croissants for teatime
Two-tiered server filled with Scones, Cucumber Sandwiches, and Mini Lobster-stuffed Croissants

Here’s what my tea table looked like with the savory and scones courses. While I will sometimes put all three courses on a three-tier server and serve it all at once to the table, today I opted to use a two-tier server for the first two courses and then cleared the table from courses one and two and brought out the sweets plate separately.

Teatime Table
Lady’s Slipper Themed Teatime Table

Typically, for the savory course, I will provide two to three different items. That, of course, is dependent upon what I am offering and how substantial the offerings are. On today’s tea table, I have two items, the quintessential Cucumber Sandwiches in open-face fashion and the more substantial Mini Lobster Croissants served on a bed of lettuce.

Cucumber Sandwich
Open-faced Cucumber Tea Sandwich

I have used mini croissants and stuffed them with the same filling as I use in my lobster rolls (recipe here). For teatime fare, I prefer to use the smaller canner lobsters as the pieces are much smaller and identifiable when used in smaller sandwiches or croissants. Using the larger market lobster means chopping the meat resulting in the shapes of the claws, etc., often being lost when used to fill small sandwiches. Everything for teatime should be proportionately small sized and dainty. The items are not meant to be full meal-sized portions.

Lobster Croissant
Mini Lobster Croissants Perfectly Sized for Teatime

How scrumptious does this look!

Lobster Croissant
Mini Lobster Croissants and Open-faced Cucumber Sandwiches

I have opted to use plain scones for today’s teatime. The recipe I have used is my Currant and Orange Scones (click here for recipe) but I have left the currants and orange zest out, resulting in melt-in-the-mouth plain scones. Can you see the layers of buttery good flakiness!

Scones on two-tiered server
Homemade Scones

The toppings for today’s scones include the traditional strawberry jam along with rhubarb curd (recipe here) and clotted cream, of course.

Three-tiered mini server filled with scone toppings
Strawberry Jam, Rhubarb Curd, and Clotted Cream for Scones

I added a wee bit of pink gel food coloring to my Rhubarb Curd to achieve this pretty deep pink color. Left to its natural color, the curd is more of an orange shade.

Rhubarb Curd
Pretty Pink Rhubarb Curd for Scones

I am not going to venture to weigh into whether the proper way to apply clotted cream is before or after the jam or curd is applied to the scone. I am going to take the diplomatic approach and say I like it both ways!

Scones with toppings on plate and pretty teapot in background
Scones Course of Afternoon Tea

And, then of course, there is the pièce de résistance – the dessert or sweets course! Again, I typically provide a selection of 2-3 sweet treats for teatime, sometimes (but not always) featuring a signature dessert as I have done today.

Desserts for Teatime
Sweets for Teatime

Miniature Victoria Sponge Cakes filled with strawberry jam and whipped cream and topped with a fresh strawberry are the signature dessert for today’s teatime.

Victoria Sponge Cake filled with Strawberry Jam and Whipped Cream
Miniature Victoria Sponge Cake

Pretty little pink French Macarons are often a teatime offering and they certainly fit into today’s color scheme! Vanilla flavored, the Macarons are filled with buttercream icing.

Pink Macaron
Pretty Pink French Macaron

Melt-in-the-mouth Melting Moments Cookies covered in a delectable pink buttercream frosting are always a teatime favorite. The recipe for my Melting Moments can be found here.

Pretty Pink Cookie for Teatime
Melting Moments Dressed in Pink Buttercream Frosting

As an added treat to the sweet plate, I have included some locally handmade artisan chocolates produced by Jane and Sue Chocolate of Stanley Bridge, PEI. How grandly did the color of these marbleized chocolates fit in with my tea table color scheme! I simply could not resist including them.

Marbleized Chocolates
Pink and Purple Marbleized Chocolates

A sugar high for days!

Cakes, Cookies, and Macarons for Teatime
Plate of Sweet Treats to end off Teatime

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into our afternoon teatime! Have a lovely week, everyone!

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Lady's Slipper Cup and Saucer for an Afternoon Tea

Deli-style Strawberry Muffins

Berry Muffins
Deli-style Strawberry Muffins

These Deli-style Strawberry Muffins are a must make when local strawberries are in season. Those lovely plump, juicy berries add wonderful flavor to a muffin batter that is lightly spiced with cardamom and nutmeg and has just a whisper of citrus notes.

Box of Strawberries
Strawberries

The muffins are perfect for brunch, coffeebreak, or the lunch bag. Dress them up by sprinkling a few grains of turbinado sugar on each muffin just before they go in the oven. It will add a bit of crunch to the muffin top.

Berry Muffins
Deli-style Strawberry Muffins

 

[printable recipe follows at end of post]

Deli-style Strawberry Muffins

Ingredients:

2 cups all-purpose flour
1 tbsp baking powder
½ tsp salt
½ tsp cardamom
⅛ tsp nutmeg
2 tsp finely grated orange rind

2 large eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
½ cup granulated sugar
½ cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt (or ¼ cup plain vanilla yogurt + ¼ cup sour cream), room temperature
¼ cup vegetable oil
1 tsp vanilla
1½ tbsp milk

1½ cups fresh strawberries, diced (apx. 8 oz)

3 – 4 tsp turbinado sugar (optional)

Method:

Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top edges of each muffin cup are also well-greased/sprayed.

In large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir in grated orange rind. Set aside.

In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, yogurt, vegetable oil, vanilla, and milk.

Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in strawberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup three-quarters full. Sprinkle a few grains of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin, if desired.

Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.

Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Yield: 12 standard-sized muffins

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Deli-style Strawberry Muffins

Pockets of juicy fresh strawberries in a lightly spiced batter make these Deli-style Strawberry Muffins a delight to enjoy when local strawberries are in season.
Course Snack
Cuisine Canadian
Keyword muffins, strawberries, strawberry muffins
Servings 12
My Island Bistro Kitchen Barbara99

Ingredients

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tbsp baking powder
  • ½ tsp salt
  • ½ tsp cardamom
  • tsp nutmeg
  • 2 tsp finely grated orange rind
  • 2 large eggs, room temperature, slightly beaten
  • ½ cup granulated sugar
  • ½ cup Greek-style vanilla yogurt (or ¼ cup plain vanilla yogurt + ¼ cup sour cream), room temperature
  • ¼ cup vegetable oil
  • 1 tsp vanilla
  • tbsp milk
  • cups fresh strawberries, diced (apx. 8 oz)
  • 3 – 4 tsp turbinado sugar (optional)

Instructions

  1. Preheat oven to 475°F. Prepare muffin tins by greasing or spraying with cooking oil, ensuring the top edges of each muffin cup are also well-greased/sprayed.
  2. In large bowl, whisk together the flour, baking powder, salt, cardamom, and nutmeg. Stir in grated orange rind. Set aside.
  3. In medium-sized bowl, whisk together the eggs, sugar, yogurt, vegetable oil, vanilla, and milk.
  4. Pour the wet ingredients into the dry and stir only until barely incorporated. Do not overmix. Gently fold in strawberries. Spoon batter into prepared muffin tins, filling each cup three-quarters full. Sprinkle a few grains of turbinado sugar on top of each muffin, if desired.
  5. Transfer muffins to oven and immediately reduce the oven temperature to 375°F. Bake for 23-25 minutes or until muffins are just firm to the touch and a cake tester inserted into the center of a muffin comes out clean.
  6. Let muffins rest in muffin tins for about 5 minutes then transfer to wire rack to finish cooling.

Recipe Notes

Yield: 12 standard-sized muffins

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Berry Muffins

Teatime in the Lupins

Cup of Tea and Cupcakes
Lupin Patterned Cup and Saucer by Windsor Bone China

June is one of my favorite months of the year. Prince Edward Island is so incredibly colorful with verdant green fields and the tilled red soil freshly planted with crops at this time of year. Against this backdrop are the many wildflowers that bloom in June and none are more prolific or more beautiful, in my opinion, than the tall, elegant, colorful lupins. These stunning wildflowers are the inspiration for today’s Teatime in the Lupins.

Lupins
Lupins alongside one of PEI’s red clay country roads

Lupins grow wild along many country roadsides on the Island and in abundance on my mother’s property which is where we have chosen to enjoy afternoon tea today. Put the kettle on, make yourself a brew, and come along on a recap of our lupin-inspired teatime adventure.

Below is a photo of what the sloping hill beside my Mom’s house looks like in June and this is the background I have selected for our teatime today.

Wild lupins
Lupins on the Hillside

Purple, in its various shades, is the predominant color of lupins in PEI though there are certainly pinks, whites, fuchsia, and variegated shades to be seen.

Pretty purple and pink lupins
Colorful PEI lupins

Other less common colors may include peach and yellow shades but those, most likely, would have been planted from imported seed. Lupins can often be found around patches of wild phlox. Mother Nature’s way of doing her own floral designs!

Colorful lupins
The Shades of Lupins

My Teatime in the Lupins event was, in part, inspired by the lupins and partly by my Windsor Bone China “Lupins” patterned cup and saucer. The pedestal style cup has embossed panels all around the cup which is trimmed with gold accent on the rim, base of the cup’s pedestal, and on the cup’s handle which is the loop broken style. A smaller floral spray of lupins adorns the back exterior of the cup.

Lupin themed teacup
Lupin Cup and Saucer

The matching saucer also features embossed panels to mirror the cup’s design and the saucer features sprays of lupins matching the cup’s floral motif pattern.

Pretty lupin-themed teacup
Windsor Bone China Lupin-themed Teacup and Saucer

Because I only have the one lupin-themed cup and saucer in my collection, I had to choose another floral teacup to pair with it. My choice for the second teacup is Royal Albert’s pedestal cup and matching saucer that features tri-colored violets set amidst green leaves with a blush of pale yellow in the background. This blends in well with my teatime color theme.

Violet Teacup
Royal Albert Tri-colored Violet Teacup

The stylish-shaped cup is narrow at the bottom of the bowl, widening to the top with gently ribbed panels from base to rim. The cup with its broken loop handle style has a scalloped rim with a narrow band of embossing just below the rim level.

Yellow and white teapot featuring larkspur
Royal Denby Teapot with Larkspur Floral Motif

My choice of teapot is Royal Denby’s Larkspur Pattern (no. 301202/reg no. 768985). This summery teapot has pretty rose and blue colored larkspur set against an ivory background trimmed with a yellow band and thick green line accents. I think this vintage teapot pairs well with my lupin cup and saucer since I don’t have one with the lupin motif on it.

Three-tiered server with cupcakes and cookies
Cupcakes, Cookies, and Chocolates for Teatime

Because the predominant color of PEI lupins is purple, I have chosen purple to be my main color theme for the cupcakes.  Melting Moments (my recipe here) decorated in a contrasting turquoise blue frosting are also included on the plate. Nothing says it’s afternoon teatime (well, apart from the teapot and teacups, of course) better than a tiered server.

The three-tiered server I have chosen is from Royal Tudor Ware by Barker Bros (England). The plates feature a purple and brown floral motif with turquoise accents so fit in well with my color scheme. The artisan chocolates on the top tier were handmade by Jane and Sue Chocolate from Stanley Bridge, PEI. This is a new chocolate shop just recently opened at the time of writing so, if you are in the area, be sure to check them out.

Aynsley’s “Garden Gate” pattern tea plates blend in well with the tablesetting.

Pretty floral teaplates
“Garden Gate” tea plates from Aynsley

Those plates need some teatime treats!

Cupcakes, Cookies, and Chocolates for Teatime
Vanilla Cupcakes, Melting Moments, and Artisan Chocolates

Vanilla cupcakes, Melting Moments Cookies, and locally-made artisan chocolates make for a sweet teatime. What’s not to love!

Artisan hand-made chocolates
Artisan Chocolates Handmade by Jane and Sue Chocolate, Stanley Bridge, PEI

A sugar high for hours after today’s teatime!

Pretty cupcakes, cookies and chocolates on tea table
Pretty Cupcakes, Cookies, and Chocolates for Teatime

Do you enjoy teatime outdoors, weather permitting, or do you prefer to take tea indoors, regardless the weather?

Pretty teatable against a backdrop of lupins
Teatime in a Field of Lupins

Some day in our cold Canadian winter, I will look at these photos and try and recall the warm early summer breeze on the June afternoon when we enjoyed tea and sweet treats amongst the pretty lupins!

Tea table in a field of lupins
Table set for Tea amongst the Lupins

 

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Lupin cup and saucer