Dressed To a Tea: Afternoon Ritual Makes Comeback at Birthday Party

PROSPECT HARBOR — Overcast skies did not dampen the spirits of seven little girls who put on dresses and spent much of Saturday afternoon steeped in traditions from another time. They happily sipped tea, nibbled finger food, made paper flowers, passed a sugar cube on a spoon and other old-fashioned pastimes.


The birthday girl waits to blow out her candle while her friends sing “Happy Birthday.” —LETITIA BALDWIN
The birthday girl waits to blow out her candle while her friends sing “Happy Birthday.” —LETITIA BALDWIN

The occasion was second-grader Rhiannon Alley’s seventh birthday celebrated at her aunt Megan Moshier’s bed and breakfast, Elsa’s Inn, overlooking Prospect Harbor. A mother of two boys, Megan volunteered to throw the party for her Winter Harbor niece who attends the Peninsula School. Guests were asked to wear their best. The one first-grader and six second-graders happily obliged.

Looking elegant and poised, the birthday girl wore a satin coat dress, heels and pink boa. She and her mom, Angela Alley, and Megan graciously greeted the young guests Audrey Buswell, Portia Gatcomb, Lakiesha Frye, Maggie Leighton and Skye and Blue Howard. The girls found their places at tables in Elsa’s light-filled breakfast room wallpapered in a strawberry pattern. They donned tiaras, earrings and boas and exclaimed over their other party favors. They sipped camomile tea and pink lemonade and feasted on chocolate-dipped strawberries, curried chicken salad puffs, peanut butter-and-jelly rolls and other dainty fare.

“I like tea!’ chimed Lakiesha Frye of Gouldsboro Point, allowing how she enjoys a cup of hot ginger tea on wintry days.

Refreshed, the party-goers then enjoyed a brisk game in which they stood in a circle and passed a sugar cube on a spoon until everyone was eliminated but one triumphant little girl. They proceeded to make pastel-hued flowers with tissue paper and pipe cleaners before singing “Happy Birthday” to their friend and feasting on the cupcakes frosted blue by the birthday girl’s big sis Chelsea.

Mid-afternoon, the young ladies said their goodbyes and thank-yous before filing out in their finery.


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