How to Hold a Jane Austen Tea Party

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As part of our Jane Austen learning, the girls decided to hold a Georgian tea party, Jane Austen style.  I am so blessed by older girls who want to make the little ones’ childhood as magical as their’s was.  They pretty much organised this entirely by themselves….and A8 and B5 were beside themselves with excitement!

Charlotte had already completed a lot of the ground work for this as she had initially planned to have a Jane Austen themed birthday party.  Unfortunately we were away in Northern Ireland so there was not the time or opportunity to carry it out.  Last week was another matter, and the twins worked incredibly hard to make sure their casual tea party would be something both their Granny and their younger sisters would enjoy.

These are some of the activities they completed…..

  • Party invitations:
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Jane Austin’s writing desk

As you can see from the photo above, Jane wrote with a feather ink pen (this is Jane’s very own desk she wrote her novels at).  We owned a couple of those and also had the stationary we bought from our visit to Jane Austen’s house.  The girls used these and created individual invitations to their tea party.  They sealed the envelopes in true Georgian style using a wax and seal.  They invited their little sisters, Thomas and Granny and asked everyone to dress up if possible:

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  • Tea Party Dress Up

Charlotte very gallantly took the role of another male, as they are in short supply in our family 😉

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  • Tea Party Food

The girls made a simple tea-party based on information they read from this Jane Austen website:

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The menu Charlotte chose was simple and easy to prepare, and had the advantage of being served on my Granny’s china (scones, jam and clotted cream served with her tea):

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  • Georgian Etiquette Presentation

Charlotte gave a brief presentation about Georgian etiquette:

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Which Lillie continued, focusing on fan etiquette (I have chosen a few but she did many more)….

A closed fan resting on the right cheek means “Yes”:

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A closed fan resting on the left cheek means “No”:

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Fanning slowly means “I am married”:

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Fanning quickly means “I am engaged”:

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Placing the fan near the heart means “I love you”

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  • Georgian Music

We had bought some Jane Austen music whilst we visited her house and we had this playing throughout the tea party:capture

This was truly woeful music and was not enjoyed by any of us.  In fact Thomas and I had a volume battle where he would turn down the volume, and I would turn it up, then he would turn it down….well you get the picture!  In the end I confiscated the volume control hand set (after turning it up full blast!)   🙂

  • Georgian Dancing 

Charlotte taught us a very simple dance from Pride and Prejudice, which was SO much fun 🙂  She and Lillie demonstrated it first:

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before Thomas danced it with A8:

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and Charlotte re-danced it with B5:

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Even Granny had a turn!

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  • Georgian Parlour Game

Charlotte chose a Georgian parlour game to play, which she taught us along with playing a long old favourite from our Around the World in 80 Days study, Whist.  It was called Rhyming with Rose.  The idea is that you each choose a line of poetry which rhymes with Rose….

I once saw a beautiful rose

They were lying by my toes

I wondered were they friends or foes?

I picked them, thinking ‘Who knows?’

Scented, I hold them near my nose

Gradually I begin to doze

Lying down upon the hose

There I lay relaxed in a pose…..

Yes, we are a family of poets 🙂

  • Jane Austin Themed goody bags

The girls wanted to create some gifts to give to their guests.  So they made some Georgian bath salts, some Jane Austin inspired book marks, and cut out some of the paper dolls we had bought when visiting Miss Austin’s home:

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You know you’ve done something right when Daddy phones and asks how the day has gone and B5 answers exuberantly, ‘It was fantastic!‘.   Happy sigh.

Homeschooling the Middle & High School YearsWeekly Wrap-Up

8 comments

  1. I love your family’s themed parties! There is just too much fun at your house! Just yesterday evening my oldest daughter and I watched the BBC version of Emma. 💛

  2. Oh Wow! On so many levels. I so love that your older ones are paying forward the magical childhood they have had. And fan etiquette – who knew?!! Thank you for sharing your Georgian fun. 🙂

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