You are invited to a Movie Idols and Classic Films Tea! Lady T. hosted the 2nd Victorian Tea Society tea of 2017 with a show-stopping, star-studded event.
Lady J. and I arrived on the red carpet first and as we made our way out of our “limousine,” a pair of familiar feet suddenly appeared before us!
One by one, the stars began arriving. Can you name the following stars, movies, and/or characters who showed up to Lady T.’s party?
Inside at Party Central, touches of Hollywood graced the sky, walls, table, trees …
When Lady T. initially announced she was going to host a “Movie Idols and Classic Movies Tea,” I asked her to define “classic.” Lady T. told me that for the purposes of her tea, the term “classic” could refer to any decade.
When I hear “classic movie,” my mind conjures the Golden Age of Hollywood from the silent era to the talkies and technicolor … movies such as Dracula, Gone with the Wind, Casablanca, Citizen Kane, movie stars such as silent film stars, Louise Brooks, Charlie Chaplin, and Lillian Gish, or the 1950s and 1960s glamour of Katharine Hepburn, Marilyn Monroe, Audrey Hepburn, or Elizabeth Taylor. Regrettably, I haven’t seen many “classic movies” mainly because they were shown on TV late at night, when I was already in bed (all good children are in bed by 8pm, right?). However, I was not completely deprived because I did manage to catch The Wizard of Oz, The Sound of Music, and various Shirley Temple movies enough times to be able to recite or sing lines from those movies, which is a testament to how often certain movies are rebroadcast on TV, and always during the holidays.
Flower Drum Song (1961)
Mei Li (Miyoshi Umeki): “You smell good. You wear incense to scare away evil spirits?”
Linda Low (Nancy Kwan): “Oh no, to attract them!”
I love Lady T.’s nod to Nancy Kwan with this Oolong tea and beautiful teapot. While doing some research for this post, I came across an article, “Talk tea & see” in Time magazine (April 11, 1960), on a Nancy Kwan fansite (claims to be official) that I thought was about Nancy Kwan and tea (wow, what were the chances?). The article made my jaw drop and I can’t resist including it here because I could scarcely believe what I was reading (say whaaaat?!):
Wonton-sized Nancy Ka Shen Kwan (5 ft. 2 in., 104 lbs.) is the most delicate Oriental import since Tetley’s tender little tea leaves. Last week 20-year-old Nancy was before the cameras in London filming The World of Suzie Wong, and from the first frame the part fitted like her own freckles. Furthermore, the new “yum-yum girl” has saved the movie … Lest anyone have any doubts that her East-West blend can stand comparison with Hollywood’s well-known brands, company flacks have already hastened to announce that under her high-buttoned cheong-sam (the Chinese sheath with the slit skirt), she is the equal of any Occidental. But Nancy promptly corrected the claim that she has “the ample bosom of the Nordics.” Said she demurely: “It is big for the Chinese, enough for the English, maybe small for Italians.”
A reflection of old Hollywood (or just Hollywood!), it is pretty crazy to think that this was considered a “compliment” at the time. Sadly, the pressure and expectation for women to play by certain rules in order to be successful, accepted, or validated are still alive today, not just in Hollywood but in general. The more things change, the more they stay the same? Old wine in new bottles? Alas, I could go on and on but this subject is technically inappropriate for pleasant afternoon tea conversation so let’s get back to Lady T.’s tea!
To test our movie knowledge, Lady T. unveiled a game to see how many movie quotations we could identify. I got only 5 of the following correct. Our special guest, Lady C. was a real movie buff and her impressive movie knowledge earned her 11 correct answers! Congratulations Lady C.! Playing games inevitably made us hungry (especially the sole “man” of the party, Harrison Ford), and Lady T. started off the celebrity tea with Elizabeth Taylor’s favorite, Chasen’s chili. According to Hollywood folklore, in 1962, Elizabeth Taylor paid $200 to have 10 quarts of chili from Chasen’s Restaurant in Hollywood shipped to Rome, where she was on location filming Cleopatra.
An American in Paris (1951)
Jerry Mulligan (Gene Kelly): “That’s, uh, quite a dress you almost have on. What holds it up?”
Milo Roberts (Nina Foch): “Modesty.”
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
Dorothy (Judy Garland): “Someplace where there isn’t any trouble … do you suppose there is such a place, Toto? There must be. It’s not a place you can get to by a boat or train. It’s far, far away… behind the moon… beyond the rain. Somewhere, over the rainbow, way up high …”
J.J. “Jake” Gittes (Jack Nicholson): “Listen, pal. I make an honest living. People only come to me when they’re in a desperate situation. I help ’em out. I don’t kick families out of their houses like you bums down at the bank do.”
The actress, Bea Arthur, was a vegetarian and this mushroom toast was her preferred way to start her day, every day.
Remember the scene in Splash when Madison (Daryl Hannah) digs into the lobster at the restaurant? 🙂
Alan (Tom Hanks): … I do wanna talk about what happened in the restaurant.
Madison (Daryl Hannah): Oh, I am sorry, that’s how we eat lobster where I come from.
Annie Hall (1977)
Tea at Five (2002)
Tea at Five was a one-woman play, written by Matthew Lombardois, based on Katharine Hepburn’s autobiography, Me: Stories of my Life (1991) which included stories about her life at the Fenwick estate, her family home in Old Saybrook, Connecticut, where afternoon tea was a daily ritual.
Katharine Hepburn: “Good girls go to heaven, bad girls go everywhere.”
American chef, Ruth Reichl, claims, “The best recipe I have for brownies comes from a friend who got it from a magazine about Katharine Hepburn. It is, apparently, her family’s.”
Katharine Hepburn’s brownies
1 stick (8 tablespoons) butter
2 squares unsweetened chocolate
1 cup sugar
1/2 teaspoon vanilla
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup chopped walnuts (optional)
1. Melt together 1 stick butter and 2 squares unsweetened chocolate and take the saucepan off the heat.
2. Stir in 1 cup sugar, add 2 eggs and 1/2 teaspoon vanilla, and beat the mixture well.
3. Stir in 1/4 cup all-purpose flour and 1/4 teaspoon salt. (In the original recipe, 1 cup chopped walnuts is added here as well.)
4. Bake the brownies in a buttered and floured 8-inch-square pan at 325°F for about 40 minutes. You can cut these brownies into squares, once they have cooled.
Or you can try my vegan gluten-free brownies…
Vegan, gluten free brownies
(yields 16 brownies)
2 Tbsp. unsalted almond butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup maple syrup
3/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
2 chia eggs (2 tablespoons ground chia* + 6 tablespoons water, whisked)
1/2 cup finely ground, blanched almond flour
3/4 cup chocolate chips
* NOTE: 1 Tbsp. chia seeds = 2 Tbsp. ground chia seeds. Can also use ground flax.
- Preheat oven to 325°F. Line an 8-inch square baking pan with parchment paper or foil. Set aside.
- In a bowl, whisk together almond butter, sugar, maple syrup, vanilla, and chia eggs, using a spoon.
- Add cocoa powder, almond flour, salt, and chocolate chips to the wet mixture and mix with a spoon until incorporated.
- Pour batter into pan. Smooth batter into an even layer.
- Bake for 30 minutes. Cool for 1-2 hours. Slice into 16 brownies. Enjoy!
La Dolce Vita (1960)
Journalist: “What do you think you like most in life?”
Sylvia (Anita Ekberg): “I like lots of things. But there are three things I like most. Love, love and love.”
Gone with the Wind (1939)
Scarlett O’Hara (Vivien Leigh): “As God is my witness, I’ll never be hungry again.”
We certainly had some great movie conversations and I got a list of everyone’s favorite movies so I can watch them later on Netflix. 🙂 Thank goodness for Netflix because I would not be able to see classic movies otherwise! Even when brick ‘n’ mortar video rental stores were the norm, classic movies were still in short supply.
Lady B.–Little Women (1949)
Lady C.–Auntie Mame (1958)
Lady Henni–American Beauty (1999)
Lady J.–Anne of Green Gables (1985)
Lady K.–Clueless (1995)
Lady ML–Arsenic and old lace (1944), An affair to remember (1957)
Lady S.–Blade runner (1982)
Lady T.–Gone with the Wind (1939), In the heat of the night (1967)
What is your favorite movie of all time?
Thank you Lady T. for hosting a memorable and fun tea for the ages! It was an honor to have tea with your famous friends–I learned so much and ate too well! 😉
Ferris Bueller’s Day Off (1986)
Ferris Bueller (Matthew Broderick): “Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”
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