Afternoon Tea To Celebrate Spring Equinox with Old Friends, Baccarat Hotel, NYC

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I chose the leaf motif for stationery, because it reminds me of spring and of the tea plant, Camellia Sinensis.


See what I mean?


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The body font I used on the invitation is called Clarendon. That’s also the name of the rural Jamaican parish from which  my father and both sets of grandparents hail.


I’m one of those people who sees symbolism in everything. I’m always seeing Bob Marley’s face in the shag carpet and…anyway… The Spring Equinox marks the period when the Earth has traveled halfway around the Sun and day and night are equal. It’s a time of new growth, of blossoming and of light. Two orbs…candles…flowers…is it just me? Am I tea drunk? That’s a thing, you know.


Grand Salon, Baccarat Hotel
The Grand Salon at The Baccarat Hotel & Residences, New York. Yes, residences. Can you imagine living here?


PB EF DB beauties
Delicious company and conversation. There’s a reason they call gossip “spilling the tea.”


Sweets, Savories, Treats
This is why we save up our Weight Watchers points: Roasted Chicken Roulade; Smoked Ricotta, Pesto on Everything Crisp; Lobster Salad with Truffles on Buttered Parker House Roll; Deviled Quail Egg with Sturgeon Caviar, Pickled Onion on Brioche; Cucumber with Watermelon Radish, Goat Cheese on White Bread; Smoked Salmon with Dill, Robiolina Cheese on Marble Rye Bread; Pineapple Coconut Napoléon; Lemon Ricotta Cheesecake; Chocolate Sacher Torte; Raspberry Roulade (pardon me for licking my sticky fingers!) Some of the ladies didn’t touch their Sacher Torte because they said it was “too chocolatey.” Excuse me???? The rest of us delighted in an extra bite. The chef whipped up a little something for my vegan and gluten-free girlfriends too.



Jamaican me hungry
Jamaican me hungry!


Tea Time
The beauties who graced us with their good company on the first day of spring: (L to R) Pamay, Michelle, Elayne, [Yours Truly], Dorian (whom I hadn’t seen in 20 years!!) Jayme and Lisa. Earl Grey and “The Black Orchid” (black tea with vanilla essence) were the fave teas of the day.
Cousins Lisa and Claire
With my radiant cousin Lisa. This woman can’t take a bad photo. Not one. Always smiling.


Claire and Elayne
With my longtime girlfriend and former coworker Elayne. I invited the ladies to rock a frock. Love the way my glamorous GF paired sweet ruffles with the edge of a moto jacket. I am not a  fashionista but I play one on the internet. Seriously, dressing for this gathering felt like cosplay. In my day-to-day as a writer mom who works at home, my uniform is my version of the “athleisure” trend, which in my case might be the yoga pants I slept in, plus a clean top I bought at Costco while on a fruit and cereal run. I chose the navy lace dress for its slimming effect and for the way the color doesn’t wash out my end-of-winter skin. Googling what to accessorize it with, I learned it’s a knockoff of what Kate Middleton, the future Queen of England often wears to tea. Well la-di-da! The jewelry was my late mother’s.  I loved having a piece of her with me. I chose the emerald nails and coral bag & shoes to match the stones in her earrings.


Baccarat Crystal Chandeliers and Objets
The Petit Salon of the hotel showcases three crystal chandeliers: one rose-colored, one smoky and one clear. There is something about crystal that I love. My mother named me Claire, which means “clear” or “bright” (as in moonlight) in French. She always used to thump on a crystal goblet to hear the clear, bell-like tone.


Baccarat Crystal Objets
Baccarat Objets