A Southern Soirée: The Sold-Out English Tea Experience at the Cajun Mansion

table of ladies at tea

About The Louisiana Cajun Mansion

The Louisiana Cajun Mansion is a charming bed and breakfast nestled in the heart of Cajun country. It’s known for its exquisite blend of luxury, Southern hospitality, and the rich cultural heritage of Louisiana. This description will paint a picture of the mansion, its setting, and the ambiance it offers to its guests. Before we get to the Sold-out English Tea event, I’d like to immerse you in the elegance of the actual event venue, our beloved Louisiana Cajun Mansion.

Architectural Elegance
The mansion is a stunning example of classic Southern architecture, with grand columns, expansive wrap-around porches, and elegant French doors. The design exudes a timeless charm, inviting guests into a world where traditional elegance meets modern comfort. Set against a backdrop of lush, landscaped gardens, the mansion offers a serene retreat from the hustle and bustle of daily life. The gardens are meticulously maintained, featuring a variety of native plants, flowers, and trees, creating a tranquil and picturesque setting. Although known for its exciting events, the Louisiana Cajun Mansion also doubles as a unique Bed n Breakfast.
Inside, the mansion boasts luxurious accommodations, each room uniquely decorated to reflect the rich cultural tapestry of the region. Rooms are outfitted with plush furnishings, fine linens, and all the modern amenities one could desire, ensuring a comfortable and pampering stay. There are four rooms on site, and each has its own private bathroom and smart televisions. The owner has put together a suggested day tour for all guests to decide on. In fact, she encourages you to “borrow” the binder and make an entire day of it. Each suggested Day Trip is complete with addresses, and other contact information to make your day easy to enjoy. The Innkeeper, who is a native to the area, and a self-proclaimed foodie has even put together a list of her favorite places to eat complete with what to order.

Warm Hospitality
True to Southern tradition, the Louisiana Cajun Mansion is known for its warm and welcoming hospitality. Guests are treated like family, with personalized service that makes each stay memorable. The staff is knowledgeable about the area’s history and culture and can offer insights into local attractions and experiences. Beyond being a bed and breakfast, the Louisiana Cajun Mansion is a popular venue for weddings, bridal and baby showers, rehearsal dinners and corporate events. Its stunning grounds and elegant interior provide the perfect setting for special occasions, complemented by the mansion’s exceptional service and attention to detail. One of the most popular events currently, are the different elopement packages. This brings us to our sold-out English Tea, which was recently held in January of 2024.

The English tea event at the Louisiana Cajun Mansion that sold out was an extraordinary affair, combining the elegance and tradition of a classic English afternoon tea with the unique charm and warmth of Cajun hospitality.  Below is what the sold-out event was like in case you missed it.

Setting and Atmosphere

In January of 2024, the elegant indoor space of the Louisiana Cajun Mansion was transformed into a quintessential English Tea party setting. Tables were draped in fine linen, adorned with delicate China and sparkling silverware, and set under the large chandelier in the main dining area with soft music playing in the background. The air was filled with the fragrant aroma of blooming flowers, mingling with the scent of freshly brewed tea.

As guests arrived, they were welcomed by the staff of the Cajun Mansion with a complimentary glass of Mimosa. The ladies met up with old friends and found their designated seats among the sold-out crowd. Once everyone found their seats, they were welcomed by Sandra Booher, the owner of the Louisiana Cajun Mansion. She took a few minutes to explain what a traditional English Tea was and the history of the event. The ladies seemed to really enjoy the explanation and there was even time for questions.

The Tea Servicetea pours into white teacup

The centerpiece of the event was, of course, the tea service. A selection of fine teas, ranging from classic Earl Grey and English Breakfast to more exotic blends infused with local flavors. The tea was accompanied by a lavish spread of traditional English tea fare with a Cajun twist. Delicate finger sandwiches filled with classic cucumber and cream cheese or chicken salad sandwiches with pecans and cranberries. The guests were also treated to freshly baked scones served with clotted cream and lemon curd, and a variety of petite pastries and cakes, each more tempting than the last.

One of the non-traditional things that the Cajun Mansion offered was selfies with the Queen and King of England. This was a fun addition to the day. The ladies in attendance enjoyed taking group photos with English Royalty.

Social and Interactive Elements
The ladies who attended the event were all dressed up in their “Sunday best.” There was a range of different types of hats that worn. Some of the guests suggested we have a hat contest. Well we’re listening ladies, and we just may do that next time. Speaking of hats:

The tradition of wearing hats at English tea parties has deep historical roots, intertwining with the social customs and fashion trends of different eras, particularly the Victorian and Edwardian periods.

During the Victorian era, which spanned from 1837 to 1901, tea parties became a popular social event among the upper classes. These gatherings were not only an occasion to enjoy tea and delicacies but also a chance to showcase one’s fashion sense and social status. Hats played a significant role in these ensembles, with ladies donning wide-brimmed straw or silk hats adorned with ribbons, feathers, or jewels, especially suited for more formal tea parties. As the tea parties moved from indoor settings to outdoor gardens and porches, the hats became an essential accessory for these occasions, adding a layer of elegance and sophistication​​​​.

The Edwardian era, which followed the Victorian period, saw the continuation of the tea gown’s evolution. These gowns, often made of white eyelet, embroidery, or lace, were a regular part of women’s wardrobes and were accompanied by extravagant hats, known as picture hats or Gainsborough hats. These hats, characterized by their large brims and tall crowns, were lavishly decorated with feathers, silk flowers, and ribbons. The Edwardian period marked a time when tea gowns and their accompanying hats became part of everyday summer fashion, moving away from the more intimate and potentially scandalous connotations they held in the late Victorian era​​​​.

The tradition of wearing hats to tea parties has continued, albeit with changes in styles and sizes over the decades. From the grandeur of the Victorian and Edwardian hats to the more modern fascinators and pillbox hats, the choice of headwear for tea parties has evolved, reflecting broader fashion trends and cultural shifts. Today, tea party hats range from the whimsical and playful to the elegantly understated, allowing individuals to express their personal style while paying homage to a longstanding tradition​​​​.

For those interested in the art of tea party fashion, especially in creating or choosing the perfect hat, it’s essential to consider the event’s theme, the overall attire, and personal style preferences. Whether opting for a classic design or a more contemporary look, the right hat can add a finishing touch to the tea party ensemble, making the occasion even more memorable​​.

The History of English Tea

The history of English tea is a fascinating journey that reflects the broader cultural, economic, and social transformations of Britain and its empire. Tea, originally from China, was introduced to England in the early 17th century by the East India Company. It was initially a luxury commodity, enjoyed by the aristocracy and the wealthy due to its high cost and exotic origins.

The turning point in the history of English tea came in the 18th century when tea became increasingly popular across all levels of society. This was partly due to the expansion of the British Empire, which facilitated the establishment of tea plantations in India and Ceylon (now Sri Lanka), making tea more accessible and affordable. The government also played a role by reducing the heavy taxes on tea, which had previously encouraged smuggling and illegal trade.

Tea culture in England was also shaped by the introduction of “afternoon tea” in the 19th century. This tradition is often attributed to Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, who began taking tea with a light snack in the afternoon to bridge the long gap between meals. This social event quickly became a fashionable ritual among the upper classes, involving delicate tea services, fine China, and an array of cakes, scones, and sandwiches.

Tea rooms and tea gardens also emerged as popular social spaces for both men and women, further embedding tea in English social life. By the 20th century, tea had become a national beverage, with its consumption ritualized in various settings, from the workplace to the home, often symbolizing comfort, hospitality, and community.

The importation of tea also had significant global implications, particularly in the colonial context. The British demand for Chinese tea led to a trade imbalance, which the British sought to correct by selling opium to China, eventually leading to the Opium Wars. Furthermore, the establishment of tea plantations in British colonies, notably in India, had profound effects on the local economies, landscapes, and social structures, often involving the exploitation of local labor.

Today, tea remains an integral part of British culture, though the traditions and rituals surrounding its consumption have evolved and diversified in the modern era. The history of English tea is thus not only a story of a beverage but also a lens through which to view the complexities of British history, including issues of trade, empire, and social change.

Planning an English Tea?

If you are thinking of hosting an English Tea, then below are some suggestions to ensure your event goes off without a hitch. The collaboration between vendors for an English tea event involves a harmonious coordination of services and products to create an authentic and memorable experience. This collaborative effort typically includes several key vendors, each contributing their expertise to different aspects of the event:

  1. Tea Suppliers: Central to any English tea event, tea suppliers are chosen for their quality and range of teas. They might offer a selection of traditional black teas, such as Earl Grey and Assam, along with herbal infusions and other varieties. Suppliers may also provide guidance on tea pairings and brewing techniques to enhance the overall experience.
  2. Caterers or Pastry Chefs: Specializing in the culinary aspect, these vendors provide the quintessential elements of the tea service, including scones, finger sandwiches, cakes, and pastries. Their offerings are often tailored to the event, considering dietary preferences and incorporating local and seasonal ingredients.
  3. Tableware and Linen Rentals: To create an authentic atmosphere, vendors specializing in tableware and linen rentals supply fine China, teapots, silverware, linen napkins, and tablecloths. These items are often chosen to match the theme or aesthetic of the event, adding to its elegance and charm.
  4. Florists: Florists contribute to the ambiance by providing floral arrangements that complement the setting and table arrangements. Flowers can be selected based on the theme, season, or color scheme of the event, adding a touch of natural beauty and sophistication.
  5. Venue Providers: The choice of venue is crucial for setting the right atmosphere. Venue providers might offer a range of options from traditional tea rooms and garden settings to more modern spaces that can be customized for the event. They work closely with the event organizers to ensure the space meets the specific needs of the tea service.
  6. Event Planners: Event planners often oversee the coordination between various vendors, ensuring that all elements of the tea service come together seamlessly. They manage logistics, from the layout of the tea service to the timing of the tea and food service, ensuring a smooth flow of the event.
  7. Entertainment and Music: Depending on the formality and theme of the event, vendors providing background music or entertainment might be involved. This could range from classical quartets to solo pianists, contributing to the ambiance and enhancing the guests’ enjoyment.

Remember, the event staff at Louisiana Cajun Mansion also has packages for Teas. These packages can be used for baby shower, bridal showers or engagement parties.


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