Peter PanOn one of the first summery days this spring I joined a small group of adventurers for Tea with Peter Pan, celebrated in a local park, under a tree and by a sculpture of Peter Pan. The sculpture is cast from the same mould as the original in Kensington Gardens in London. Incidentally, Kensington was the setting for one of J.M. Barrie’s earlier books about Peter Pan and if you examine the back of the statue you can find his signature. But I digress…

Japanese tea ceremony

Everything placed just so. Perfect, but not too perfect!

Helen and Sorlie arrived and got to the business of setting up: laying down a tarp, unpacking the travelling tea box and greeting guests. In our group of four, I was the honoured guest so was served first.

The Cleansing Ritual

English trifle

Beautifully presented in handmade tea cups & saucers. Garnished with fresh fruit & mint leaves.

Instead of the usual Japanese sweet that normally precedes the tea ceremony, Helen and Sorlie chose to serve perfect miniature servings of English Trifle. They were made from scratch (No store bought sponge, cream from a can or powdered custard!) They were beautifully presented in little tea bowls. Did I mention the girls are talented potters, too?

The tea ceremony is a formal ritual that requires years of study under the tutelage of a Tea Master. Sorlie explained as Helen “did”. Every detail, every movement, precise and beautiful. What makes it so special for me is that the ceremony invites us to slow down and really be in the moment. I felt the weight of the cup, the heat of the tea, the smell, the taste, the texture…and the sound. When I finished my tea I was supposed to make a loud slurping sound to indicate I was finished. There were too many background sounds in this city park so I just said “slurp!”

I won’t explain every detail. It’s much nicer to experience than read about. Our little tea “flash mob” came and went quickly. In less than an hour I was on my way again, feeling very peaceful, very blessed.

Is there a Secret Teatime in your future? Stay tuned, tomorrow I’ll tell you about a visit to Helen and Sorlie’s secret abode and learning to wear kimono.

You can visit Helen and Sorlie on their website: http://www.secretteatime.com

Japanese tea ceremony, matcha

The ritual is repeated for each guest resulting in a perfect cup of tea & a perfect moment.