Tea Parties

Brunch: Been there. Flowers: Done that. If trying to come up with something new to do this Mother’s Day has left you frustrated and resigned to hitting the 1-800-flowers button on your speed dial, why not consider tapping into this hot new trend, steeped in elegant tradition?

While Tupperware is no longer in vogue and far from fancy, the burping, plastic container craze left more in its wake than well-preserved leftover meatloaf. The in-home sales “party” is bigger than ever these days, and now, in-the-know consumers can shop for everything from designer knock-off bags to Le Creuset cookware to dildos, all from the comfort of their own homes. But the latest traveling sales trend offers something a little more classy, sophisticated, and health-conscious for the discerning couch-based shopper — something, in fact, of which mother would approve: tea.

While the phrase “tea party” may conjure images of little girls sitting around a wee table surrounded by stuffed animals and imaginary friends or the Mad Hatter tormenting Alice, these affairs are decidedly grown up. Tealightful Treasures began in New York four years ago, and recently expanded to California when Ventura residents Jennifer Ainslie and Matthew Gausman signed on to cover the Santa Barbara, Ventura, Oxnard, and Camarillo areas. The tea parties are free of charge and include china tea service for up to 24 people. Ainslie or Gausman brew four different teas, and make two scone or cookie mixes during the party, so guests can enjoy warm, freshly baked sweets with their tea. Hostesses are treated to free products from the catalog, which include gourmet cheeses, scone and cookie mixes, and, of course, tea.

Like any good Tupperware party, a presentation is involved, but Ainslie said Tealightful Treasures is “less sales-oriented. We talk about the health benefits of tea and how to brew it properly, but it’s more about taking the time to relax and enjoy time with your friends and family.” And what mom doesn’t like that? To book a Tealightful Treasures tea party, call 654-1742.

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