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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