Hello everyone, as you all know, last Wednesday was International Women's Day, and as a member of the Ladies' Philanthropic Society of our village, I suggested that we host a tea party to celebrate women all over the world. Firstly, I wanted the ladies of the village to feel special, so I proposed that invitations be created and hand delivered. Two of our artistic members, Kristy, and her mother, Sonia, created the pretty design, above. Isn't it adorable?
Next, we needed a venue. The obvious choice was the village schoolhouse. It has not been in operation as an educational facility for a while, but instead, is used for the various cultural activities that take place throughout the year, as well as being available to the children to play table tennis, a variety of board games or visit its little library.
Expecting about 60 guests, we closed off part of the space to make for a cozier atmosphere. The floor is grey pebble mosaic, the walls are white stucco, the ceiling a brown wood panel and there is no heating. Obviously, it is not your typical, ornate tearoom,
but I knew the heavy, folding doors, covered in a beautiful, olive green patina would make the room feel warm and inviting. I asked our members to bring as many of their teacups and saucers from home to add personal charm to compensate for the paper tablecloths and plastic garden chairs. A gorgeous bouquet of anemones was purchased and then divided into posies that were placed on the tables.
Magnets in flower and heart motifs - a gift for each guest, decorated each place setting. Handmade, clay candles dotted by cute ladybugs gave the room a fresh, spring-like feel and a soft, shimmery glow. A very heartfelt thank you to our talented and generous member, Eleni, who provided the magnets and crafted the candles!
When I asked our members to each make something sweet or savoury for the occasion, I had no idea that our guests would do the same! But, Cretans are known for their hospitality and I should have realized that our guests would also have wanted to contribute to our assortment of scrumptious treats! Don't they look delicious?
From a wide variety of traditional, sweet and savoury Cretan pites (pies) and koulourakia (biscotti), to loukoumades (pastries made of deep fried dough soaked in a syrup of honey and cinnamon and sprinkled with sesame seeds), and rich, decadent cakes (my chocolate/orange gateau, for example), there was something for everyone, including much Lenten fare for those who were fasting.
While the ladies sipped their tea and nibbled their goodies, it was time for our president to give a short speech about the goals and efforts of the Ladies' Philanthropic Society, and its dedication to helping the sick, the poor, and those less fortunate. She pointed out that we meet at a different member's home once a month, which gives us a chance to socialize over coffee and discuss our agenda, ultimately deciding on where our donations will go to for that month. In closing, she thanked each lady for attending and reminded us that, as women, we share the spirit of sisterhood and hoped that we could work together to make the world a better place.
I, for one, have so enjoyed working closely and cooperatively with my fellow members, who have since become wonderful friends, upon my return to the island. After a little convincing, (re: shopping, baking, crafting, setting up and cleaning!), I am very grateful that my suggestion to have this Women's Day Tea in our beautiful village was accepted with such enthusiasm by everyone in our group, who all worked very hard to make it such a sweet gathering of female fun; I will savour the memory forever!
How did you celebrate Women's Day?
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