A Day at the Derby Spring Tea

Every year in the spring, Rose, Joji, and Rita host a Spring Tea for a few of their girlfriends.  A fun social gathering to hang out, catch up, and have brunch and tea. This is one tea party we all look forward to every year 🙂

Rita, Rose, and Joji


This annual spring tea usually has a theme.  Last year it was a Parisian theme with Paris inspired decorations.  This year the invitation was for A Day at the Derby’s inspired tea and brunch. We were all requested to attend with our favorite hats on.


It was a gorgeous sunny day with perfect mild temperatures in the mid-70s on the day of the brunch.  As expected this gathering was outstanding.  Everyone was in great spirits and happy to be at the party.  This brunch is a wonderful and relaxing way to spend time with friends.  Many of us haven’t seen each other in months, and we have much to catch up on.


All the ladies did show up with their favorite hats on!  Gorgeous hats in all styles and shapes were showing off to perfection on these lovely gals!

A long dining table in Rose’s backyard is beautifully set with floral tablecloths, porcelain plates, napkins, and sliver ware for every one of us.  The center of the table is adorned with delicate bouquets of flowers, and since it was a sunny day, the portico was covered in pretty saris and fabrics to provide shade for our luncheon.

Rose has taken out all her gorgeous platters, cake stands, and serving bowls for this special occasion. Scones are piled high on a lovely cake stand with jam and cream in cut glass jars. Salads in all colors, shapes, and flavors abound. There is Faro Salad, tossed green salad, Quinoa and Apple Salad with Kale, Green Salad with Lentils, Deviled eggs, quiche, and so much more. Tea sandwiches, rolls, and cheeses are all elegantly presented in shimmering tiered stands.  There is so much food and little space left for more enticing dishes that are looking for a spot on this exclusive table.


Funny story about Rose’s scones.  I didn’t see them on the table initially, so I asked Rose where her scones were.  She said she forgot to set them out and went in to get them.  When they were placed on the table, I overheard one of the ladies comment, “Oh, good, there the scones are! I dreamt about your scones Rose, and I can’t wait to have one.”  Rose’s scones are so good that we dream of them!


With our plates piled high with everything scrumptious and healthy, we are ready to enjoy these delicacies and relax with our friends.  There is plenty of laugher and conversation. Topics discussed range from fashion, yoga, organ transplants, marathons, gardening, weather, and of course hats.






After a yummy lunch, we head inside where sweets and treats await us. In typical Rose style; she has enough home made baked goods to open a bakeshop.  Everything from scones, muffins, and jam filled cookies; all home made by Rose are waiting at the dessert table.


Why bring dessert to Rose’s party?  She has enough sweet treats to feed an army. The only exception to this cornucopia of desserts that is not made by Rose, is Georgina’s homemade sweet treat.  Georgina’s treat is a Swedish cake which is just as delicious and sweet as it looks, and joins Rose’s dessert table ensemble.



The belle of this event is tea.  Multiple teapots line the dessert table.  Beautiful and delicate teapots with exotic flavored teas are waiting to be savored. We have a choice of peach herbal tea, orange blossom white tea, and oolong tea with fruits and berries. Each teapot is steaming hot and ready to be poured.  I am sure all of us had at least 5 cups of tea by the end of this brunch just so we could taste them all!

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We lingered for hours at this memorable luncheon. The only reason to leave was that we had to pick up our kids from school, or that we had to go back to work.

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At the end of our get together we all got to take home one of those little bouquets that lined the table.

This was one exceptional Derby inspired tea. The ambiance was charming. The company of ladies outstanding. And the food was a feast for the eyes as it was scrumptious.  This is one tea party even the Queen of England will be proud of!!


Ever wonder where the tradition of wearing fancy hats at the Kentucky Derby came from?   This tradition goes back to our American heritage with England. The founder of the Kentucky Derby modeled the race after European-style racing events like the Royal Ascot, which mandated full morning dress for men, and hats for women. When the Kentucky Derby began in 1875, both American and British women alike wanted to wear their finest clothing to the races, and back in those days for women that meant wearing gorgeous hats.

Today, there is a more practical use for those fancy hats – it keeps the hot sun out of the ladies’ faces and eyes.

Some interesting customs surround these hats. The type of hats worn often depends on where the women are standing and watching the races from.  In the general admission infield, hats tend to be eccentric; while those in the seated areas verge toward elegant. Almost all come with some combination of feathers, flowers, and ribbons, and the finished product is believed to bring good luck to gamblers at the races.  Very cool indeed!


For more information on the Kentucky Derby and their traditions, check out these web sites that I referenced in this story.  Why Women Wear Fancy Hats at the Derby?   The History of hat wearing at the Kentucky Derby

14 thoughts on “A Day at the Derby Spring Tea”

  1. Very nice post Kalpana on Derby Tea afternoon at Rose’s Home.What a beautiful table setting and
    decor! Great writing and outstanding photos! You have covered in detail everything and thanks for sharing,
    😊❤️ Devi

  2. Kalpana, when I first saw beautiful ladies in those hats, i said to myself “the Queen is going to be very proud if she sees this”. And you said it too!
    You have given a wonderful description of the tea party. Beautiful pictures! I think tonight I will dream about the Rose’s scones, Georgina’s Swedish cake and of course the beautiful hats!
    Thanks for sharing!

  3. It was a marvelous day. A wonderful memory to go back to on rainy days. I feel honored to be getting to know such lovely people and I look forward to our get together for a different hat day 🙂 Thank you Rose for doing this every year for us. And wonderfully done Kalpana…you captured every beautiful detail of the day.

  4. Outstanding post on our Derby Tea afternoon!! Reading it and looking at all the fabulous photos not only brought a big smile on my face but it definitely brought me back to that beautiful day with all the gorgeous ladies donned in their finest hats! Thank you, Kalpana, for capturing the best essence of that day with your talents of writing and photography! Weaving a bit of Kentucky Derby history was such a bonus! Such a fun read!!! ❌😀

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