H and I were looking for tennis lessons in the Falls Church City parks and rec catalog when H stumbled across a Valentine’s Day tea the city was hosting at a historic farmhouse the weekend before Valentine’s Day. I know, you’re thinking I’m that girl who dragged her poor unsuspecting boyfriend to some girly tea, but truly, H was the one who suggested it. We planned to make the tea part of our Valentine’s Day celebration and got tickets in early January (that’s right, I don’t mess around when I have an opportunity to dress up and eat tiny sandwiches in a historic house).
The tea was at Cherry Hill Farmhouse, a historic home in Falls Church that I’ve seen lots of times but never been inside. The City of Falls Church owns the farmhouse, which is why I’m so bold about climbing on the porch for Instagram photos. H and I weren’t sure how fancy the tea would be—it could be other couples dressed to the nines or an entire Girl Scout troop with their moms. Getting ready for the tea, I tried on a few lacy, pink outfits, then settled on a black silk dress with cap sleeves and a huge flared skirt. I accessorized with classic neutral heels, a camel coat, and a hot pink Kate Spade crossbody. H gamely wore a coat and tie, since I was so dressed up.
We walked over to the farmhouse, and a volunteer met us at the door and escorted us into the parlor, where a woman in a hoop skirt was addressing a small group. In character as the lady of the house, she told us about the family that had lived there before the Civil War, daily life on the farm, and what the City of Falls Church was like in the mid-nineteenth century. The talk lasted for about 45 minutes, so I had plenty of time to check out the other guests: two women from DC, a middle aged woman with her mom, and a married couple with their elementary-school age son. H and I WERE way overdressed compared to everyone else.
Once the talk ended, we were ready for some tea. Volunteers from the Friends of Cherry Hill Farmhouse/Falls Church Women’s Club ushered us into the dining room, which was covered in gorgeous mint green wallpaper with gold leaves, a reproduction of wallpaper the lady of the house had admired at another Virginia home. We sat at our table for two, which had a tiered tea plate with tiny sandwiches on the bottom layer, scones in the middle, and chocolate candy and fudge on the top tier, and enjoyed our food with several cups of tea.
As everyone was finishing up their tea, one of our hosts appeared and asked if we’d like a tour of the rest of the house. We saw the kitchen prep area and both upstairs bedrooms, which were full of furniture, tools, and toys that were owned by residents of Falls Church City. H and I have been on tons of historic house tours, and while sometimes I feel like I could give the tour (This handle tightens the ropes that hold up the mattress! This jar is to store hair from your hairbrush to make creepy hair jewelry!) it was great to hear more about the history of the Falls Church area.
The tea was a fun way to start our Valentine’s Day celebration and get plugged in to the local community! The venue definitely made it special—the event wouldn’t have been as fun in the community rec center. I would definitely go back next year, although I might wear something a little more casual next time.
What did you do for Valentine’s Day? Would you go to a Valentine’s Day tea? Let me know in the comments!