WAYLAND — The idea came from a cruise on a ship called The Queen Mary a few years back.


The entire Wayland Area Historical Society was filled with elegant tea pots, cups, and saucers as over 70 people enjoyed the 4th Annual High Tea on June 5 from 2 to 4 p.m.


Sally and Bud Higginbotham started the High Tea in Wayland after a trip to Europe.


“It takes 20 of us to put this together,” Sally Higginbotham said. “I think it is fun to see everyone all dressed up. I thank them all for coming every year.”


Marian Crawford was the hostess this year, and loved seeing so many people come to enjoy the elegant tea party.


“Sally thought it would be a good activity to bring home,” she said. “We got the guys on the board to go along with it. We encourage the men to wear the black pants and white gloves as they serve. Women make the baked goods and sandwiches.”


In the past they would do two seatings, but this year they only did one. The event would take place 2 until 3 p.m. and again 3 until 4 p.m.


“It worked out well this year,” Crawford said. “This is a great opportunity for everyone to pretend they are at this elite party in the Queen’s castle and be someone special.”  


Sally Higginbotham loved the time she spent on the ship, and getting High Tea everyday with men serving tea wearing white gloves.


“People would give us cups and saucers and we would have to give them back,” she said. “This year we asked for donations and got many. Now we can pack them up for next year.”


“This year we had one seating since we didn’t want to rush people, and we asked for everyone to pre-register,” Higginbotham continued. “The men on our board and husbands of our board members are the servers. They wear black slacks, white shirts, and white gloves.”


High Tea was created by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford in 1840, because the noon meal had become skimpier, and she wanted her tea and biscuits to fill herself. Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at 5 p.m. in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. Because it was eaten at a high, dining table rather than the low tea tables, it was termed "high" tea.


“We have soft music playing in the background and each course is served slowly so everyone can enjoy the tea,” Sally Higginbotham said. “We also opened up the old fashioned parlor and kitchen to have seatings for four in each room.”


The cucumber, egg salad, ham and cheese, and chicken salad sandwiches are served first. The warm scones with strawberry jam and whipped cream are next. The last course is homemade cookies, and tea of course is served throughout.


“We hope everyone has a wonderful, relaxed, and enjoyable experience when they come to our High Tea,” Sally Higginbotham concluded. “We are very proud to show off our museum and hope everyone will come back to our many events and programs held here.”