British bistro holds shower for royal baby
Published: Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.
Last Modified: Saturday, July 6, 2013 at 6:49 p.m.
Well, thank goodness Great Britain’s impending royal baby had the good graces to not be born before Saturday — when a British-owned bistro in Gainesville held a baby shower in honor of the yet-to-arrive bundle of joy.
The Haile Village Bistro was packed with ladies — mostly American and more than a few adorned in the hats and fascinators so beloved by the British -- to celebrate the first child of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton.
“I read that she is due July 13th, but they come when they are ready,” said Jenny Nanson, a co-owner of the restaurant along with her husband, Gerald, and Jayne and Abbas Yazdi.
“We have our fine china out and our lace tablecloths,” Jenny continued, “and have been trying very hard not to clash between the celebration of (America’s) independence with Great Britain in our decorations.”
In other words, not many Union Jacks. Not that it would have mattered to Saturday’s crowd.
Many of those at Saturday’s shower are regulars at the English teas held at the bistro on the first Saturday of every month — a time to eat cucumber sandwiches and scones with homemade strawberry jam and whipped cream while sipping English tea.
The fact that July’s tea was to celebrate the royal birth made it even more fun.
“This is the first time I wore a hat. I wanted to be like all of the gentry — I even brought white gloves,” said Marceita Hoffman.
Among her table companions was Maryjo Davis, who is sort of new to the tea thing.
“Being a Southerner, I’m not used to tea — except iced tea,” Davis said.
At another table, Joan Anthony brought her two granddaughters — Elsa Griffin, 8, and Amalia Griffin, 4.
Thankfully, the kids were drinking lemonade mixed with a little tea, because they drank about 10 cups, Anthony said.
“We play tea party at home all the time with a little tea set, so I said they really ought to see the real tea party,” Anthony said. “They’re really excited about the royal birth. They keep asking about it.”
The girls said the real thing was better than their tea parties at home.
“They have better tea cups,” Elsa said.
Judy Mace is an Englishwoman. She now lives in Haile but never attended a tea at the Bistro until Saturday, sitting at a table with a bunch of new friends.
“I love it,” Mace said. “I think this is a lovely idea.”
The English traditionally don’t have baby showers and instead wait until after the child is born to get gender-appropriate gifts.
Christine Dietrich, a bistro regular, suggested the shower and coached Jayne Yazdi and Jenny Nanson up on the usual shower rituals.
A table full of gifts will be donated to Baby & Me, God’s Greatest Ministry, a group that collects and distributes for free baby items to single mothers.
Dietrich is an admitted Anglophile.
“Oh, my gosh, yes,” she said. “I’m excited and the shower is for a good cause.”
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