TikTok is right about the coastal grandmother love of tea parties and antique china.
Several of the TikTok videos recommend serving tea and using “casual china.” One video specifically recommends a lavender tea recipe, which may be because some types of lavenders naturally grow on the coast.
My family picks mint from the garden to make “sun tea.” We chop the mint, place it in a pitcher of water with black tea bags, and leave it in the sun all day.
I also found coffee cake and lemon loaf recipes on TikTok, which do look impressively similar to the cakes my coastal grandmothers served. I’ve spent many happy mornings sitting on the patio, drinking sun tea, eating baked goodies, and listening to the hum of the waves.
Nicoleta mentions serving these coastal recipes on china, which is spot on in my community, where coastal families often have special serving dishes, usually passed down through the family.
At our house, we can’t wash most of the crockery in the dishwasher because it’s very delicate and at least 100 years old. Our china, like most of the items in our house, usually has a story to go along with it: gifted from a distant royal family, saved from communists during the Russian revolution, used during the civil war, and so on.
All these antiques can make beach vacations with young children a bit challenging since I’m constantly worried my kids will break something. One of their favorite items is a little chair that belonged to my great-great-great grandfather, so it’s from the 1800s. So far, we’ve managed to keep it intact.