Afternoon Tea At the Pineapple Room

Afternoon Tea at the Pineapple Room

Last weekend my Mum and I had the opportunity to view a showing of some of the most iconic costumes worn on the BBC show, Downton Abbey. The show was at Cheekwood Botanical Gardens and Estate in Nashville and was followed by a delightful afternoon tea sitting at the Pineapple Room. Tea time in my world is not an unusual occurrence (I have a cuppa every day!), but tea and Downton Abbey?! Now that is a treat worth commemorating! I’ve placed the photos of the event from beginning to end, so you can feel the whole story unfold just as we did when we drove through the grand gates of Cheekwood and began our ascent to the main Estate house.

Cheekwood Estate Nashville

The weather could not have been more perfect. Imagine the warm glow of a mid afternoon sun, not enough breeze to create a chill, but only enough to rustle your hair into the most becoming waves.

Cheekwood Botanical Gardens Nashville

Pausing for a moment before going up the steps to the Estate was a must to capture this view overlooking the garden.

Cheekwood Estates Nashville Turn to your right and there is the front entrance, shadowed by elegant trees and foliage so green it seemed unreal.

Inside Cheekwood Estate Nashville

As you walk inside the front door there is a stunning marble staircase that twists up to the first floor. The lobby was quiet and the bronze handrail felt cool to the touch. The barely discernable thudding of our shoes into the plush red carpet elevated the feeling of anticipation as to what we would see at the top of the stairs with each step!

Dressing Dowton Show at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

As we turned left into a large room with dark wood floors and soaring ceilings, there were the first three costumes. If you have seen at least the first episode of Downton Abbey you will recognize these costumes!

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

This smart biking costume was worn by Edith. I was struck by how tall she must have been to wear this ensemble. I always imagined her quite petite and frail in stature almost, in the show.

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

This dramatic coat was worn by the fabulous Shirley MacLaine. After seeing several of her costumes I definitely identified with her style most strongly out of all the dresses and suits presented at the showing. She had a flare for the theatrical, was lady like and elegant, while still being classic and on-trend. #majorstylegoals

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

I wish I had been able to capture a better image of this dress because it was truly stunning! This piece was apparently crafted from a vintage fabric from the early 1900s and was hand-sewn with hundreds of pearls, crystals and diamonds. The sides, sleeves and back are attached to the embellished front panel, giving it the appearance of a “coat” over a dress. This style of dress design was common practice for re-making and sizing up or down dresses made from fabrics that had intricate hand-work that could not be cut. The coat portion is made of deep Kelly green velvet.

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

This is another Shirley MacLaine piece and I almost had a fit over that gorgeous necklace! Talk about a statement piece!

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

I’m so happy the fashion of the times didn’t believe in ‘less is more.’ The beading, pearls, jewels and luxurious fabrics gave me so much inspiration and renewed my love for some of the more dramatic vintage pieces I own and do not wear enough!

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

Dressing Downton at Cheekwood Estate Nashville

This lovingly designed dress was worn by Cora’s character for Rose’s “Coming Out” and honestly I loved it more than Rose’s dress! The dove gray velvet even seemed to catch the light at different angles making it look blue, purple and silver at moments.

Mrs. Cheek Portrait

This is a hand painted portrait of THE Mrs. Cheek of Cheekwood Estates. One of the reasons the Downton show was held at Cheekwood is because of the startling parallel that can be drawn with the Cheek family that lived at the Estate at the same time the Downton Abbey story is taking place across the Pond!

Cheekwood Estate Nashville

There is nothing better than a properly set, beautifully presented dining room. Each perfectly placed item lends itself to an air of sophisticated elegance that immediately elevates ones mood and convinces one to stand up a bit straighter.

The Morning Room Cheekwood Estate Nashville

Ah yes. The Morning Room. This was probably mine and my Mum’s favorite room out of the entire Estate! The tall windows all around the room filtered golden light through powder blue curtains and cast a relaxing haze across the white walls. This room is perfect for enjoying tea, reading a book, or accepting visitors.

Drapes, Cheekwood Estate Nashville

Selfie With Mum in the Pineapple Room

We liked the Morning Room so much we had to take a selfie! She’s the cutest thing ever, isn’t she? I love her so much!

The Green Room Cheekwood Estate Nashville

You can see the dining room I showed you earlier through that door in the Green Room above. This room was probably full of plants at one time and could be used as a small dance hall I suppose as well. It wasn’t part of the show but we wandered in because it was so pretty!

Receiving Hall, Cheekwood Estate Nashville

There were two doors leading from the Green Room back out to the hallway that lead to the stair case I mentioned at the beginning. This photo was taken from one of those doorways. Following the long hallway back to the elegant entrance was such sweet sorrow! After having lifted the veil we felt even more fast in our liking for all things Downton and the only thing consoling us was the knowledge of tea at the end of the walk!

Tea at the Pineapple Room Cheekwood Estate Nashville

We walked outside and strolled leisurely back down the wide drive way, glancing back periodically at the house, and remarking to each other our favorite bits about the costumes and the beauty of everything we’d just seen. Once we arrived at the Pineapple Room we were seated within a few minutes with the other show goers and presented tea leaves to smell and select our first cup from. I chose a lavender flavored tea just because it sounded like the perfect end to an already relaxing day!

Cheekwood Estates Tea Time at the Pineapple Room

After about 30 minutes of sipping our tea we were presented with our nibbles and spent the rest of the evening chatting with other show goers at adjoining tables, generally gossiping as best girl friends do, and simply setting across from each other, exclaiming occasionally how delightful the whole experience had been! Of course we had to observe to one another with a series of knowing eye-brow raises at the proper moments that the tea was not quite what we were used to (both of us avid, daily tea drinks, and taken tea together in castles in Scotland, several times on The Avenue des Champs-Élysées, and many times in London!) but “for an American tea,” it would “do!”

Cheekwood Estate Nashville

When we had finished our tea time we chatted with the proprietor about upcoming events at the Estate and marked our calender’s for a few things we plan on attending later this year! If you have a chance to visit Nashville in the Fall months, Cheekwood has some absolutely enchanting gardens and paths to simply stroll about and enjoy being outside in the beautiful Southern sunshine. If you enjoy these types of excursions I would highly recommend Cheekwood and also Belle Meade plantation. Both are elegant reminders of a time long ago and an era of elegance and grace that has slowly faded into what seems like a vague dream, only remembered when one returns to the South.

Cheekwood Estate Nashville

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18 Comments

  1. September 15, 2017 / 04:43

    How fun! My mom and I are always going to have high tea.

  2. September 15, 2017 / 07:11

    What a cute place. Looks like a lot of fu!

  3. September 15, 2017 / 18:03

    What a fun day with your mom! This place is beautiful!

    xo
    Courtney Drew

  4. September 15, 2017 / 23:13

    this looks so pretty! great spot for some tea!

  5. September 16, 2017 / 02:15

    Holy beading! I want those dresses. The whole places looks amazing!

  6. amandafaber524
    September 17, 2017 / 03:00

    This sounds like it was so much fun! And I love that you and your mom got to do it together.

  7. September 18, 2017 / 00:10

    The intricacy in some of those costumes is crazy and beautiful. It sounds like you and your Mom had a great time together. I love going to tea!

  8. September 18, 2017 / 14:26

    Wow, what a gorgeous space – it looks like you guys had a blast!!

  9. September 19, 2017 / 06:04

    This place seems beautiful and so much fun! I love all of the beautiful colors of the treats!

  10. lovelysilvia
    September 19, 2017 / 22:29

    Omg this is so beautiful! I would love to do something like this!

  11. September 23, 2017 / 03:25

    This place looks beautiful! And so do you and your mom. Looks like you had a fun day!