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(Nancy Dunn – For the Daily Press)

Sometimes the best parties are the ones that weren’t exactly planned — and Lynette and Jade Throneberry’s annual Victorian Valentine Tea Party is a case in point.

Jade learned about the Victorian tea party tradition when she was pretty young and decided that it would be a lot of fun to host one. So she proceeded to invite a large group of ladies from her church to “come over to our house for a tea party” — which was very sweet, but she forgot to tell her mother Lynette about it!

Lynette found out she was hosting a tea party a few days before the event and was able to scramble around and make it happen. It turned to be so much fun that the event has become an annual Throneberry tradition, and this year was the eighth year for them to host their Victorian Valentine Tea Party for local friends.

And what a party it is! The attendees dress up in their finest “ladies’ tea party” outfits and are transported by members of the Artesia Car Enthusiasts in vintage cars. This year’s party had 30 attendees (including chauffeurs and servers), and the traditional menu included two kinds of quiche, three kinds of cakes, assorted scones, fresh fruit with cream, cheeses and crackers, and even cucumber sandwiches.

Nearly everything was made from scratch, too. And of course, there was nearly every kind of tea imaginable also, with tea bags as party favors.

There are a lot of ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day, and Lynette and Jade’s mother-daughter tradition has become an eagerly-anticipated event for all their friends — a nice way to show their love to all.