Thursday, May 30, 2013

The Great Gatsby and Tea!

I love going to the movies with my daughter.  Ideally we go once a month, but it's been  longer recently, since there weren't any movies worth seeing until The Great Gatsby came out.  We headed to our local theater this past Tuesday night for the 3D showing of the film.  

The film is based on American author, F. Scott Fitzgerald's 1925 classic novel of the same name.  Unbelievable as it may seem, I have never read the book, nor seen any of the previous movies, so I had no idea of what I'd be seeing - only good recommendations.  

There are often great tea scenes in British movies, but it's a rarity in American films - or at least the ones I've seen [with the exception of some Disney movies].  So I was pleasantly surprised to see tea interspersed throughout The Great Gatsby. I would have liked the movie without any references to tea [what female doesn't like a romantic, drama film?], but I  liked it even more because of tea's presence.  Only a tea lover can understand that! ;-)

The film takes place in a fictional, prosperous town on Long Island's North Shore, in the summer of 1922, during the Roaring Twenties/Jazz Age.  Costume enthusiasts will love this movie too!

The main character is the young, mysterious, millionaire, Jay Gatsby [Leonardo DiCaprio], and the plot is about his passionate love for beautiful Daisy Buchanan [Carey Mulligan].

The movie is a narration by Nick Carraway [a cousin to Daisy who lives across the bay].  Nick has a Wall Street job, and lives in a small cottage next door to the lavish Gatsby mansion.

Nick learns that Gatsby had a relationship with Daisy five years earlier, before her marriage to Tom Buchanan, and that he is still deeply in love with her, even though they've had no contact.  

Gatsby, in an attempt to initiate a reunion with Daisy, asks Nick to invite her to his cottage for tea, without letting her know that he will be there.  On the day of the tea, Mother Nature sends a torrential downpour, but Gatsby still sends gardeners to cut Nick's lawn and fancy it up, so it'll be fit for Daisy's arrival.  Wouldn't you love having a forest cottage like this?

[Internet Photo]

Gatsby sees to it that the tea party is a lavish affair with copious amounts of fresh flowers, and trays of mouth-watering cakes, pastries, and French macarons.  In 3D, I felt like I could reach out and take a macaron right off the tray!  ;-)

At two minutes to four - just in time for "tea time" - Daisy arrives.  

[Internet Photo]

[Internet Photo]

[Internet Photo]

There's an electric kettle on Nick's kitchen counter boiling water for the tea, and Nick serves Gatsby and Daisy from a gorgeous silver tea set, with equally beautiful china teacups.  I searched far too long on the Internet looking for photos of them, with no luck. I did, however, find a Gatsby inspired Arts and Crafts silver tea set by Tiffany.

I'll leave you in suspense with the rest of the film  in case you haven't seen it yet.  

As I was driving home from the theater, I thought about the theme teas that will probably transpire as a result of the movie, and a Google search proved that Gatsby theme teas are well underway.  

In celebration of the film, the New York Plaza Hotel [which is featured in a scene in the movie] has unveiled its Fitzgerald Suite.

[Internet Photo]

And in their Palm Court, a Fitzgerald tea is served, consisting of 1920's favorites:  Curried Lobster Salad; Deviled Quail Egg Salad; Smoked Salmon with Wild Sturgeon Caviar; Pate de Fruit; Amarena Cherry and Chocolate Sachertorte; Banana Financiers; Hazelnut Napoleons; and Jazz Age Chocolate BonBons.  There's also a Gatsby Hour in the Rose Club complete with a live jazz band.

As for tea room or home Gatsby tea parties, Pinterest provides lots of ideas and inspiration. Nick supposedly served lemon cakes at his tea party for Daisy and Gatsby [chapter 5], and Mint Juleps are in the film, since Daisy was from a prominent Louisville, KY family. [Make mine a non-alcoholic Julep, please! ;-)]

I thoroughly enjoyed the movie with my daughter, and now my mind is spinning with thoughts about planning a Gatsby tea party myself!   Have any of you hosted one?


  1. OK, I'm adding this to the list to see!

  2. I haven't seen the movie yet, but my daughter saw it (in S. Korea, yet!) and told me I should go, I'd love it. I thought maybe I read the book long ago, but I'm not sure I did. Anyway, I'll be looking for the tea references all through it when I do see it!

  3. I would just LOVE a Gatsby tea party. I keep saying I need to see this movie, I really must now that I have read your review. It sounds like just the kind of movie my heart would delight in.

  4. I haven't seen the film, but I wanted to already just for the costumes, and now you've got me wanting to see it for the TEA! Haven't heard about Gatsby-inspired tea parties, but of course that's a logical result of all this. Thanks for pulling together such a great blog post on this!

  5. A themed tea party on the Great Gadsby would be fun.

  6. My sons took me to see this movie for Mother's Day. I loved it and especially enjoyed the tea scenes.

  7. I thought to myself and told my wife at the time, the Tea Scene in Gatsby's is one of the miracles of modern-day cinema. It`s a masterpiece of a scene, the highlight of the movie for me, at least. And that's in a movie where every second could be an exquisite Chanel No. 5 TV ad or wristwatch magazine ad.

  8. Hi! I stumbled across your blog post trying to find out what type of tea it is they are drinking in that scene - does anyone know? It is a distinct colour and looks so inviting!

    Also just had to mention it is actually an Australian film - I was in the large party scene (clapping at the fireworks haha!) and that part was filmed at fox studios in Sydney, and the beach scenes were filmed at Manly in Sydney. Maybe it was only obvious to me but I thought it looked a bit strange as it was obviously the bright blue Pacific to me and not the Atlantic.

    Anyway thank-you for the blog I enjoyed it! Tash

  9. That silver kettle is amazing. Want to have one. :)


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