For a few happy years I worked part-time and finished in time to walk the children home from school. We had a lovely playroom with views out over the trees of the neighbouring gardens and it was there we would have 'afternoon tea'.
We always used this tea set with Peter Rabbit. Prima had the Bunnykins tea cup while Primus used the Paddington Bear one. As you can see, they are still with me in the china cabinet, although I can't remember the last time they were used (note to self, fix this!). The Basil Brush tea towel is standing in for my Paddinton Bear tin tray, which we always served tea on.
We had other guests from time to time but they all needed assistance with their tea and biscuits: Nod, the handmade bear given by our Cheshire neighbours; Mersey and Telford who came from the Merrythought bear emporium at Ironbridge, Reggie from the Rotating Equipment Group, PC Blue Plod who was an emergency bear from the Westmead Children's Hospital; and a selection of Miss Bears and Master Bears who came from Marius' mum - Miss Practise, Miss Fleur, the Reverend (who was made from red paisely - think about it) and Master Birch, who had a wood-patterned waistcoat.
I wish I could show you these bear heroes but they are dispersed to various grandparent's back rooms, storage containers and cupboards. Rest assured, none of them have been thrown out. Oh dear, it now occurs to me I could start a new series of Thursday Bears .... no, no.
Tea parties were always a highlight and only possible on days when there was no band rehearsal, football practice, piano lessons, violin or French horn lessons. My memory of them always has the sun streaming in the high west windows on the dancing dust motes.