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Don your finest for old-fashioned Llano tea party Oct. 26

Attendees of last year's Afternoon Heritage Tea at the Sandstone Street Bed and Breakfast in Llano enjoy some wonderful tea, great conversation and even a history lesson on women's fashion. The inn is again hosting the tea at 2 p.m. Oct. 26. Tickets are $45 for adults and $20 for children 12 and younger. Part of the proceeds will go to help purchase new seating for the LanTex Theater. Reservations are required. Call (325) 423-2581 for more information or to make reservations. Courtesy photo

DANIEL CLIFTON • PICAYUNE EDITOR

LLANO — Women’s fashion — and fashion, in general — both reflects and influences culture.

One hat, the bird hat, even impacted the women’s suffrage movement, according to Virginia Walker of Sandstone Street Bed and Breakfast in Llano.

“But I don’t want to give too much away,” she said. “You’ll have to come to the tea party to find out how.”

Walker is hosting the second annual Afternoon Heritage Tea on Oct. 26 at her establishment, located at 508 E. Sandstone St. The event starts at 2 p.m. and is titled “Hats Off to Llano’s Heritage.”

“We had Llano Heritage Festival (the previous weekend), and this just follows along with it,” Walker said. Walker’s program focuses on two things: fashion and tea.

Since settling in Llano and opening the bed-and-breakfast a few years ago, Walker has established herself as the “tea lady.” She regularly hosts and organizes local tea parties with English tea settings including scones, small sandwiches and desserts as well as flavorful loose-leaf teas.

The Oct. 26 event combines a tea party with women’s fashion history, but it’s more than that. It’s a chance for women to remember their first tea parties as well as girls to start creating lifelong memories of their own.

“Every girl — every woman — remembers her first tea party,” Walker said. “It’s this great time when they got dressed up or get to dress up and spend an afternoon enjoying tea and just some good conversation.”

The conversation remains friendly and upbeat as people stay away from controversial subjects such as politics. Walker said that, for many of the women, it’s a time to reminisce and share memories. And in a world that’s becoming more centered on technology with texting and social media, it’s a chance to just sit down and have some face-to-face time.

“A tea party is also an opportunity to sit down and talk,” Walker added. “We just don’t seem to do that as much as we used to.”

Walker is encouraging attendees to dress nicely and also wear a beautiful hat because that’s one of the topics of the day: historic women’s hats.

J’Nean Henderson, a renowned expert on women’s history of the 1800s and 1900s, will be the guest speaker. She’ll share insight on — as well as show off — women’s fashion of the time and how the past influenced it and vice versa. Hence, the bird hat and women’s suffrage.

There will be prizes for the most unusual hat and the most flamboyant one.

“It’s just a great time to get dressed up and enjoy a tea party,” Walker said. “We’ll be enjoying it out in our garden area, so it will make for a great time, great conversation and great memories.”

Tickets for the event are $45 for adults and $20 for children 12 and younger. A portion of the proceeds will go to help purchase new seats for the LanTex Theater in Llano. Reservations are required and may be made by calling (325) 423-2581. No tickets will be sold at the door.

Along with the tea and the guest speaker, attendees can participate in a tea cup exchange, so bring a gently used tea cup.

Call the number above, go to www.sandstonestreetbnb.com or check out the Sandstone Street Bed and Breakfast Facebook page for more information.

daniel@thepicayune.com