Teatime Guest ~ Bette Dickinson

Bette Dickinson

This past month, we had the opportunity to host a tea for ladies from Walnut Ridge Retirement Center. What a delightful group of ladies!! One of our guests, Bette Dickinson, went on to tell us about her experiences with Afternoon Tea. We thought it was especially "sweet" and thought our readers would enjoy it...so Bette has graciously allowed us to share this endearing story with you.

Bette's parents were both from Hull, England, her maiden name was Beilby. Her parents came to America in the early 1900's - their passage to America was actually their "honeymoon." They ended up settling in Yankton, South Dakota where Bette's mother continued her heritage of English afternoon tea with her neighbors and friends.

Bette said her mother would take a quick nap in the early afternoon and then get cleaned up, always dressing in her best, and then around 3 p.m. she would invite the neighbors in for tea. She always presented a beautiful spread of crumpets, scones, lemon curd, hot gingerbread, cucumber sandwiches, and a deliciously prepared pot of tea. Along with this delightful tea fare, her mother always used linen napkins, silver and a beautiful Japanese teapot, which Bette happens to own and has used with all her children and grandchildren. Bette said when she was little, she would run all the way home from school in hopes to catch in on some of the "tea" fun! Everyone on the street were invited, sometimes there would be 3, sometimes 5 or more; her mother went on to serve tea to her neighbors for over 50 years.

Isn't this a beautiful story of Afternoon Tea?! We thought you would enjoy it. Thank you Bette for sharing this with us...we hope this will inspire you to open your heart and home to others just as Mrs. Beilby did in Yankton, SD so many years ago!!

P.S. -- Another very interesting "tid-bit" Bette shared was that her father actually had a ticket to board the Titanic - but as fate would have it, he ended up in the hospital with appendicitis!


  1. Love this story! I love to hear about tea-stories that have so many happy memories! How sweet!

  2. I just loved hearing the story about Bette! It was so wonderful! Just loved it!!!

  3. great story!
    i've linked to your blog from my TeaTime Tues post today.. welcome to FHC!


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