Gracious Entertaining: Mother and Daughter Bring Our French Pâtisserie to Life

French Party

A seed of inspiration took root when 15-year-old reader Abigail Sikes discovered an array of Parisian desserts in the May/June 2015 issue of Victoria. Poring over her new subscription—a reward at the end of the school year—the teenager envisioned incorporating the magazine’s recipes and ambience into a summertime soiree.

Abigail’s mother, Alinda, says she has relished the opportunity to pass on her love of hospitality. What began in the nursery as Mommy-and-me tea parties soon expanded into larger gatherings. Today, the more experienced hostess watches with pleasure as Abigail and her younger sister take the lead in welcoming guests.

French Party

The family’s French-pâtisserie tea took place a week after they mentioned the idea to friends. Without time to mail correspondence, Alinda suggested forgoing the formality, but Abigail was insistent. “Oh, Mama, for an occasion like this we must have invitations,” she maintained, so the pair hand delivered their greetings.

French Party

Refreshments from the original feature included Orange-Blossom-Honey Madeleines, Torte with Peaches and Lavender, and Lemon Mousse and Blueberries.

French Party

Abigail, far left, and her companions established a teatime tradition with their parents a decade ago. “These maturing teens have surprised us by crossing a threshold from little-girl tea parties to young-lady themes,” Alinda notes. She regards this most recent fête as both an investment in relationships and a memory to treasure.

—Melissa Lester, Associate Editor

Find “French Pâtisserie” on page 29 of the May/June 2015 issue of Victoria magazine.



  1. I really enjoy the Victoria website and each issue of the magazine. I remember the years when Victoria was not being published! I hope the magazine continues to be successful so we can for a mini-vacation get lost in the pages of beautiful pages, inspiring stories and great recipes.


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