What a wonderful way to show off your tea cups, tea pots, delicious tea party foods and of course your passion for tea! And such a lovely way to reconnect with friends and like minded tea lovers. So what do we need to create a tea party that is going to be a total hit?
Tea Equipment – ideally you will have a couple of tea pots. This way you can have a selection of teas available. A tea leaf strainer is important and a dish to collect the spent tea leaves. Or you can use plungers so you don’t need to worry about the leaves. Slices of lemon, sugar cubes, honey, and a jug of milk are good accompaniments. Tea Cosy to keep the pots warm and of course an assortment of tea cups and saucers with side plates – don’t worry if they don’t all match it can add to the vintage eclectic feel. If you are having a summer tea party you could change things up a bit and have a beautiful glass pitcher or two with plenty of iced tea on hand. This matched with mason jars and paper straws would look so pretty and hip.
Decorations – Well this is the super fun part, and really depends on what your theme is. Bunting, tea cups stuffed with flowers on stacks of old books and cake tiers with quaint little finger foods could give you a fabulous vintage look. Or you could spice things up with a summer vibe, drink coolers, mason jars, sun umbrellas, trays of fresh fruit kebabs with meringues and outdoor furniture. What about the truly traditional setting, linen tablecloths, napkins, place cards, doilies, candelabras, tea pot trivets, cups and saucers along with scones, jam and cream? Lanterns, torches, candles or strings of solar fairy lights can all bring a magical touch to your tea party. The choices are endless and really does depend on your scene and what you would like to portray. You can always have a tea party for each season and cover all the options!
Tea Party for Children – Start them young I say! I really enjoy seeing the delight on young children’s faces when they get to use real tea cups and saucers and eat perfectly sized food. Rule of thumb with this is keep it simple; the kids won’t really appreciate the cucumber sandwiches half as much as they will the mini cupcakes and sausage rolls. Choose a theme – Fairy and Elf, Alice in Wonderland, Flowers, Princess or dress ups. Invitations are fun to send out, make these out of paper doilies and it will fit the theme beautifully. When setting the table make sure it is a good height for the children, pretty cake plates or tiers, cups and saucers (buy from the second hand shop if you are worried about breakages), napkins and teaspoons. Room decorations depend on your theme but you can’t go wrong with fairy lights, clocks and Cheshire cat or Mad Hatter pictures for the Alice look, flowers and herbs in teapots for the flower theme or magical castle mantle made out of cardboard and stock-paper with cellophane flames for the sconces. Let your imagination run wild.
High Tea – There is an etiquette to taking high tea…one must eat sandwiches first, using fingers not cutlery. Then the still warm scones should be broken in half by hand, not with a knife, liberally spread butter, jam and a dollop of freshly whipped cream on top and enjoy. Freshly brewed tea should be stirred back and forth, not in circular motions! Dress is semi formal and should be colourful, a hat and gloves is very acceptable.
Teas – What to serve? Well I have been fortunate enough to attend a few tea parties and I think the best thing to do is offer choice. I like 3’s of things…Definitely have a black tea, Earl Grey or French Earl Grey are beautifully perfumed and very popular. Or something quite bold like a Russian Tea. A fruity tisane is both attractive to look at as well as something a little bit different that not everyone may have tried. What about a white or green tea blend to entice those who are interested to sample a tea that is a little out of the ordinary. Finishing off with a specialty tea such as a Rose Water Tea Latte https://the-tea-chest.blog/2019/03/31/rose-water-tea-latte-deliciously-beautiful-%e2%99%a5/ or a Flowering Tea Ball https://the-tea-chest.blog/2019/06/14/blooming-beautiful-tea-%e2%99%a5/ will leave a lasting impression on your guests ♥
Tea Party Food – Depending on which way you go…small, delicate bite sized treats or something a little more substantial…the world is your oyster in this department. Make sure you have a nice mix of savoury and sweet and a few healthy options are always a good idea. Plan for around 4 items per person and couple of extra to spare. Bite sized cucumber with chive butter or salmon and cream cheese sandwiches look and taste fabulous; cut the bread with a round cookie cutter for something a little different. Earl Grey Tea Bread is a lovely light way of keeping the tea theme going and my personal favourite https://www.bbc.co.uk/food/recipes/earl_grey_tea_bread_48452. Classic scones are always popular, add your own homemade jam and fresh or clotted cream and you are on to a winner https://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/4622/classic-scones-with-jam-and-clotted-cream. Macarons are all the rage at the moment and the different colours and flavours are endless https://tasty.co/recipe/macarons. Cupcakes, fresh fruit kebabs, mousse, lemon posset, meringues or themed cookies are also popular choices…what would you add? I would love to see photos of your tea party ♥