There’s something really special about spending intentional time with those closest to you, and that’s what tea parties have always been about for me. Birthdays, anniversaries, bridal and baby showers are all great excuses to throw your own intimate Tea Party.
Here are the four main things to focus on when thinking about hosting your next tea party:
Table setting: Keep it simple and focused. Tea party decorations should be minimal yet elegant enough to complement the tea and food. To give your party the real ambience of a conventional tea party, grace the table with your best silver, china, and linen. Don't use disposables. Place an elegant arrangement of flowers and candles at the center of the table. Choose an accent colour, it can be something muted like a pastel pink or a vibrant yellow, and decorate using items of the same shade.
Snacks: The type of food served at a tea party can vary. In traditional tea parties tea is served with pastries, sandwiches, savory hors d' oeuvres and scones, which are usually placed on 3-tiered servers. If you have time you can cook them yourself, or you can always have them catered so you have more time to focus on other party details. Some great ideas for snacks would be to serve tortilla wraps, mini quiches, or some other type of delicate canapé. Make sure the flavours of the food pair well with the teas you will be serving.
Desserts: Pay special attention to this. It's the second most important element on your table, after the tea ofcourse! This is an opportunity to wow your guests so make sure to give them some options. When it comes to a tea party, having a good assortment of treats is essential. Traditional desserts like macarons, tea cakes and cookies are the perfect treats to display on tiered cake stands. Again, as with the food, make sure that they are finger foods or bite sized portions as this will encourage your guests to mingle with the other guests, nibble on food and sip on the teas easily.
Tea: Your tea party is centered around your tea, so make it count! One way to go is to serve a few teas that pair readily with the snacks and sweets. The conventional blends usually served at a traditional 'High Tea' are Earl Grey or English Breakfast. Based on the theme of your party you can choose to keep it classic or go the contemporary way by serving multiple tea blends to your guests. Experiment with floral and fruity blends and make sure your guests are served the best quality teas. Avoid teas with artificial flavours and colours. Choose 100% natural teas. Tea Trunk tea bundles are a great way to try different tea blends.
The centrepiece of a tea party is always the conversation, so be the perfect host and make sure you introduce different groups of friends to each other. Play soft, mellow music for a relaxed ambience. But if you and your guests feel like having a more energetic tea party, then it's best to prepare a couple of games ahead of time and lively music to go with it. A simple and creative way to entertain your guests is by setting up a 'paint your own tea cup' counter, the painted tea cups can even serve as the perfect party favors. Another fun thing to do together is to "Make your own tea blend." Have an array of flowers, spices, herbs and pure teas like Black Tea, Green Tea and White Tea. Allow your guests to mix and match the ingredients to craft their own tea blend. Provide them with a little pouch to hold their tea creation. Tie it with colourful ribbons and name cards to pop in their takeaway goodie bags.
Traditions and trends aside, the most celebrated quality of tea party has always been the way it continues to be the fuel for conversations. Experience this pleasure yourself and go ahead and host your own tea party. Always remember, teas taste best when shared!