How To Throw A Tea Party
Tea parties are a great way to gather a few close friends for a timeless tradition. Begin by sending out invitations 3 weeks in advance. Purchase tablecloths and other decorations to match your theme.
Designate a tea table and place the tea sets, which include cups, saucers and teaspoons on one end of the table. Place the teapot, sugar, lemon, milk and hot water (to dilute the tea if desired) by the tea sets. Your guests may either serve themselves or you may choose to serve the tea yourself. Either way, if sugar and lemon are to be added to tea, add the sugar before the lemon because the acidity of the lemon will prevent the sugar from dissolving. It’s best to prepare the tea in a teapot as it will taste better as loose leaves, not in tea bags.
In the middle of the table, place cookies, cakes, muffins and scones on platters and cake stands. You may also include small sandwiches, such as egg, cucumber and cream cheese, tuna or chicken sandwiches. To serve, layer the filling between two slices of bread and cut them into fourths.
If all your guests are sitting at the same table, lay the plates, napkins and utensils on the dining table. Otherwise, place them by the food.
Themes for tea parties are endless! Below are some ideas:
Garden and hat: host the party outside in your garden, and ask your guests to wear a tea hat! It’s also okay to serve sorbet and lemonade outdoors.
Color and flavor: everything, from invitations, tablecloths, flowers, centerpieces, cakes, cookies, scones, jam and the tea itself is one color and flavor. Possible colors and flavors can include apricot, lemon, lavender, rose, peaches, strawberries, orange, pumpkins and blueberries.
Cakes and cookies: have your guests bring their favorite cakes or cookies and place them on platters and cake stands.
World cultures: tea is a tradition found all over the globe. Perhaps serve Indian Chai with samosas, green tea with Japanese rice cakes and mochi, or jasmine tea with Chinese dumplings and dim sum.
After the party, you can send your guests off with party favors. Some favorites include a teacup and saucer set, or a teaspoon with loose tea leaves in an organza drawstring bag.
Whichever theme you decide on, and whether formal or casual, gather your friends for some piping-hot tea, sweet finger foods and plenty of wonderful memories!