With the launch of the new website, we thought we'd celebrate with a special kind of party...A tea party! Why not throw yourself your own tea party too? For many of us, gone are the days of Alice and Wonderland with magical white bunnies and tea in a fantasy worlds, but that doesn't mean we can't have a little fun with tea and good company. In fact, tea parties have been a tradition for centuries. In England, the tradition of Afternoon Tea was established with Anna the Duchess of Bedford, who began drinking tea and scones as a light snack in between meals. Unlike the name would suggest, afternoon tea started by high up royalty such as Anna, is actually referred to as "low tea" in this tea culture. This is the type of tea that you would expect to see light elegant tea sets, floral designs, finger food, and desserts usually served in the mid-afternoon. "High tea" refers to tea served after a hard days work, perhaps a little later in the afternoon or evening and may be less fancy but of course, can be equally enjoyable. What's even better is that you certainly don't have to be a royal to host a good tea party, or spend a fortune or a ton of time preparing. We've come up with a few party ideas to throw your next party:
A tea party wouldn't be a tea party without Tea! The type of tea you choose is completely up to you but keep in mind timing and the context. If it's earlier in the day, your guests may prefer tea that is more caffeinated, such as Black Tea. If it's later in the day and your guests aren't planning to have a late night, you may want to choose something more Herbal. Try warming your tea pot before hand with hot water, this helps keep the tea warm longer.
Whether it's high tea or low tea, why not impress your guests with a little etiquette? Things keep in mind include: stirring your tea without making too much clinking, not leaving the spoon in the cup, and placing it on the right side of your saucer when finished.
Prepare snacks that are both savoury and sweet. For those with a sweet tooth, scones are a nice traditional treat. How about Brown Sugar and Butterscotch Scones? Or Feta Cucumber Bites? The food can be presented on the table and go as the ain attraction/centerpiece.
If you have any spare china, or interesting cups and saucers, here's a creative, crafty way to present your desserts in a tiered fashion: simply glue a cup to the bottom of the saucer and turn over. It's a great way to re-use dishes.
Hope these ideas help make your next get together as stylish as the Victorians, and most importantly, a good time with people worth your time and effort - which is really what we deserve.