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There’s nothing quite like tea with friends. You’ve warmed the pot, got your favorite tea cups out, and you’re half way to creating the perfect tea party! Here are a few extra tips on becoming the perfect host or hostess.

Afternoon tea, high tea, a wedding tea, or even a birthday extravaganza for your best friend, there are plenty of reasons for throwing a lovely tea party. Whatever the occasion, a tea party conjures up images of beautiful tableware: plates of delicious sweet and savory treats, gorgeous, sophisticated surroundings, and of course pots of rich, aromatic tea. 

LET’S GET THIS TEA PARTY STARTED
Begin by deciding on a theme for your tea party. Is it an Alice in Wonderland-inspired get-together (why not?) or perhaps a floral garden fete?  Choosing a theme adds a bit of fun to the festivities. And it doesn’t have to be hard or expensive to do. Perhaps you want people to dress in character? Or serve food that’s in some way linked to your idea? Once you’ve decided on a theme, equip yourself with the following tea party essentials:

  • A lovely tea set – enough cups, saucers, spoons and plates for everyone
  • Large tea pot
  • Tea strainer – if using loose leaf tea
  • Milk jug
  • Doilies – or other ornamental table mats
  • Cake stand – preferably tiered to present your food in style
  • Cake slices – better for cutting a large cake


Women Drinking Tea


DRESSING UP FOR TEA
Part of the fun of a tea party is all the splendor and ceremony that goes with it. So have some fun sending out party invites – perhaps with your theme decorated on there (it’s the little extra touches that count). Then get to work on the decoration for the event itself. Think:

  • White linen tablecloth – or one that reflects your party theme
  • Napkins – a tea party isn’t complete without these!
  • Place cards – ideal if guests don’t all know each other
  • Quirky bunting – for a party atmosphere
  • Goody bags – everyone loves a party bag


FOOD, GLORIOUS FOOD
With the rise of veganism and things like food intolerances, it’s always wise to ask guests beforehand (maybe on their invite), if there are things they can’t eat. Once you have that info to hand, you can start to plan your menu. A mix of sweet and savory is always best. Here are some tea party favorites to consider:

  • Finger sandwiches – include a variety of fillings, cut into finger-lengths and for a real British twist cut the crusts off, too
  • Scones – with clotted cream and jams (yum!)
  • Teacakes – toasted with butter 
  • Cookies – shortbreads, iced cookies, gingerbreads… there’s so much choice
  • Pastries – less traditional but ideal if it’s a morning tea party
  • Patisseries – mini eclairs, apple tarts or profiteroles
  • Cakes – slices of Lemon Drizzle, Chocolate and Carrot are always winners


BREWING THE PERFECT PARTY
Of course, the main ingredient to your party is tea. And there’s a dizzying array of tea you could offer your guests. And if you’re having a garden tea party on a hot summer’s day, you might want to offer iced tea as well. Here are a few ideas for your tea menu:


Whatever the reason, having a tea party with family and friends is always a great gathering. And if you can add a theme to it, then there’s no end to the fun you can have. Just think delicious small bites of food, lovely tableware and – of course – great tea. It’s a winning combination.