It’s springtime! The ideal time for tea parties—bridal shower, engagement parties, baby showers, or just a fancy get-together. Whatever the occasion, a tea party is a great way to celebrate. But where do you start and what do you need? Here’s a quick guide to get you going.
Time and Location
When and where should you hold your tea party? You can have a tea party just about any time and anywhere. The typical tea parties take place on Saturday or Sunday in the mid- to late-afternoon. You can hold your tea party wherever you have room for the number of guests you have invited and have RSVP’d. A nice living room or sitting room with access to a dining room and kitchen will do nicely. If the weather permits, consider setting up seats outdoors.
Invitations and Décor
Here is where you can make your tea party super fancy or super chill. It’s all entirely up to you. We’ll start with the invitations. Yes, you can certainly use a service like Punchbowl, Evite, or Paperless Post to make your invitations, and that will save on the cost, but isn’t it nice to receive snail mail? Especially when it’s an invitation to a fun afternoon event!
As for décor, keep it fresh and simple. If you don’t have a decent tablecloth, a simple piece of material from the local cloth or craft store (JoAnn’s or even Walmart) will do. Ribbons and bows are nice. Flowers, simple bud vases or groupings of hydrangea or a bowl of water with a magnolia bloom are all easy and classic looks. If the event is for a specific reason, i.e. a baby shower or bridal shower, consider using the colors the bride or the mom-to-be have chosen for their wedding or nursery.
One of the things people love about tea parties is getting to dress up. But it is entirely up to you what the dress code will be for your party. Do you want to go with the high tea with semi-formal dress (with hats, of course!)? Or would you rather be more relaxed with sundresses (and hats!)? No, hats aren’t a requirement, but how often do you get to wear hats? Make it fun!
This is your chance to bring out that fancy china and the unused serving pieces you’ve had put away at the back of the cabinets. Tiered hors d’oeuvre plates, pretty teapots, mismatched floral teacups… it all works. If you don’t have enough serving pieces, reach out to family and friends or hit up consignment or thrift stores for extra pieces.
Tea parties are the quintessential finger food events. Outside of cookies, cupcakes, and scones you will see sliced cakes, brownies, and bar cookies. Fresh fruit, with citrus, berries, melons, and even tropical with pineapple and mango, is a great and easy dish. Fresh veggies, carrot sticks, celery, tomatoes, cauliflower, and broccoli with a dip, is also easy and healthy. For savory finger foods, go with finger sandwiches. Watercress, cucumber, pimiento cheese, egg or chicken salad are all typical, but what about sliders? Try a BBQ pork slider or a hamburger slider. The more variety the better. There are no hard and fast rules. The sky is the limit.
And speaking of the sky being the limit, have a showstopper piece. Usually a cake, it could be a watermelon basket or a tray of beautifully decorated petit fours.
It’s a tea party, of course, there will be tea. But not everyone likes tea, so make sure you have options. Depending on the type of party, you can even include simple and light cocktails. But also include coffee, lemonade, soft drinks, and/or punch. Your tea should include options as well. Black tea is a given, but also consider having a green tea, an herbal tea, or a tisane. Be sure to include an iced version of tea, too!
As for modifiers for your beverages, milk and sugar are the usual. Honey, cream, and sweeteners (the pink, blue, and yellow packets) are also appreciated. Even flavored syrups are nice, but only if it makes sense.
For cocktails, make them easy and light. Mimosas and Bellinis are the obvious choices. Even Bloody Marys make sense. Punches are super simple and can be made up before people arrive.
For your cold beverages, add a little splash with your ice cubes. Use ice cube trays and put edible flowers and herbs in them before adding your water. For clear ice cubes (all the better to see the flowers and herbs), boil your water, allow it too cool, then boil it again. Once the water has cooled the second time, carefully pour it into the ice cube trays, cover the trays with plastic wrap, and put them in the freezer. For your punch, use a round gelatin mold and follow the same instructions.
Now that you have an idea about planning out your tea party, here are some ideas for some teas to serve at your little shindig.
– Of course, English Breakfast
should be one of your choices! Well, no, it’s not a necessity, but it totally makes sense.
– With its floral scent, Earl Grey
is a fragrant choice and very popular.
– A lovely Peppermint
are great choices for those who prefer no caffeine.
– Add a fruit tea to the mix for a beautiful cup of deliciousness. Any of our tisanes
would be a refreshing choice.
Remember to add a coffee to your drink choices. Our Organic Dominican Republic ‘Santo Domingo’
is a full flavored yet mild cup that your guests would enjoy.
Enjoy spending time with your family and friends with this time-honored tradition. Cheers!