Do you have experience throwing tea parties? It’s a simple yet sophisticated way to spend quality time with your closest friends.
If you want to have a formal tea party, you can pull off a British-style tea party, which sounds like a posh affair. A great tea party is so much more than just tea. The crustless sandwiches, the stunning mini-desserts, and the cream for your scones are just a few of the small details that add to the magic of this event. The following are some suggestions for hosting a formal tea party if you want to fancy it up.
Ideas For Throwing A Formal Tea Party
1. Decide on a Theme
Do you have the Queen of Hearts or Queen Elizabeth in mind? In either case, you should make sure that your décor and dress code coordinate. Make your guests wear formal attire like gowns and fascinators if you want to treat your party like a royal occasion. Consider Princess Diana’s or the Queen’s attire as your model.
For both adults and children, the classic tea party theme is Alice in Wonderland. Specify that your friends come as their favorite characters, then adorn the space with clocks, playing cards, and keys. Another excellent theme is Downtown Abbey, where you can play trivia games about the television program.
2. Send Invitations 2-4 Weeks in Advance
You can’t just text or e-mail your guests when you’re hosting a formal tea party. You must create an invitation that adheres to your theme, have it printed, and mail it. Ensure that any requests, such as the proper attire, are stated in the invitation. Send it two to four weeks in advance to give guests time to make necessary preparations. When they RSVP, your guests may need to let you know if they have any food allergies or restrictions.
3. Add Some Accessories
Set out extravagant accessories that will make guests smile to fit in with the theme. Making a centerpiece with pearl jewelry, romance novels, and other charming accents is a good idea. Don’t be reluctant to add some shiny accents to your tabletop! A placemat made of pearls and sparkling glassware set the tone for an elegant afternoon.
4. Find A Pretty Teapot Set
Teapots are a necessity because they lend a traditional, English feel to a high tea party. You’re good to go if you already have a collection of elegant teapots. If not, you don’t have to spend a fortune to buy some to give your party a classy look. You can easily find a charming but affordable floral teapot. If you want a classic feel, you could purchase a traditional but attractive teapot set.
Check how many cups of tea one teapot can make so you can assess how many teapots you need. One to three people can typically be served from a full teapot. Additionally, make sure you have an adequate supply of cups, plates, saucers, milk jugs, teaspoons, sugar bowls, and other items.
5. Amp your Menu
Despite how lovely traditional cucumber tea sandwiches are, there’s no reason why your event can’t serve up a more modern menu that caters to your guests’ preferences. Why not also offer a miniature version of avocado toast or a bagel with lox? After all, the more variety, the better.
6. Set Your Buffet Table
Your cakes and desserts will be one of the attractions at your party, but the buffet table must also be elegant. Use fresh flowers and a tablecloth to decorate. Depending on your theme, use formal ceramic vases or old-fashioned tea tins as vases. Dress up your dessert display with fresh roses, ranunculus, or peonies to keep the floral theme going. Stack flower arrangements and other props atop books to add depth. To ensure it looks good as a centerpiece, pick classic books or worn-out, leather-bound dictionaries and encyclopedias.
For the ideal tea party atmosphere, decorate your table with flowers and hang pretty lace parasols from the ceiling.
7. Serve Some Real English Tea
Tea is the star of the party. Therefore, the standard Lipton tea won’t cut it. Purchase several different loose teas so you can brew several pots at once. However, for convenience, you can always use bagged tea. To prevent sediment from forming when serving loose tea, either add it directly to the pot or use a tea diffuser.
Pick at least one black tea, such as Earl Grey or English breakfast tea, one green tea, and a few decaf options, such as chamomile, herbal tea, and white tea. Make sure the teas you serve go well with the food as well.
- Earl Grey – delicious with scones and shortbread
- English Breakfast – a classic that pairs well with almost anything
- Chamomile – pairs well with fruit and scones
- Assam – pairs well with salty sandwiches
- Peppermint – pairs with non-mint recipes
- Darjeeling – go well with fruity and chocolatey desserts
- Iced tea – delicious with savory dishes on a hot day
8. Make Mini Desserts
A Victoria sponge cake, fruit cake, Battenburg cake, sticky toffee pudding, trifle, or Bakewell tart are some traditional British desserts to make if you’re hosting a formal tea party. Do not forget that a tea party is incomplete without cakes. You can choose to serve individual cupcakes, large centerpiece cakes, or both. Choose the traditional pound cake and decorate it in keeping with your theme. Serving delectable treats is the secret to serving desserts at high tea. Both how they look and how they taste must be exquisite. Additionally, you can offer cupcakes, cake pops, gourmet donuts, French macarons, and cupcakes topped with rose petals or real rosebuds.
Snacking on a variety of sweets is one of the fun aspects of a tea party. Make single-serving desserts so that guests can sample a variety; use glasses to hold the miniature portions.
9. Master the Art of a Perfect Scone
Every tea party also requires English-style scones. It comes with whipped cream, butter, and a variety of jams. Serving clotted cream, salted butter, raspberry jam, and marmalade is the most authentic way to serve the dish. Instead of using clotted cream, you could make your own Devonshire cream. For a true English-style tea, make sure the scones are round and flaky like biscuits.
Try baking them if you haven’t already so you can perfect them before the party. The day you bake them is the best day to eat them. If you don’t have the time, however, you can bake scones up to a week in advance and freeze them in a Ziploc bag. Reheat your frozen scones in the oven at 350°F for 10 minutes on the day of your event.
10. Serve Some Delicate Finger Sandwiches
Even though desserts steal the show, finger sandwiches are essential. They offer a savory flavor that goes well with tea and all those sweet treats. When serving sandwiches at a formal tea party, there are specific guidelines to adhere to. Use crust-trimmed, thin bread slices for the best results. You can also help by cutting them into triangles. After that, be sure to use various bread types for other sandwiches so it doesn’t appear to be a sea of beige. Keep everything at finger food proportions so that guests can sample everything before becoming full.
Cucumber and cream cheese, egg salad, shrimp cocktail, or smoked salmon are traditional tea party sandwiches. Gourmet toasts with goat cheese, honey, and figs are another option. For a different presentation, you might also want to serve tea sandwiches open-faced.
11. Set Out Extras
When serving tea, don’t forget to provide the extras like honey and lemon. Each person will be able to make their cup of tea.
12. Include Place Cards
Any tablescape benefits greatly from the addition of place cards. Your guests will value this special touch, whether you choose to handwrite yours in elegant calligraphy or simply use a colorful marker.
13. Light It Up
Your tea party will feel more upscale and refined if candles are lit during the event. Even better if you choose candles that blend in with your festive color scheme.
14. Make A Playlist
Make sure the music you choose fits your formal theme and isn’t too loud so that it drowns out the conversation. Music like jazz or classical is always a good choice. It would be ideal to dazzle your guests if you have a functional vintage turntable. Or, to make it even fancier, perhaps have someone play the piano, cello, violin, or another elegant instrument in the background.
15. Prepare light and fun activities
Prepare ahead with some party games if you’re concerned that the conversation won’t flow as freely as the tea. You can participate in the “Who Am I? ”. Each visitor should have a sticky note with a name or a character’s name on it to place on their forehead or hat. They must then pose yes-or-no questions to other visitors to identify themselves.
If you’re not into games, keep your visitors’ hands occupied with some simple arts and crafts, especially if they’re creative people. They can customize their ceramic teapot as a party favor by painting it themselves. If you’re meeting with book lovers, request that each visitor bring one of their favorite poems to perform at the gathering. This gives your high tea event a fun way to incorporate some literary appreciation.
It’s more difficult than it seems to host a formal tea party. To ensure that the party runs smoothly and elegantly, you must prepare in advance and make decisions. These ideas will help you to elevate and glam up your formal tea party.