Hosting tea parties during the midday has always been a thing of the past. They’re originally created for bridging the long gap between early huge breakfasts and 8 p.m. dinners practiced during the Victorian era.
Today, tea parties are held to celebrate many occasions, such as birthday celebrations, bridal and baby showers, or a simple catching-up session with friends, among others.
Attending a tea party is an interesting experience. However, hosting and setting up one seems to be more fun and exciting than simply participating in one. If you’re planning to set up a tea party sooner, here are some fool-proof tips to throw the best tea party ever:
Send Creative Invitations To Your Guests
Before any actual preparations for the event itself, it’s paramount to handpick the best people to celebrate it with. Create a list of your guests and send them cute and engaging invitations. Depending on which occasion you’re celebrating, choose an appropriate theme for your party while incorporating the intention of holding a tea party.
Creating tea party invitations are an integral part of your setup. These invitations will either make or break your guests’ anticipation and excitement. In making these invitations, you can simply do-it-yourself for more personalization, or opt for an easier option through downloading tea party invitations templates. Among numerous template designs that you can browse through, there’s definitely one that would suit your preferences.
The invitations should answer the questions: what, when, where, who, how, and other essential information. Make sure to choose the perfect date to host the party and send out these invitations beforehand.
Of course, don’t forget to put these card invitations in envelopes with complementary designs. You can add a few stems of dried flowers seal-stamped on the envelope’s opening. Also, you can set from a casual to formal tone of your party through these elements on your invitation. For casual fun, place an aromatic tea bag inside the envelope for more excitement for the guests.
Prepare Tea Party Essentials
The tea party’s no ordinary party, so gather up all essentials to make this event successful. But first, choose a venue for the occasion.
You can opt for renting an events place if you’re going a little extra for an important celebration. However, if you have enough space inside your home, on your patio, or backyard, then go for it. Aside from saving you more preparation costs, it’s also a perfect setting for an intimate ambiance for your beloved guests.
After deciding on the venue, it’s time to pick your furniture, decor, and accessories. Conventionally, you can set the ambiance to peace and calmness through utilizing creamy white palettes with a touch of your preferred color. If you’re setting up the party outside, place elegant outdoor tables, chairs, and tea carts. This kind of setup ensures timelessness, refinement, and elegance for your guests.
For the most essential part, gather up your tea party paraphernalia, which includes:
- Teapots and cups
- Table napkins
- Serving plates and saucers
- Cake stand
Depending on the food options that you’re going to serve your guests, choose the appropriate tableware for them.
Review Your Recipes
Now, it’s time for the highlight of your tea party – the scrumptious food and hearty cups of tea. Depending on the time of your party, you can serve two food options for your guests.
If your tea party is held in the afternoon as an in-between meal, you’ll need to prepare a bite-sized lineup of food selections. These include sandwiches, cakes, and small treats that suit well with a cup of tea. On the contrary, if you want to incorporate a full course meal into your tea party, prepare a larger selection that includes different flavors.
The most important thing in reviewing your tea party recipes is to guarantee that they’re all appropriate as a tea party food. Finding the right tea and food pairings are a great challenge for tea party hosts. Once you find the right tips to make these recipes, it will highly affect how your guests will perceive the served food.
Here are some tea party classics that you might want to try, ranging from sweet to savory palates:
- Lemon-poppy seed scones
- Curried-egg sandwiches
- Cucumber-rye sandwiches
- Raspberry scones
- Smoked salmon and lemon sandwiches
- Radish, parsley, and lemon-butter sandwiches
- Blueberry muffins
- Orange-lemon marmalade
- Deviled ham salad on marbled rye bread
Once you’ve narrowed down your recipe options, pick out the freshest and healthiest ingredients to prepare these recipes. If you’ve got extra time and ingredients to spare, try preparing and cooking these recipes in small servings and keep on practicing.
Rock Your Table Setting
When the most awaited day comes, you can transform all your preparation efforts into life. Among various visual elements on your venue, the table setting will matter the most. Make sure that you’ll set the guests’ table properly, as well as the main food table. Here are some general tips for the table preparation:
- Use a clean, solid-toned tablecloth to make the setting elegant and peaceful. As much as possible, limit it to white or cream-colored tablecloths.
- Use the same tablecloth colors for the guests’ table. Make sure that every person will have a teacup, saucer, small plate, and utensils. You can place a few table decorations as a centerpiece as long as it doesn’t become a nuisance for your guests.
- To make your guests feel extra special, you can place cards with their names on their corresponding tables.
Serve Food The Right Way
After setting up the furniture and decorations, then it’s time to serve the food you’ve prepared the right and convenient way.
If you’re going for a snack tea party, serve only finger foods that can be consumed without the use of utensils. You can follow up with other food requiring tableware such as cakes, marmalades, and the like. If you’re going for a full-course meal tea party, then you know the drill of serving the right tableware for your guests.
Since you’re serving different kinds of food such as sweet and savory, use a tiered serving tray to sort them out. This will help the guests classify the food as well as follow the right sequence of consuming them. If you have a 3-tiered food stand, you can follow this guide in serving your food properly:
- The first tier contains sandwiches and other savory treats.
- The second tier contains hardier baked treats like scones and muffins.
- The last, top tier is the final course with tiny desserts like cakes.
Place your cake stand and large teapot in the center of the table. Make sure to line up all your loose tea options nearby, along with a cream and sugar set.
Whether you’re going for a snack or full-course tea party, it’s better to serve a wide lineup of teas. Offer loose tea options instead of tea bags, since tea bags have broken tea leaves that have lost most of its aroma and essential oils. Place different tea variants such as herbal tea, green tea, black tea, and other afternoon teas.
Tea measurements are important to pour out the best possible cup for your guests. The ideal measurements are 6 ounces of boiling water for every teaspoon of any loose tea option. Always use a tea infuser to steep the tea leaves while containing them in one place. It allows you to brew more properly and easier clean-up after.
- Soaking period for white teas is as little as 2 minutes.
- For black and green teas, steep for 3 to 4 minutes.
- Herb, oolong, and red teas should be soaked for 5 to 7 minutes.
Keep Entertainment Pieces At Bay
To keep your guests occupied and entertained, there are various entertainment options that you can provide. While the food and drinks are already entertaining themselves, keep a few entertainment pieces for every type of personality.
If your guests are social butterflies, you can organize an interactive game such as Pictionary, charades, and more. You can also arrange untypical and personalized games related to the concept of ‘teas’ to make it more fun and exciting for your guests. When thinking about these games, always prioritize creating social relationships and improving connections between your guests.
Moreover, you can place a large bookshelf on one side of the venue and keep board games and literary pieces there. Some guests might prefer taking breaks from large interactive games mentioned above, so let them play board and card games on their small groups and let them read books alone.
Put On A Nice Music
While your guests are enjoying their teas, play nice music for a more relaxing atmosphere. You can also opt for segments involving reading quotations, life advice, witty statements, and other pieces that can leave your guests amused and inspired.
Also, you can place a standing microphone on the center for an open microphone activity. They can approach the mic and talk, sing, recite a poem, or speak up what’s on their minds.
Be A Great Tea Party Host
Last but not the least, the success of your tea party will depend on how great you are as a host. Make the atmosphere as inviting and comfortable as possible. Greet every guest that arrives at the party and never forget to introduce your guests of honor to the audience.
Most importantly, make your guests feel that they’re free to move around the place. You can pour and refill their cups for them as well as invite them to enjoy more food served at the table.
After the tea party, send your guests a thank you note to let them know that you appreciate their presence at the party.
While tea parties celebrated today are more casual compared to the past, it doesn’t mean that both hosts and guests should forget about proper manners and etiquette during the event.
The key to setting up the perfect tea party is tons of preparation involving invitations, food and drink recipes, table and venue setting, which are discussed above. Amidst everything, let yourself have fun during the event and simply go with the flow, as long as you’re still practicing the right hosting etiquettes.