A tea party is a great way to celebrate a baby or bridal shower, a birthday or even just a plain old excuse for a gathering with good friends. There are no strict rules on what to serve or how to serve it. Provide a mix of savoury and sweet or just stick to sweet. Keep it casual and homey or fancy it up. Whatever your vibe, we’ve put together a bit of a step by step guide for the basics and a few serving suggestions for your soiree.
STEP BY STEP GUIDE
- Choose your date and create your invite list
- Consider your budget and your number of guests.
- Plan your menu. Choose your offering of teas and food items. I find keeping it simple without too many options is key to make sure the host (you) is not too frazzled and stressed to enjoy the party too! You could even have a balance of purchased and homemade food items to take the load off a little.
- Purchase your selected teas. Remember you will need several teapots and tea cups/glasses. Perhaps ask to loan some from friends to keep the expenses down. A mish mash of china and glass will create a chic look and feel.
- Purchase your ingredients for your chosen food offering. Decide how you are going to serve and present these. Tiered cake stands are always a nice touch. I was lucky to pick up a pretty one from the op shop for $6. A dainty tablecloth to throw over the dining table might be a nice touch if you are taking the fancy train.
- Having your full spread laid out and ready to go before your guests arrive is a great way to ensure you can have some time to socialise and enjoy your party too. (unless you are doing more of a split courses style spread)
- Be sure to have a brew or 2 ready to go for your guests on arrival. Keep a timer handy as timing your tea brewing can make all the difference. See our guide for general rules of thumb with tea brewing. Milk jugs, sugar & lemon slices should also be made available to your guests.
- Grab a cup of tea, raise that pinky finger and let your soiree begin!
WHAT TO SERVE
The internet houses a plethora of recipes to experiment with, but here a few tried and tested options for you to consider
Mascarpone oat tart with fresh chai soaked fruit
For something rather decadent and sophisticated - Check our blog post for the full recipe here
Small finger sandwiches
The classic afternoon tea sandwich uses soft white bread with the crusts trimmed off. I always go for a mix of white and wholemeal for a nice contrast. You can get creative with the shape; fingers, small triangles or even rounds (rounds look pretty but are a bit wasteful) The types of fillings you can use are endless but here are a few of my favourite classics which never go wrong
- Thinly sliced cucumber, generous spread of cream cheese on each side, dill or chives, salt & pepper and a little squeeze of lemon juice
- Whole egg mayo, mustard, aged cheddar cheese, sliced dill pickles
- Curried egg (boiled egg, curry powder, whole egg mayo, salt & pepper) & mustard cress
Your tea selection
Having a few varieties is important, after all it is a ‘tea’ party. I’d consider a nice robust English breakfast and a fragrant Earl Grey a must. At least one herbal variety and possibly a green. For something a little high end choose a quality oolong, pu-erh or white tea. If it’s a warm day, you can even have a couple of pitchers of iced tea in the mix. We’ve got a couple of simple iced tea recipes for you here.
Mama Chai xx