Thursday, June 16, 2011

This Weekend: Tea Party

Ahh, the tea party.  Not a new concept, I know, but it's one that's often shrugged off as boring or outdated.  However, I believe a tea party is a fabulous idea for a get together.
Blue City Table Cloth or Picnic Blanket
Table Cloth by TallyHoPrint

I can think of many reasons to hold a tea party.  We're in the heart of wedding season, and a tea party would be great for a bridal shower.  Or how about a tea party the day after the ceremony instead of brunch, or the day before instead of a rehearsal dinner?
Alice in Wonderland Shower/Birthday Invitations - Flat cards - Vintage Appearance -  Set of 10
Invitations by AnistaDesigns

What about a tea party for a baby shower?  Instead of awkward games, everyone could dress up, wear a fabulous hat, and eat tea sandwiches. How elegant!
Mad Hatter Mini Top Hat in Mad Hatter Classic
Hat by SaiSaiArts

How about just a get together with the girls?  This would be a fabulous alternative to a girl's night out, and for you parents out there, your children could come, too!  Or if you'd prefer a smaller get together, a tea party would be a great way for two or three people to catch up - no yelling over the noises of a bar or restaurant.
Shino Swirls Teapot with Cups
Tea Set by antb

If you're going to throw a tea party, chances are you already have most of the supplies around your house.  You'll need cups and saucers for each guest.  Don't worry if they aren't the fanciest, or if they even match.  In fact, a mix and match of different saucers and cups would make a fun, eclectic look!  If you want to make plain cups look more special, try tying a ribbon around the middle of each cup, or wrap it around the handle. Also, you could use any stickers you may have to decorate the cups, or if you don't mind changing them permanently, paint them with enamel paints.  (Demo on using enamel paints to come!) If you don't have any cups and saucers to use, try your local thrift shop.  But if you want something truly special, look for an artist that hand makes them.  They may be a bit more expensive, but they'll be with you forever and will make a great addition to your china cabinet.
Cup and Saucer with Turquoise and Teal Pattern
Cup and Saucer by dawndishawceramics

Next, you'll need some decorations.  Play around with what you already have.  If you already have tablecloths, great! If you don't, try some leftover fabric, a pretty bedsheet, a curtain you're not using anymore; be creative with it!  A simple centerpiece composed of a vase and a few fresh flowers is all you'll need to dress up the tables. Paper streamers, garland and lanterns can pull together all the colors of your tea sets and linens, and will add an airy, dreamy quality to your surroundings.
flower and circle paper garland. repurposed book. 3D - 10 ft.
Paper Garland by dragonflies

Last, but certainly not least, you'll need your food and beverages.  For food, keep the menu light.  Anything bite sized is a great idea.  Finger sandwiches and deviled eggs are classic, but for a new twist, try making these jalapeno popper cups, or this bacon wrapped pineapple recipe. For desert, cake pops are all the rage now, and they're perfect for a tea party.  They're fairly easy to make yourself, but if you don't have the time, there are many reputable people that you can order them from.
Mom's Killer Cakes & Cookies Original  Design Cupcake Sundae Cake Pops
Cake Pops by Mom's Killer Cakes

Now, on to the star of the party, the tea.  You can either serve just one tea, your favorite tea, or you could serve several different types.  Whatever type of tea you choose, make sure it's special.  No one wants to come over for tea and be served the supermarket special tea.  Try looking at import stores, as these usually have many different and unique types of tea.  Look for a specialty store in your area that sells nothing but tea and tea supplies, these are bound to have something special.  Or look online, many sellers have unique blends or organic ingredients in their teas.  Make sure you have plenty of sugar, honey and lemon slices, as well as plenty of your chosen tea blend.
Herbal Tea Combo Pack by Spirit Horse Herbals
Herbal Tea by Spirit Horse Herbals

I hope that you can host a tea party soon, whether it be for a special occasion, or no occasion at all.  What better way to pass the time than with friends, laughter, joy, and tea?

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