Hosting a Tea Party: 3 Tips for the Special Occasion
Hosting a Tea Party?
Elaborate tea parties are a fun and unique way to celebrate birthdays, babies, and weddings. You can throw a tea party in your own dining and living rooms, or celebrate a garden tea party in your backyard, under twinkling fairy lights and scattered candles.
Or you can come closer to replicating the exact ambiance of traditional tea parties. Those who love the Victorian era and historical reenactments will especially enjoy the assorted tea houses scattered across the country for those who wish to full emerge themselves in the culture of an era long past.
Tip 1: Find the Perfect China
The right china set can transform a tea party from something ordinary into a serenely magical event. If you don't have a china tea set, ask your guests if they have one you can use. Most people will have a set passed down from their mother or grandmother that will be perfect for the occasion.
Plus, it's the type of item that's beautiful crafted, but you just never get an opportunity to use it. Now is the time!
If you're deciding between multiple china sets for hosting a tea party, first make sure that they are strong enough to be used. Your china may have been created over a century ago, and you don't want to destroy it the first time you pour tea in it, or grasp the tea pot handle.
After you've decided it's sturdy enough to withstand being used for a couple of hours, take a look at your remaining choices. Choose the most elaborate, fancy china set from among the china, to make your tea party as special as possible.
Best Teas for a Tea Party
Tip 2: Use the Perfect Tea
For maximum authenticity, use a type of tea that upper-class men and women actually had access to and used during the Victorian era. Any sort of "English" - styled tea would be appropriate, or those with "Irish" or "French" in the title. You could also try Earl Grey or Darjeeling Tea if you want to be a little more adventurous.
Depending on the type of tea, you may choose to offer sugar, milk, or lemon to add to the tea as the guests desire. Make sure the milk is no colder than room temperature, otherwise it will cool down the temperature of the tea too quickly. And if your guests do not often drink tea themselves, let them know not to add both lemon and milk to a cup of tea, as the milk will begin to curdle immediately.
If you attend a tea shop for your tea party, let the shop know exactly what kind of tea you would prefer. Also learn the ingredients of the tea they intend to prepare, and make sure none of your guests is allergic to any elements of the tea. This is a bigger concern if the teas consist of any fruit-based ingredients.
Tip 3: Create the Perfect Food
If you plan to have your tea party replicate traditional British Low Tea, you should serve the tea around 4:00 in the afternoon. This is the type of tea party that the wealthiest aristocrats celebrated, with light breads, cakes, and sweets available to eat along with the tea. It was not an attempt to take the place of lunch or dinner, but instead a fun and social way to enjoy each other's company before an evening visit to a theater or opera.
On the other hand, the middle class's High Tea was an event that took the place of meal - dinner. Tea was served late in the evening, along with meats, vegetables, and thick breads. The middle class in general had less time for idle socializing than did the upper class, so they enjoyed themselves with their friends while they ate.
If you plan to serve a full meal at your tea party, you may wish to use several different types of tea to complement the different courses being served. The tea party will be much like a fancy dinner or eating out at a nice restaurant.
A light tea party will be much closer to an actual party, with the guests moving around and socializing, and a table set up to hold appetizers and sweets. Whatever your choice, the food you choose will complete the event and make your tea party something truly unforgettable.
Get Ready to Host Your Tea Party
With tea parties, you have the choice of hosting a tea party at your own home, or making a reservation at a tea shop. Either way will provide a unique tea party experience; the difference is in how much control you want to have over the entire event.
If you want to focus on the cause of the celebration, choose a tea room; if you would like to keep costs down and oversee everything in hosting the tea party, have the tea party in your own home.
Good luck with your tea party, and remember to have fun!