Tea Parties for Adults
Hosting an Afternoon Tea... English Style
Tea parties are great ways to entertain friends and meet new neighbors. In a time when demands on time seem to be increasing at great rates, what with email, children’s sports and any number of items competing for your attention, having a tea event is a great way to slow down and unwind.
The English have tea at 4 p.m., so that is the time for your event to begin (be sure invitations state the hours from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. to avoid anticipation of dinner).
Serve up tea with pastries or light sandwiches such as cucumber or watercress. Scones should be served with whipping cream and jam.
Award the honor of pouring tea to a guest of honor; this person will be the only one who pours. Whole milk, not skim, is added to the cup before the tea for flavor. Add sugar.
Each guest will require a matching teacup and saucer, spoon and fork, small plate, and cloth napkin. You also will need a plate of lemon wedges, a container full of packets of sweeteners, and servers for whole milk. Lumps of sugar instead of regular refined sugar adds an extra something that will delight guests.
Your invitations should reflect the theme. For a British tea party, hand address and mail 10 to 14 days before your party date. Ask guests to RSVP 5 days before your event so you will have enough time to plan.
You'll want to brew a number of different teas for your guests to enjoy. Suggestions include an Earl Grey blend, English Breakfast tea, and a decaffeinated offering.
In addition, you may want to consider a flavored green or herbal tea. It may be helpful to peruse the selection of loose leaf teas that are available from
RCM Tea Shop to get ideas on which teas you would like to serve. RCM Tea
Shop also provides brewing guidelines for each of the purveyor's black, green, wu-long, white, and herbal teas.
While not a necessity, it is a nice gesture to offer small gifts or party favors to your guests. Try for special chocolates or other candies, notebooks or other mementos that will remind your guests of your special time together.
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