4 Simple Steps To Hosting the Perfect Tea Party

Hello Teresa,

I was wondering if you could help me with something? I would like to throw a “proper” tea party with my daughter for some of our friends, but I hardly know where to begin! Do you think you could give me some ideas on how to put together a lovely tea party? What should I serve, and what would make it special? I’m all ears….

Thanks so much!

Lisa

Hi Lisa,

How exciting! Everybody loves a tea party, and having all the components makes it very special. The main thing is to remember to take your time and allow several hours to prepare. If you dote over the four main elements below, it will be a big success!

1.   China

You’ll want to have a large teapot to serve all your friends. It’s nice to have fine cups and saucers that everyone will feel are pretty to use – don’t feel they all have to be from the same set. Having a variety of types of china can lead to an interesting conversation about what patterns people like.

2.   Dainty and Fancy Sandwiches

This is a tricky aspect of your tea – they need to be served fresh, so they will be the last thing that you assemble before everyone gathers for the tea party. In fact, I would ask your daughter to give you a hand – it’ll be a fun prelude to the whole experience!

It’s important that the crusts are all cut off before the sandwiches are made and that, once, assembled, they are cut into small triangles or other interesting shapes. I even have a friend who uses a heart-shaped cookie cutter. Provide at least three types of sandwiches for your guests; for example, cucumber, salmon, egg.

3.   Scones with Cream and Jam

The scones also need to be fresh but can be made several hours before. {See Teresa’s recipe for The Perfect Scone below}. For me, the critical part of the scones is having the right cream – it needs to be “clotted cream” rather than whipped cream as the latter melts and makes your scone “limp”! Clotted cream has a lovely texture which combines perfectly with your strawberry jam. This is not an advert for Bonne Maman jam, but I do have to say it is my favorite for a fancy tea.

4.   Small Cakes

Cakes are presented after the sandwiches and scones, which means that most of your guests will already be full! This means that your cakes need to be served in very small portions. Again, variety is the name of the game, and so it is nice to have different options. For example, I always like to have something chocolate and something lemony.

Good luck, Lisa! I’m sure it will be a huge success and that your daughter and friends will love it!

-Teresa, BringBackTeaTime

Teresa lives with her husband and family in Great Britain, not too far from the auction houses and historic 19th century China factories that she loves to visit. When she’s not hunting for the most exquisite & charming tea sets, you can find her enjoying a cup of tea – always brewed in a teapot and served in a cup with saucer.

I hope you’ll take a minute to “pop in” (don’t you think that sounds rather “British”? 😉 and see Teresa at her site, BringBackTeaTime. You can wander around and see all her beautiful tea sets and the charming area where she lives.

Hope you enjoy a delightful tea party! 

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The Perfect Scone

Here's a fool-proof recipe for baking The Perfect Scone!
Course Dessert
Cuisine English
Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 15 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes
Author Teresa Barker

Ingredients

  • 3 cups flour
  • ¼ cup sugar
  • 4 tsps . baking powder
  • 1 tsp . salt
  • 1 tsp . baking soda
  • ¾ cup butter
  • ¾ cup currents or raisins
  • 1 egg , beaten (remove and save one tbsp.)
  • 1 tbsp . milk
  • 1 cup buttermilk

Instructions

  1. Stir the dry ingredients together and then cut in the butter.
  2. Once the butter is finely mixed, stir in the fruit. In a separate bowl, mix the egg and the milk.
  3. Make a “well” in the dry ingredients and pour in the egg-milk mixture; stir together.
  4. Knead on a floured base for 3-5 minutes.
  5. Roll out and cut into rounds with a cutter.
  6. Mix together the remaining 1 tbsp milk and saved 1 tbsp egg and brush over the scones.
  7. Bake at 400 F for 12-18 minutes.
  8. Remove from pan and cool.

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