Yesterday was Mother’s Day! Since we are still social distancing, we had a tea party at home. I invited my mom and my sister over for a little high tea, and we had a great time!
My mom and I love tea. We aren’t huge coffee drinkers, but will always have a cup of tea. A few years ago, my dad got my mom and I a starter tea kit. It had a loose leaf tea infuser and several varieties of tea leaves. Over the years, it’s been very fun to pick out new flavors and explore new varieties of tea. So having a tea party was a nice way to honor something we both love.
In addition, I got to set my table with China passed down to me and heirloom gifts from people who mean so much to me. My family started a hope chest for me when I was nine, and now that I finally own my house, I am using the items inside. All of the gifts were from people on my mom’s side so it was nice to pay tribute to the people she loves too on Mother’s Day.
Now today’s tea party was for three people, but these tips will help you host a tea party at home!
Plan the theme: Are you having a classic tea party? Is it a bridal or baby shower? Maybe it is a tea party for your daughter, her friends and their dolls. Or is it more whimsical like a Mad Hatter tea party? Think about the theme of the party and plan the invitations and decor around that theme.
Pick a variety of teas: You’ll want to offer your guests a selection of tea. If you are hosting a large group of people, it’s best to stick with some crowd pleaser teas, rather than getting into specific, more unknown tea. I think you should pick three tea choices so you don’t overwhelm your guests. You can’t go wrong with Earl Grey, mint, and a fruit like peach or orange flavored tea. Also, it’s a nice gesture to have a cucumber, lemon or mint water available to the guests who might not like tea.
Plan the menu: Tea time isn’t a full meal, so you don’t have to make a four course feast. Plan to provide both sweet and savory bites for your guests. There are several tea party staples that are always a crowd pleaser. For savory bites, I recommend scones or biscuits, chicken salad croissants, and cucumber and cream cheese tea sandwiches. For sweet, head to your local bakery and find cookies (Milanos are also a great option), a sweet cake like petit fours or a lemon pound cake, and something colorful like a fruit tart or macaroons.
Set your table: This is my favorite part of a tea party because it is so much fun to plate and plan your table. I think a 3-tier dessert stand is a great focal point for your table. Here you can put your sweet treats. Be sure to alternate your selections when plating so that everyone around the table has access to all the desserts. For your savory treats, you can plate them on platters to be passed to every guest. Be sure to provide sugar, lemon, cream or milk, and honey for your guests to put in their tea. Also, don’t forget the butter and jam options for scones or biscuits.
When setting your table, don’t forget your theme. Plan your China, place cards, seating and napkins to coincide with the theme of the party. And, of course, don’t forget your tea cups!
Be a great hostess: Offer to refill your guests tea and water throughout the party. Make sure the dessert tier and savory trays are always full. Refresh the butter, jam and honey when it is running low. If it is a shower or birthday party, make sure to give everyone a tea-themed favor to take away. A tea cookie or little jar of honey is always a nice idea for a favor.
Have you ever hosted a tea party at home? What is your favorite tea flavor?