Thursday, November 3, 2011

How to Host a Simple Tea Party

When I want to have a quick girl's get together, a quick tea party is just the thing.  A few sandwiches, some muffins, a tea cake, and few pots of tea and you're good to go.

I've found people are intimidated by a tea party, and often make it harder than it needs to be.  They think they need fine china, or complicated tiny desserts, or fancy flower arrangements.  Remembering that a "tea service" for many people in Britain was basically an afternoon snack, or in some cases--supper for many years takes away some of the frou-frou fussing.  It doesn't have to be fancy to still be fun.

For a quick tea party, I like to have 2-3 kinds of sandwiches, 2 desserts (cake, custards, or a sweet bread like scones), and 2 kinds of tea.  Here are some of the combinations I like to use:
Egg Salad
Cucumber Sandwiches

Banana Muffins
Blueberry Scones

Earl Grey
English Breakfast


Hummus on pita
Feta and olives on cracker
Mini-black bean wraps with salsa and sour cream

Organic Creme Brulee with Lavender
Pumpkin Scones
Gluten-free chocolate flourless cake

Chocolate Rooibos
Strawberry Kiwi Tea
Organic Chai with Organic Milk

Chicken dumplings with sesame-ginger-tamari sauce
Vegetable Spring Rolls with peanut sauce

Green tea ice cream
Steamed sweet bean paste buns
Orange slices
Fortune cookies

Silver Needle Green
Jasmine Blossom Green Tea
Peach Oolong Tea

Tea is a fun way to get together with friends with a minimum of preparation.  If you have time to all dress up, put on fun hats, and pull out the heirloom china, that's great.  But if not, gather a few saucers and mugs, and have everyone bring in a dish to build around a tea, and have a great time!

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