How to Host a Tea Party
Embrace the spirit of a true English tea and have a tea party for no special reason. It's a great excuse to have friends over, prepare simple snacks, and hang out for an afternoon. You’ll have a smashing good time as you enjoy a classic English tea party, complete with scones, mini sandwiches, and of course, tea.
Set the Date
To begin, you'll want to create Invitations. You can send them out online through a party invitation site like Evite, email an invitation, or even send out a group message over Facebook or text message. Just be sure to send invitations out with plenty of advance notice -- up to a month in advance -- so you can be sure your friends can make it. The main things to remember to tell your guests are:
- the date they need to RSVP by
- the reason for the party
- what guests should bring, if anything
- and what they should wear if you want them to dress for the occasion.
Set the scene
Whether your party theme is more like a whimsical Alice in Wonderland Mad Hatter tea party, an elegant English garden, or a casual picnic, setting a perfect party table doesn't have to be expensive or fragile. Your pieces don't even have to match! If your parents are willing to let you use their resources, they probably have a tablecloth you can use, and they may even have a tea set complete with a teapot, cups, saucers and plates. Check out your local dollar store for inexpensive (and cheaply made) tea sets. Then, create a special atmosphere with a flower centerpiece. You have a few options here: the least expensive is to cut flowers from your garden (again, ask permission first). Next, head to your local grocery store that has a flower section or flower store and ask for their least expensive flowers. You can also use a potted plant as a centerpiece, then keep it after the party. If flowers aren't your thing, you can pick up real or battery operated tea lights. Place the tea lights in the center of the table and surround them with flower petals, pretty colored stones, or even fake jewelry to make your table look more interesting. Make sure you have enough chairs for each guest to sit around the table.
Set the Menu
Pick up an assortment of teas and fan them out to display them on a plate so each guest can choose their own tea. Set out a bowl of sugar cubes, a small pitcher of milk and some lemon wedges so each guest can customize their own tea. One note of caution, don't put both lemon and milk into your tea -- the lemon will curdle the milk and you'll get a disgusting lumpy mess! You can also include pink lemonade as an option for guests who don't like tea.
For the main course, tea sandwiches are one of the best parts of a tea party! Make simple sandwiches such as mini cucumber butter sandwiches, marble seedless rye with egg salad, and cream cheese and jam on pumpernickle bread. Cut the crusts off and cut each sandwich into four mini-sandwiches. Arrange them nicely on a plate for guests to mix and match flavors.
To serve up a sweet ending, keep it mini. You can serve mini cupcakes, chocolate dipped strawberries, and mini scones with a side of butter and jam.
Plan the Activities
Of course, just sitting around eating and drinking tea does not make a party. Break out some board games like Apples to Apples or Trivial Pursuit, ditch the board and use the playing cards as conversation starters. Or dust off your mad libs and create a funny story together. For some pre-tea fun, bake the scones or dip the strawberries at the party. After tea, you can read each others' tea leaves, grab a ouija board or read each others' palms! Feeling intellectual? Ask everyone to read the same book before the party and hold a book discussion. Feeling crafty? Create this easy DIY teacup candle.
Have Your Say
What else would you do at a tea party? Let us know in the comments below.