Howdy, y'all! Gather 'round, 'cause today we're gonna take a little trip across the pond and learn all about the delightful British tradition of High Tea. As a country girl, I may not have grown up with this fancy custom, but I sure do appreciate a good ol' fashioned get-together with friends, family, and some finger-lickin' good treats. So, let's dive right in and discover the essentials of High Tea, and who knows, maybe you'll be inspired to host your very own tea party!
A Brief History: High Tea, or "Afternoon Tea," as it's often called, first became popular in the 19th century, thanks to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. She found herself feelin' a bit peckish between lunch and dinner, so she started enjoyin' a light meal of tea, sandwiches, and sweets in the afternoon. Soon, this elegant tradition caught on, and High Tea became a fashionable social event.
So, What's Needed for your Tea Party
- The Tea: No High Tea is complete without, well, tea! Traditional favorites include English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Darjeeling, but feel free to offer a selection of teas that tickle your fancy, includin' some herbal options for those who prefer somethin' a little different.
- Dainty Sandwiches: High Tea sandwiches are all about bein' delicate and refined. Classic fillings include cucumber, egg salad, smoked salmon, and chicken salad. Just remember to trim the crusts and cut 'em into small, bite-sized portions – no one wants to wrestle with a big ol' sandwich while sippin' their tea!
- Scrumptious Scones: Scones are a must-have for any High Tea. These delightful pastries can be served plain, with raisins, or even with some fancy add-ins like dried fruit or chocolate chips. Don't forget to offer some clotted cream, butter, and jam for spreadin' – it's a heavenly combination!
- Delectable Sweets: High Tea wouldn't be complete without a selection of tempting treats to satisfy your sweet tooth. Think macarons, petit fours, fruit tarts, and dainty cupcakes. It's the perfect excuse to indulge in a little somethin' sweet!
- Settin' the Table: To create the perfect High Tea atmosphere, set your table with your best china, a charming tablecloth, and some pretty napkins. If you're feeling extra fancy, you can even add some fresh flowers to make your table truly fit for a country queen!
- Dress Code: Traditionally, High Tea was a formal event with a dress code, but nowadays, it's all about havin' fun and feelin' comfortable. Encourage your guests to dress up a little, or simply come as they are – the most important thing is to enjoy each other's company and savor the delicious treats!
So, there you have it, folks! The essentials of High Tea, country girl style. Why not give it a try and host your own High Tea party? It's a delightful way to spend an afternoon, catch up with friends, and enjoy some scrumptious bites.
Getting Set Up for High Tea
- The Perfect Tea Set: No High Tea is complete without a lovely tea set. To make your gathering extra special, invest in a beautiful tea set that includes a teapot, teacups, saucers, and a sugar bowl and creamer. You can choose from a wide range of styles, from elegant and traditional to whimsical and modern. Find a Perfect Tea Set for your High Tea Party
- Tea Selection: Offer your guests a variety of teas to choose from, including classic favorites like English Breakfast, Earl Grey, and Darjeeling, as well as some herbal options for those who prefer a caffeine-free brew. Consider displaying your tea assortment in a pretty tea caddy or decorative box. Find the perfect tea for your party
- Tiered Serving Stand: A tiered serving stand is the ideal way to display your dainty sandwiches, scrumptious scones, and delectable sweets. Choose one that complements your tea set and table décor for a harmonious and eye-catching presentation. Tea Party Serving Stands
- Elegant Tableware: Set the stage for your High Tea with a charming tablecloth, pretty napkins, and maybe even some fresh flowers for that extra touch of elegance. Look for table linens that suit your style and the theme of your gathering. Elegant Tableware
- Sandwich Cutters: To create those delicate, crustless sandwiches that are a High Tea staple, you'll need some handy sandwich cutters. Opt for a set that includes different shapes and sizes to add variety and interest to your sandwich platter. Sandwich Cutters for Tea Parties
- Scone and Pastry Accessories: When it comes to baking scones and other delightful pastries, having the right tools on hand can make all the difference. A quality scone cutter, mixing bowls, and a pastry brush are just a few essentials you'll need to whip up your High Tea treats. Grab your pastry accessories here.
- Serving Utensils and Accessories: Don't forget the details! Equip your table with the necessary serving utensils, such as tongs for sandwiches, a cake server for sweets, and a small spoon for sugar. A pretty butter dish and jam jar will also add a lovely touch to your table setting.
- Invitations and Place Cards: To make your High Tea gathering feel extra special, consider sending out personalized invitations and using place cards for your table setting. This adds a touch of formality and thoughtfulness that your guests will surely appreciate. Tea Party Invitations
Now that you've got the lowdown on setting up the perfect High Tea, it's time to get plannin' and invitin'! With these essentials, your High Tea party is sure to be a memorable and enchanting event that your friends and family will cherish.
Steps to Plan and Set Up Your High Tea Party
Now that we've covered all the essentials for a successful High Tea party, let's talk about how to plan and set up your delightful gathering. By following these simple steps, you'll be well on your way to hostin' a memorable and enchanting High Tea that your friends and family will cherish. So, let's get plannin', y'all!
Step 1: Choose a Date and Time. Pick a date and time that works for you and your guests. High Tea is traditionally held in the afternoon, but feel free to get creative and choose a time that suits your schedule and preferences.
Step 2: Send Out Invitations. Once you've decided on a date and time, send out your invitations. This can be done through traditional paper invites, e-vites, or even a simple phone call or text message. Be sure to include any dress code or special instructions, and ask your guests to RSVP so you know how many folks to expect.
Step 3: Plan Your Menu. Take some time to plan your High Tea menu. Include a selection of teas, dainty sandwiches, scones, and delectable sweets. Don't forget to consider any dietary restrictions or preferences your guests may have.
Step 4: Gather Your Supplies. Using the essentials outlined in our previous post, gather all the necessary items for your High Tea party, such as the tea set, serving stand, tableware, and baking tools. If needed, purchase or borrow any items you don't already have on hand.
Step 5: Prepare Your Treats. A day or two before your High Tea party, start preparing your sandwiches, scones, and sweets. Some items can be made in advance and stored in the refrigerator or freezer, while others may need to be prepared fresh on the day of the event.
Step 6: Set the Table. On the day of your High Tea party, set the table with your beautiful tea set, tablecloth, napkins, and any other decorative touches you've chosen. Be sure to arrange your tiered serving stand, utensils, and accessories as well.
Step 7: Arrange Your Food and Tea. As your guests begin to arrive, arrange your sandwiches, scones, and sweets on the tiered serving stand. Brew a pot of tea and set out your assortment of tea bags or loose-leaf teas, along with any necessary accompaniments like sugar, milk, or lemon.
Step 8: Enjoy Your High Tea Party. With everything set up and ready to go, it's time to welcome your guests, pour some tea, and enjoy your delightful High Tea gathering. Remember to relax, have fun, and savor the delicious treats and good company!
By following these steps, you'll be well-equipped to plan and set up a fantastic High Tea party that'll be the talk of the town. So go on, get your apron on, and let's get this tea party started!