As the saying goes ‘What happens round the teapot stays round the teapot !’ A Christening, a baby shower, a birthday or merely catching up with old friends? There is always a good occasion to throw an afternoon tea party! Though formerly these gatherings were organised as per the British tradition, hobo inspired tea parties have definitely got the wind in their sails! Warm up the teapots and let yourself be inspired by the enchanting mad hatter’s tea-party in Alice in Wonderful and pull off an unforgettable tea-party! From the dessert plate to the cutlery here are the basic flatware, tea accessories and tea service dinnerware to throw the ultimate (stress-free) tea brunch!
The cake display stand
Cupcakes, scones, sponge cakes, petit fours, french toast fingers, sandwiches and bagels are usual crowd-pleaser for your high tea menu. Whether you go for sweet or savoury snacks be sure present your delightful treats in style and make them stand out with a cake display stand!
Your cake stand can do wonders to glam-up your tabletop: for a vintage décor go for an elegant tiered porcelain cake stand or an antique style metal cake stand. Use them as the centrepiece of your buffet table; they will keep your table organized and save table space plus you can decorate them with flowers or glass beads to further enhance your table décor and elevate your gathering to a whole new level!.
The flatware – ease and elegance
Number one rule when if you want an elegant tea-party etiquette: the use of plastic cutlery is absolutely forbidden! Your flatware should combine ease of use and elegance: I would personally advise you to opt for stainless steel flatware for a polished looking table. The basic cutlery and serveware required for an authentic English tea party include:
- Butter spreader: a must if you are serving jam, butter or cotted cheese with your spoon)
- Teaspoon: to stir your sugar, honey or milk in your teacup
- Dessert fork: they must be displayed on the table if you are planning on serving cakes which are not bite size.
- Pie shovel: if you are planning on serving a whole cake, pie or quiche.
Essential Tea set pieces
You can go super traditional and opt for a pastel, floral or white porcelain or fine bone china tea pot, tea cups and saucers or add a modern twist by mixing and matching pieces for informal tea parties or if you are neither fond of fine china teapot set or vintage tea set! You can for instance combine a cast iron teapot or transparent glass tea pot with porcelain or stoneware teacups and saucers. However, when mixing and matching be sure to have a common thread between your pieces: colour, similar lines or design.
Colour mismatched tea sets is a good idea if you are planning a casual bohemian style tea-party where you can even use coloured tea glasses or double wall heat resistant glasses as drinkware. Though each person may set his tea party table differently there are some must teaware pieces to have on your table:
- Tea cup
- Cake plate (dessert plate)
- Sugar bowl
You may eventually add some other pieces like a coffee pot, a tea strainer/ tea infuser (if you opt for loose leaf tea rather than teabags), hot water pitchers in case your guests would prefer their tea a little weaker. Be sure that a cup and saucer if placed at each guest’s place.
Some further tips to nail your tea-party:
- It is always advisable to have several types of teas if you don’t know your guests preferences
- It is the duty of the host/ess to serve the tea
- Though it is not compulsory to have a guest’s gift you can always offer a little gist like a box of rose tea or Chinese tea for the presence. A guest gift box should be handed on departure and never before.