With spring and the latest version of Alice In Wonderland set to hit theaters soon, there have been a bevy of tea party ideas springing up lately. The hip, cool chic that I am did a very nice post about tea parties back in 2008 (!!!), so I thought I would repost it with a few tweaks. Why reinvent the wheel?
Last week, a friend and I had lunch at a local tea room, an indulgence everyone should do once in awhile. There is real china, and you get a small teapot all to yourself, with real tea, where you have a little strainer for the leaves. And real scones. And tablecloths, and manners. All the things I don't get at my usual haunts, since they tend to be loud and have fast service, or everyone starts sizing up who will get eaten first at our table.
I've had a secret love for the tea party, ever since I got my hands on The Gospel According to Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes for Every Occasion, from Fabulous Showers to Intimate Gatherings by Tracy Stern of Salontea.The pictures are amazing, and the party ideas so fun and easy to do. It's a secret love, because I couldn't drag my boys there (I'm still working on it) and very few of my friends share my love of going places, just because.
So today's post is all about the tea party, and it's not just for little girls and their dolls....it's a wonderful theme for a bridal shower, birthday and engagement parties.
Get The Party Started
Have a Mad Hatter's Tea Party! Use an old set of playing cards or purchase oversized playing cards, and write party info on the back of them and invite guests to come in foolish attire for all to admire.
Cut circles from bright cardstock (or buy circle-shaped cards from your favorite craft store) and glue on clock hands pointing to the party time. Write or print party details on the back.
Check out a plethora of tea party invites from NoteworthyNotes.
The Table's The Thing
Bright colors are the way to go, have things topsy-turvy, and don't be afraid to mix and match plastic and china. This table setting has glued on plastic jewels to the plates and used mini English teacups and china dishes.
Consider one of these sets for an adult party - Marla Dawn Tea for Two set features a unique double spouted 64 oz. teapot, and the Alice Tea cup set has a stunning mirror surface.
Dress up chairs by wrapping each in tulle and tie a ribbon around it.
An easy yet effective centerpiece idea - mini teacups glued onto painted wooden dowels and stuck into planters. Or have a long flat of wheatgrass (from your local florist or garden store) and set teapots, and small kooky garden accessories like gnomes and rabbit statues on it.
Group a couple of tea pots as is or filled with fresh-cut blooms.
How fun is the Queen of Hearts buffet?
The Tunes (courtesy of Evite)
When I Take My Sugar to Tea – Nat King Cole
I’m a Little Teapot – Jim Gibson
Breakfast at Tiffany’s – Henry Mancini
Tea for Two – Ella Fitzgerald
Be Our Guest – Angela Lansbury
Polly, Put the Kettle On – James Cotton
Tea Dance, the Nutcracker Suite – Tchaikovsky
Getting to Know You – Bing Crosby
Do Re Mi – Julie Andrews
Afternoon Delight - Starland Vocal Band
What to Do
A tea party is a great time to try reading tea leaves. You can either hire a professional tea-leaf reader or get a book on how to read tea leaves and do it yourself.
A tea party is just not a tea party without finger foods. Afternoon teas are usually served in stages, going from savory to sweet. So start your tea with traditional tea sandwiches, and if you like, cut out in hearts, spades, clubs, and diamonds. Provide a variety of small desserts or scones and jam.
Spice things up with tea toddies, made with Irish Cream and whiskey
A heavenly cupcake setting from Not Quite Nigella's tea party. Over at FamilyFun, this teapot set is made from cupcakes. A stunning fondant cake from Flickr's Food Pornographer.
Send Them Home With a Smile
How about a few sugar cookies in a cello bag, a high tea column infuser, or a copy of Alice in Wonderland?