Books and Tea ~ Creating a Literary Tea Party
Is there anything quite as comforting as curling up with a good book and a cup of tea? Doing it with a group of friends! Hosting a book tea party can be a great way to experiment with some cozy teas and share some great books. You can have a quiet party where guests can read, or combine a reading and sharing party, exchanging tea and book ideas, or conducting readings. There are a number of options to choose from.
A book party can be a very special event, offering guests a unique opportunity that cannot be found elsewhere. Because it is a private party, your guests can enjoy the feel of a teahouse without all the distractions.
In addition to tasting teas, you can allow your guests to quietly read (sometimes people need a good “excuse” to take some quiet time!), or you can offer a range of activities. Consider having a group discussion on a particular book or conducting a book swap where guests bring a book by a favorite author to trade.
You can listen to stories, having guests read or listen to an author read his or her works on tape. If there is a local author in your area, invite him or her to do a private reading for your party. (This option could be a little pricey, but you never know until you ask!) Or have a party based on a literary character or specific book, such as Sherlock Holmes or Jane Austen.
The atmosphere for this type of party should be warm, comfortable, and inviting. Set the mood through lighting and furniture rather than through decorations. Scatter some books throughout the room as well to help set the tone.
Use low lighting, and if guests will be spending quiet time reading, try to have some type of light available at each setting. You can also hang posters of or references to famous authors or literary characters.
If you’re able to host the party in a personal library or room with a lot of bookshelves, this will also help create a reading atmosphere.
Light classical is a perfect choice for this type of party. If you’re doing a themed party based on a character or book, look for music that fits the theme, such as something more mysterious or mystical. Stringed instruments are a nice choice, as they create soft music that makes for a pleasant background. Vivaldi’s “Four Seasons” is one such example, as is Pachelbel’s Canon.
Invitations shaped like a book are a good choice, or if you are using a character or specific book, incorporate pictures into the invitations. If you can’t find a book invitation or don’t want to make them, look for invitations that incorporate a reading or writing theme, such as pens or bookshelves.
The food you serve can be almost anything you want. Baked goods lend themselves to the cozy atmosphere, such as biscotti or scones or ginger cookies. If you focus on a particular book, choose foods that are featured in the story. Chocolates are also a great choice, and some go very well with teas.
There is nothing like a good book and a hot cup of tea! For this event, try a traditional smoky tea like a Lapsang Souchong, or if you would rather go with a classic, nothing’s better than a good cup of Earl Grey. These teas are both available through the gorgeous online store American Tea Room.
Other articles to check out:
Tea Party Girl Asks: How would you host a Literary Tea Party?