Planning A Seasonal Tea Party

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Celebrating the seasons with tea is a natural way to transition from one cycle to the next. Teas were traditionally available as the seasons changed, and honoring the natural growth cycle of tea plants is a fun way to share seasonal teas with friends and family. It is also a great way to sample teas that you or your guests may not be familiar with. It is now possible to grow all types of teas year-round, and as such, many people fall into a “tea rut.” Using the seasons to mix up your teas may lead to your next favorite blend.

As the seasons change, there’s no better reason to host a tea party! Teas are enjoyable year-round, and you’ll find yourself with all sorts of reasons to host a tea party. One such example is to share the wonders of the different types of teas that lend themselves to each season. Light, fruity teas are perfect for the summer, while heartier teas are a great comfort in winter.

Activities

Hosting a seasonal tea party can incorporate any of the season’s traditional activities, or it can be anything else you want it to be! Guests may enjoy brewing their own, experimenting with different preparation methods, or learning about teas from around the world for each season. Incorporate different tea traditions for the teas you are serving. Alternatively, consider celebrating a seasonal element, such as a solstice or holiday.

Decorations

How you decorate for your party will depend on the season and if you are a focusing on a particular theme. Should you celebrate the change of seasons or a solstice party, focus on decorations that represent the upcoming season. As spring moves into summer, for example, a wide array of wildflowers may be available. Choose bright, cheery colors and lightweight table settings and linens. If you are in the midst of winter, deeper colors are more appropriate, as well as heavier table settings, such as hearty mugs or heavy glasses. Consider all aspects of your decor when planning your party.

Use decorations from nature. Pinecones are great in winter, flowers in spring and summer, and wheat or other harvest items in the fall. Incorporate colors of each season, using pastels in spring, bright colors in fall, browns and oranges in fall, and deep colors in winter.

Music

Music selections for your parties can vary greatly. Consider “The Four Seasons” for fun! There are also a number of other seasonal music compilations or selections based on a particular season, such as George Winston’s CDs. A trip to your local music store or a quick online search can lead you to a number of seasonal music selections.

 

Invitation Ideas

Choose invitations based on the time of year. Coordinate your colors and consider making your own invitations using specialty papers that represent your theme. Commercial invitations may work just as well, however, so there’s no need to rule them out if you’re not keen on the idea of creating your own. You may find that the perfect seasonal invitation already exists.

Foods

What should you serve at a seasonal tea party? Rely on natural foods that are available during the time of year and work those into your offerings as much as possible. Obviously, this may be easier during some months than others, but it provides a good starting place. Use a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables, and create complimentary main dishes or appetizers. There are a number of cookbooks available that focus on seasonal foods and these can be a good reference source if you’re stuck for ideas. An online search may also be useful.

 

Teas

During the winter and cooler months, hearty teas like Yunnan, Assam or Keemun warm the palate and the body.  You can even pick from this years crop by going to  www.TeaSource.com.

A refreshing green tea like Mountain Spring Jasmine is perfect for summer months, or perhaps a fruit filled herbal such as Wild Berries and Blossoms, which offers an excellent cup of iced pleasure. Both of these teas are available from www.MightyLeaf.com.

 

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The Guide to Planning a Tea Party–Spring Edition

 

Tea Party Girl asks:  What is the next tea party YOU are planning?

Have You Made Your Indoor Tea Corner Yet?

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This post is a “classic” from Tea Party Girl in 2007. The same concept holds true today.  A place of respite amidst the storm is a necessary in todays world.  Jenny Wells shares her personal journey into creating a “Tea Space” of her own.

Can you relate?  Comment, tweet it, Facebook share and send it viral.  There are so many women that need support!

 

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We all need a corner of our own in our home for hibernation.

Like many middle-class suburban Americans, I live in 2000 square feet we clean, live in, mess up, and attempt to decorate. Carol Burnett once said, “Cleaning house with children is like shoveling snow when it’s still snowing.” But for many years, I tried anyway. Because my children’s primary education is at home, I am rarely home alone. Activity permeates these walls. And I was constantly frustrated and discouraged.

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“Gee! I wonder why!”

Until a few weeks ago. Something clicked. During the week, I keep one room the way I want it~my bedroom and bath. This isn’t foolproof, I do share it with a man after all. But for the most part, it’s working.

 

This post enters me into Brocante Home Chronicles’ Puttery Treats Challenge. I am squeaking in by the skin of my teeth. But I had to try because Alison currently inspires my homemaking and tea lifestyle more than any other current blogger. She gave us a gargantuan list of ideas to bring life to our homes. Here was only one of the many I want to implement:

Wrap your Christmas list books in ribbon, add a couple of glitzy pens, a box of deliciously spoiling chocolates, a few pairs of snuggly scoks, (yey it’s sock time!!), a favorite novel, and some magazines and put with your house jumper in the basket next to your armchair. Get yourself an oversized vintage velvet cushion, choose a cranberry coloured juice glass and a large decadent mug for long Autumny drinks and hibernate in your very own corner of the house.”

Alison, I’m not sure what Christmas list books are in Britain, but here’s a picture from my corner of the world; seasonal books that inspire me just by looking at them.

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My indoor tea corner is a work in progress. Just like my life. And I have yet to add all the puttery treats Alison suggests.

  • The glitzy pens are on order.
  • spoiling chocolates…hmmm…I’m thinking those are chocolates that can ruin me for the ordinary when I bite into them. Anyone want to vote in the comments for their favorite?
  • snuggly socks, check
  • favorite novel, check
  • house jumper: translation sweater, I believe.
  • a cranberry colored juice glass-sigh-I just discovered my love for vintage colored glass.

Well, at least I designated the place and uncluttered it:

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And I uncluttered the view of what I see when I’m sitting in my corner.

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And the only thing I actually BOUGHT to bring to my hibernation corner was a warm wintry nightgown I can feel pretty in. Pretty is key.

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Many days I am overwhelmed by the amount of work it takes to help five lives stay healthy, fed, clothed, enriched, and safe. I find myself pining away for the day where only the rich with servants were expected to be literate, throw parties, dress fabulously, and manage estates. At the check-out line in the market, my eyes narrow at the home magazines as if they were exploiting women’s bodies instead of just our dreams and expectations. Who can compete?

But giving up is not an option. And whether I feel up to the task or not, I am the primary homemaker. Today, my children felt at home making multiple paper crafts, eating pomegranates and swinging on a rope swing they built in our two-story entry way. Not activities exactly chosen for neatness or a Country Living photo shoot. And I feel at home with a hibernation corner ready and waiting-a place to sip tea, journal, read, and wear my fuzzy socks.

Have YOU made your indoor tea corner yet?