Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea

Mothers Day Afternoon Tea

Need a simple idea?  Why not host a Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea?  I am not talking about a lavish event instead I am suggesting an intimate affair for you and the one you love.  Mother’s Day is May 11th this year, just a month away. Your typical Mother’s Day may be as simple as sending a card or flowers, or picking up the phone. Do you try to get together with your mum?   If so, what about setting aside some time for a Mother’s Day afternoon tea instead of fighting the Sunday brunch crowds?

Most mothers I know desire more quality time. Either their children are young, and they long for quality, uninterrupted time with their friends, or their children are grown and desire uninterrupted conversations and the full attention of their busy adult children. What could a mother enjoy more than a chance to sit down over a pot of afternoon tea and an opportunity for quality time with their loved ones?

Here’s a few simple ideas to get started:

1. Properly invite your mother. Decide whether to bring your Mother’s Day afternoon tea to her or host her it your home. Call her with a specific time and place that’s easy on her.

2. All you need for the event, especially if afternoon tea is a brand new experience is:

  • an uncluttered corner with two comfortable chairs and a small table.
  • a tablecloth or piece of pretty fabric to cover the table.
  • a small bouquet of flowers. Grocery store flowers work as well as the abundant wild flowers available right now.
  • a pot of properly-brewed tea.
  • two pretty tea cups. (If you don’t have any, ask a friend or even your mum!)
  • a particularly yummy dessert you make yourself or pick up at a bakery.

Now, there are many little details one can add to this event such as: linen napkins, instrumental music, or a savory. However, if you have never hosted afternoon tea, keep it simple and remember that the gift of quality time is your focus. If your mother mothered you before 1970, a Mother’s Day afternoon tea may very well have been a part of her history, yet not something she’s experienced with you.

If you’re a mother who needs quality time with your friends, see if you can modify the above with 3 or 4 of you on the Saturday afternoon before Mother’s Day. See if dads can watch the little ones, keep it simple, and give yourselves time to enjoy one another un-rushed and un-interrupted.

What mother do you know could benefit from sitting down over tea this spring for Mother’s Day?

 

How To Host A Downton Abbey Tea Party

Downton Abbey Tea Party

 

Downton Abbey Tea Party

 

Downton Abbey fans rejoice!  Season four is right around the corner. (January 5th 2014 in the U.S.)  You can celebrate the series by  hosting your own Downton Abbey Tea Party.  Here are a few suggestions but be sure to leave comments and share your own plans. (because I know many of you are already getting ready)

Theme:  Season 4 of Downton takes place in the early 1920′s (specifically 1922-1923).  This was the era of worldwide recovery.  The first world war was over and the youth who survived were ready to let their hair down, throw off tradition and change the world.  The easiest way to develop a tea party theme is to research the era in which your event happened.

Here are a few significant things that happened in the 1920′s Britain:

1. Women lecturers are given equal status as men at Oxford University.  This is a huge step in beginning to prove women’s equality in the workplace.  (Women had gained the right to vote in the UK in 1918.)

2. The Irish War of Independence ends in a bloody battle the day after the Irish Elections. (remember one of the main characters in Downton Abbey is Irish.)  This ongoing struggle continues for many years and results in a great loss of life.

3.  The British Broadcasting Service begins radio services in the U.K.  Touching the world is now as close as turning a dial on a new fangled radio.

4. Early 1922 is plagued by the flu epidemic claiming over 800 lives and terrifying the nation.

5.  In 1923 the Equal Rights act enables women as well as men to initiate divorce.  This opens the door for women to divorce their adulterous husbands for the first time in history.  Another sign that the times are a changing.

6. King Tut’s Tomb is unsealed and Britain is crazy about everything Egyptian!

7. In 1923 it becomes illegal to sell alcohol to minors under 18.

8.  The new Prime Minister, Stanley Baldwin, takes office.

 

The Downton Abbey story line connects all walks of life into one cohesive story.  Your guests may be interested to learn “inside secrets” regarding the world of Downton.  You can find a variety of trivia and games online.  Here are a few resources you might enjoy.

 Downton Abbey Tea Party

Trivia Games , Quotes and Activities:

 

Trivia – Downton Abbey

10 Little Known Downton Abbey Facts

Abbey Quiz

Downton Abbey Quotes

 Downton Abbey Tea Party

 

Menu:

Food is always a center focus of the Downton Abbey program.  Win your guests over by preparing an authentic Downton Abbey menu.   May I suggest using the Ultimate Abbey Cooks Online resource.  This website has everything you need to know about Tea Party tradition along with historically correct recipes.

Here are a few of the foods I would recommend for your Downton Abbey Tea Party

Cucumber Sandwiches

Classic English Scones

Oatcakes

Victoria Sponge

Bakewell Tart

Earl Grey Chocolate Mousse

And what about tea?  I recommend using a hearty black tea that will stand up to the taste of every food.  British Bliss is available on Amazon and I highly recommend it for any Downton Abbey menu.  The hearty taste of Keemun will pair well with both sweet and savory dishes.

Downton-Abbey4

Give a Gift Of Favors:

The goal of every Downton Abbey Tea Party is to enjoy your common interest, discuss the great costumes, story lines and food and then depart with a little something special.  Pinterest is a veritable goldmine for party ideas.  Here are a couple of my favorite boards.

 

Downton Abbey Party Board

Party Ideas Board

 

In addition Etsy has alot of wonderful printables which could be used for party favors.  Here is a whole page of Downton Abbey tools, toys and gift ideas.

 

Etsy – Downton Abbey

Etsy – Downton Abbey Printable

 

Last but not least the CLOTHES:  Downton is all about looking fabulous!  Invite your guests to come dressed in their favorite ode to Downton.  This can be a full ensemble or a simple hat or headpiece.  Offer a prize for the best hat, best dress and most creative use of the Downton Abbey theme.  You will be amazed at the creativity of your guests.

DowntonAbbey2

 

Tea Party Girl Asks:  What are your Downton Abbey Tea Party Plans?  Share them below in our comment box or join in the conversation on Facebook.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Afternoon Tea Recipes For Fall

afternoon tea recipes

 

afternoon tea recipes

 

It’s fall once again. (how did that happen?)  Fall is the perfect time for cozy tea parties devoted to harvest related foods.  This post is dedicated to afternoon tea recipes that work with a simple fall tea party menu.  Below is my suggestion for an easy to follow menu.  In addition to the afternoon tea menu I give you full access to the afternoon tea recipes and suggestions on activities.  Pour yourself a cup of harvest tea and let’s dig in!

Menu Suggestions:

Tea Recommendations: British Bliss

Harvest House Salad with Gorgonzola

Classic Cream Scone with Apple Butter

Roasted Butternut Squash Tea Sandwiches

Pumpkin Pie Tarts

 

 

British Bliss Tea:

 

British Bliss by 10 Ten Living is a black Keemun that is a perfect companion to nearly all afternoon tea recipes.  The rich tea can be served straight or with milk or lemon depending on your guest preferences.  Want to add a little pizzaz during the dessert course?  Add some French Vanilla syrup to the tea served with the Pumpkin Pie tarts.  Yum.  You can buy British Bliss here.  Vanilla syrup is available here.  (sugar free is at this link)

 

Harvest House Salad with Gorgonzola

 

This is one unusual salad that will have your guests raving for days!  It combines the beauty of fall with the taste of fresh, crisp greens.  The recipe is available on the Taste of Home site (you will find the link HERE).  I would adapt this when using it for an afternoon tea recipe.  Here’s how:  First, if you are in a hurry you can find prepared beets in many areas at your produce section near lettuce.  Check it out.  Not everyone will have an hour to cook the beets prior to the gathering.  (it is pretty easy though).  Second, if you are not a fan of any one of the ingredients you can replace it with something else fall related.  Herbed Feta would be a great replacement for Gorgonzola.  Romain could replace Spring Salad.  Customize to your guests tastes! Third, this is a recipe for 6.  Don’t forget to cut it down if you are doing a tea for two!

 

Roasted Butternut Squash Tea Sandwiches

 

When I originally thought about this idea I decided to search Google for ideas.  I ran into a great recipe that combines roasted butternut with avocado and the recipe is a real winner.   The blog post (you will find link HERE) features a full size sandwich which I would adapt into tea sandwiches with a few simple changes.  First off, cut off the crusts of the bread before toasting.  Second, when creating the sandwich cut the bread (after you have filled it) in diagonal so that you get 4 small triangles.  Garnish and serve on the plate with your Harvest House salad.  You can place a triangle on each corner of the plate.  Super cute and super easy!

 

Classic Cream Scone with Apple Butter

There are a million recipes for cream scones.  Below I have included a step by step video I really like.  I also include how to make a simple apple butter in your crockpot (oh yah!).  If you don’t have time for either I recommend using Iveta scone mix available on Amazon (here).  Simply add cream.  Also, apple butter is available in a jar (click here)

 

Pumpkin Pie Tarts

 

Last but not least (and most important to afternoon tea) is dessert.  Today I am featuring an easy pumpkin pie tart.  Pumpkin can’t be beat in the harvest season but if you are like me, simple is best because I am very busy.  I was pleased to see that the blog, Spoonful, features a variation on one of my favorite crispy tart recipes.  You can find the recipe here.  Afternoon tea recipe adaptation: avoid cool whip when possible and use real heavy whipping cream.  The final taste will be so much better and your body will thank you.  If low calorie is a priority or there are dairy issues then stick to the cool whip. 

 

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What are your favorite fall afternoon tea recipes?  Please share.

Are You a Realistic Hostess?

tea party hostess

 

by Jenny Wells

 

You’ve been asked to host an event in your home. Maybe it’s a girl’s night out, direct sales party, or bridal shower. “We’ll take care of everything,” you’re told. “We just need a place.” And you think, “Great! I can do that. It should be a breeze.”

I have a question for you, Readers. Do you think this is realistic?

One of the reasons I have been unable to post to Tea Party Girl as often over the last few weeks is because I attended and helped host a number of events in real life. Each involved group efforts and I found myself asking this question off and on. Here’s my top three observations and it would be great to hear some of your perspectives in the comments below.

  • If you are hosting the event in your home people will use your bathroom, ask for your ice, and be afraid of your dog. In other words, there’s a certain level of prep, availability and clean-up that will be required of you. Unless you’ve hired a professional caterer, it is unrealistic to think that whomever is coming into your home to put on the event will remember everything and need nothing.
  • Because it is your home, you help set the tone. For various reasons, I assisted at two events in a row where at the beginning, everyone bunched together in a passageway and awkwardly stood around. It would have been a great help for the homeowner to direct people where to sit, turned on some music or even helped with quick glasses of ice water.
  • Someone has to be in the kitchen. Think of your warmest memories of events/gatherings that have taken place in homes. Whether it’s with friends or family, most likely someone spent a chunk of time in the kitchen. And they were relaxed about it. Maybe they poured you a glass of wine or cup of tea while you chatted with them from the breakfast bar. Usually the best home gatherings take place when the hostess is at ease sharing her role in the kitchen with others and conversations can happen while the food prep is taking place. If you are hosting an event in your home ask yourself how you can utilize your home’s center and heartbeat, the kitchen. If the kitchen is not a place you like to be, is it realistic to host events in your home?

Last Friday evening, my family and I experienced a home gathering that provided real refreshment for the guests. It was casual. People arrived at different times. Some were family, some were friends. The ages ranged from six-over sixty. Wine flowed, laughter erupted, and guests put their feet up. The kids swam and played basketball and hide-and-go-seek. Our hostess spent time in the kitchen making enchiladas and dishing up homemade ice cream. She seemed at ease with my husband constructing a huge salad for us all and her father’s wife making margaritas while her brother and I hung out in the kitchen discovering mutual friends and a fondness for classic literature. She even found time to sit and laugh with us on occasion.

But when all was said and done, she was the one who gathered up the abandoned drinks, discovered the muddy footprints in her guest bath from the numerous children, and swept under the table where we ate. I am guessing she and her husband didn’t calculate the financial cost, but willingly gave it. How I long to be a hostess like this to others.

So what do you think? What takes a home-based event from good to great? How much hinges on the hostess? Are you a realistic hostess?

I feel Etsy!

Tea Party Package

Summer is in full swing and the time for outdoor tea parties has come.  Planning an outdoor event is simple if you have good suppliers.  Today’s post focuses on Etsy and the many great tea party supplies these individual artists offer.  Here are my top 6 summer picks for tea time fun.

Do you have a favorite product or artist with a shop on Etsy?  Add your picks to our comments area.  (be sure they have to do with tea)

 

Tea Party Birthday Package from MyPink Truffles

Are you hosting a summer birthday party?  If so, a tea party will make fantastic memories but who has all the time?  Etsy artist: mypinktruffles offers complete, customized party packages.

You will receive:

* A custom invitation either a jpg that you can print yourself, or I can print (10 4×6 matte photo style if I print)

* A Custom Thank you note to include a photo from the party either a jpg that you print yourself, or I can print (10 4×6 photo matte style if I print)

* 10 Cupcake toppers (3 photo style, 3 monograms, 2 Happy Birthday, 2 Age)

* 2 Flower Tissue centerpiece (Each centerpiece will include 6 flowers that will ship flat on sticks, a vase and vase filler)

* 5 Buffet Tags

* 10 Favor Tags with hole pre-punched and coordinating ribbon

* 1 Birthday Banner (Happy Birthday “Name,” Name Only (Pictured), “Name’s” Birthday Party, up to three words)

Everything can be customized so you know you will have a memorable party.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/101637107/tea-party-birthday-complete-party?ref=sr_gallery_5&ga_search_query=tea+party&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=all

 

Teacup Cookies add a special touch to your tea party.  Charming Treats by Chelsea has some fantastic cookies just for you!

 

Imagine the reaction of your guests when they see the charming designs of these cookies at your event. And then they will taste them. Prepare yourself, they will be in momentary disbelief. “Cookies this cute never taste this good!” is a frequent compliment from Chelsea’s customers.

These cookies are made with real butter and real vanilla. If you would prefer a different flavor than vanilla, just indicate this during your purchase.”  She offers the option of individually wrapped cookies for party favors or packaged in a dozen to serve at your tea party.

 

http://www.etsy.com/listing/77277092/teacup-cookies-tea-party-girls-birthday?ref=sr_gallery_7&ga_search_query=tea+party&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_page=5&ga_search_type=all

 

Feeling Crafty?  You will love these printable tea party’s offered by Melangerie Inc.  

 

The printable garden tea party is designed for a kids party but would certainly work well for a ladies gathering as well.  Upon purchase, a printable PDF will be emailed to you within 48 hours. This party includes the following components (with detailed instructions) that you can print, cut and assemble yourself:

 

- Invitations

- Paper Tea Hats (kids size)
- 3-D Paper Flowers and Leaves (for decoration)
- 3-D Flower Place Cards (can double as a name tag)
- Doily Table Runner
- Doily Placemats
- Plate Chargers
- Cup Wraps (for 9 oz. paper cup)
- Saucers
- Napkin Rings
- Favor Labels
- Hang Tags for “Tea Bag” Favor Packaging
- 3 Full-Page Patterned Sheets (to be used for plate liners, wrapping paper, etc)
- Happy Birthday Banner (includes a full alphabet and numbers for personalization)

All items featured in this collection are formatted to be printed on 8.5×11 paper in a fuchsia, pale pink and purple color way. Additional images of this printable are available for preview at:

http://tinyurl.com/2b78sh5

This product is super affordable if you are crafty and just want a little push in the right direction.  All the info is below:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/43629888/printable-girls-tea-party?ref=sr_gallery_22&ga_search_query=tea+party&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=all

 

Need A Tea Party Hat?

 

In my opinion, no tea party is complete without a hat.  A large, elegant hat screams…I am in the mood for fun!  The Original Tree offers a wide variety of quality affordable hats.  Choose your decor.  Your hat base can be white, black or even brown.  Hats are large and in charge!

When you aren’t using your new hat consider displaying it somewhere in your house.  Hats make great interior decor and they ALWAYS get people talking.

Be the “hostess with the mostest” and grab a fun tea time hat.

http://www.etsy.com/listing/96706509/wide-brim-black-hat-dress-wedding-tea?ref=sr_gallery_35&ga_search_query=tea+party&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_page=6&ga_search_type=all

 

 

 

 

 

Teaspoons for the Tea Party!

 

 

Vivian’s Treasure loves to take vintage items and update them for a fresh, new experience.   These silver-plated teaspoons are custom stamped with the word “tea.”  The items make great favors or are fantastic to add to your personal tea party collection.  Remember these are vintage items so the spoon patterns will vary.  Vivian works with items from 1900-1950.

Here’s the information:

http://www.etsy.com/listing/99009228/tea-spoons-hand-stamped-silverplate-tea?ref=sr_gallery_6&ga_search_query=tea+party+spoons&ga_order=most_relevant&ga_view_type=gallery&ga_ship_to=ZZ&ga_min=0&ga_max=0&ga_search_type=all

 

 

 

 

Dress for Tea!  One size fits most will prepare you for a memorable tea party.

 

 

 

Want to look your best?  Why not choose an affordable, elegant tea party gown?  River of Romansk offers an entire line of simple elegance in a multitude of styles and colors.  For as little as $48 you could be dressed like a vintage couture ready to serve your guests in style.

River of Romansk is whimsical, romantic and enchanting and the owner desires to recreate an era of dainty loveliness; of sash and ribbons, satins and laces.. all of which are reminiscent of a time more dreamy and innocent.

A beautiful dress is unforgettable. It has the magic to transform and the power to take our breath away. I hope you commemorate each and every precious memory with pieces from River of Romansk – memories which would serve you with a smile many months and many years down the road!

Full info:  http://www.etsy.com/people/RiverOfRomansk?ref=ls_profile#