Lara (no url) left an encouraging comment this morning after reading Steps to Creating a Tea Party Menu with a few questions. Here’s a copy of the comment:

Great job! That was a wonderful, comprehensive article and exactly what I think a tea party menu should consist of. However, I’m curious what you think of the tea parties in Tracy Stern’s “Tea Party” book. Personally I thought her ideas had very little to do with tea parties at all; they were more just parties in general.

My biggest issue when planning a tea party menu is that there are so many recipes I want to try. It is hard to narrow down my selections.

First of all, I can certainly relate to wanting to include so many recipes while planning a tea party! I think along with a couple of points I mentioned in the article (we have to consider our time and money budgets) we also can plan our tea event around a theme. This can help narrow down and specialize your event’s menu.

This is where Tracy Stern’s book, Tea Party, can be helpful. Others besides Lara have voiced similar observations and I understand their concern. It raises the question of today’s post title~when is your event a party with tea and when is it a tea party? I do think the book leans more to offering parties with tea. Yet I include it in my Tea Reads and recommend it for two reasons:

  1. I find the tea information in the Introduction spot-on. I appreciate that she explains how to brew loose leaf tea, tea etiquette, and how to store tea properly. She also leads the hostess through a “Throwing the Tea Party” primer.
  2. Themed tea parties are quite fun and she gives lots of options. She’s included parties for gentlemen and children, as well as parties for different times of day.

Tracy Stern’s Tea Party book helps break down the stereotype I addressed in a recent article, “Aren’t Tea Parties for Retired Ladies in Red Hats?”. She shows that tea can be chic, fashionable, and fun. I do agree, however, that her menus could be more Tea Party focused, i.e. including scones, using small portions, etc. instead of parties with tea.

Thanks, again, Lara, for your comment. Anyone else want to add their thoughts and observations?