It’s January. Have the cool, dark nights left you feeling blah? Do you need a good party? Elementary, my dear Watson! Combine a pinch of tea and a dash of mystery! The result is a Baker Street Tea Party that would make Sherlock Holmes proud.
Here are some simple suggestions for a stimulating Sherlock Holmes tea:
Invitations: Invitations stir the imagination and set the tone for your party. Don’t be afraid to get creative, even a little crazy. Unique invitations will be remembered for years to come. Be sure to print the time, date, and location on them! Here are two ideas that work well with the Baker Street theme: Cut your invitations from brown construction paper in the shape of Sherlock’s pipe. Alternately, spell out mysterious invitations using letters randomly cut from magazines.
Dress: This is where the fun starts! A Baker Street Teatime lends itself to costumes. Invite your guests to dress as their favorite Sherlock Holmes character or have a contest for the best Sherlock and best Dr. Watson ensembles. Visit local costume shops for some great ideas. Need awards for the best outfit? A calligraphy pen, ink, and paper would be perfect for Dr. Watson, and Sherlock would love a chocolate violin! (Mozart Violin Chocolates are available from www.sendchocolates.com)
Setting: A successful tea party begins with a memorable setting, and a Baker Street Tea needs a study. You can easily convert your living room into a study by adding stacks of books, beakers, and such to suggest experiments, and make a centerpiece of a pipe or deerstalker hat. Heavy fabrics in rich colors should cover your tables. Put a map on a side table with an old violin, a stack of newspapers, and a tea tray. Keep in mind that Sherlock was a bachelor; set the table as Mrs. Hudson would have, avoiding fussy lace or frills.
Music: Sherlock was an avid violin player, especially when making deductions. Fill your study with the sounds of the violin. Or of rain; rain is plentiful on Baker Street. Check with your library for an appropriate selection of CD’s.
Menu: Serve your consulting detectives some classic British fare.
Shepherd’s Pie served in mini ramekins
Garden Salad with Cucumber and Tomatoes
Currant Scones with Devon Cream or
Hot Crumpets with real butter
Tea: Choose a typically British tea like Yorkshire Gold or PG Tips. Set your table with plenty of sugar cubes and milk. The British prefer their tea white. Purchase your tea at a British style teahouse or on-line at www.britishexpress.com.
Activities: Create a rich environment and enchant your guests with an assortment of original activities.
If your guests come in costume, your first activity is already planned. Take time to enjoy each other’s creativity.
Harness your guests’ powers of deduction by reading the Five Minute Mysteries by Ken Weber. Ask your guests “Whodunit?”
The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes was a radio series in the 1930’s and 1940’s and can be purchased today at www.radiospirits.com Pour everyone a cup of tea and enjoy an original broadcast.
The Memory Game: Fill a card table with an assortment of unrelated items and allow your guests to view them for one minute. Afterwards cover the table with a cloth. Give each of your guests a pencil and paper and have them list all the items that they can remember. Whoever remembers the most items correctly is the real Sherlock Homes!
Quotes: No Baker Street Teatime would be complete without a few of Sherlock’s best quotes. Play pass the deerstalker hat and invite your guests to read a quote in their best Sherlockian voice. Gather quotes from the mysteries or print an assortment from www.siracd.com
Favors: A grand finale is a must. Bestow a final gift upon your guests: a licorice pipe to sweeten the journey home. If you can’t find licorice pipes locally, they can be ordered at www.ebulkcandy.com
Until Next Time.
Your Partner in Teatime,