Nothing says elegance and sophistication quite like a tea party. Whether you are hosting a special occasion or simply want to enjoy a leisurely afternoon with friends, a tea party is the perfect way to relax and indulge in delicious treats. In this post, we’ll explore delightful tea party recipes and etiquette to make your gathering an unforgettable experience.
Let’s start with the recipes:
- Classic Cucumber Sandwiches:
– Thinly sliced cucumber
– Cream cheese
– Fresh dill
– Sliced white bread
Spread a layer of cream cheese on each slice of bread. Place a few cucumber slices on one slice and sprinkle with fresh dill. Top with another slice of bread and gently press together. Trim the crusts and cut into small, finger-sized sandwiches. Serve chilled.
- Mini Quiches:
– Pie crust dough
– Grated cheese
– Chopped vegetables of your choice (spinach, bell peppers, mushrooms, etc.)
– Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat the oven to 375°F (190°C). Roll out the pie crust dough and cut circles using a cookie cutter. Press the dough into greased mini muffin tins. Whisk together eggs, milk, grated cheese, chopped vegetables, salt, and pepper. Pour the mixture into the muffin tins. Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until the quiches are golden brown.
- Lemon Blueberry Scones:
– 2 cups all-purpose flour
– 1/4 cup granulated sugar
– 2 teaspoons baking powder
– 1/2 teaspoon salt
– 1/2 cup cold unsalted butter, cubed
– 1 cup fresh blueberries
– Zest of 1 lemon
– 2/3 cup heavy cream
– 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C). In a large bowl, whisk together flour, sugar, baking powder, and salt. Cut in the cold butter using a pastry cutter or your fingers until the mixture resembles coarse crumbs. Gently fold in the blueberries and lemon zest. In a separate bowl, mix together the heavy cream and vanilla extract. Gradually add the cream mixture to the dry ingredients, stirring just until the dough comes together. Pat the dough into a circle on a lightly floured surface and cut into wedges. Place the scones on a baking sheet and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden brown.
Now let’s delve into tea party etiquette:
- Dressing the Part:
A tea party calls for a touch of elegance. Encourage your guests to dress in smart or semi-formal attire, such as dresses, skirts, suits, or dressy trousers. Hats and gloves, while optional nowadays, can add a vintage charm to the gathering.
- Serving the Tea:
Offer a variety of loose-leaf teas, such as Earl Grey, English Breakfast, or herbal infusions. Provide tea strainers and individual tea pots with warm water. Allow each guest to steep their preferred tea strength and serve milk, lemon slices, sugar cubes, and honey for customization.
Tea party etiquette includes using your napkin, stirring your tea gently, and avoiding loud slurping noises. When holding cups and saucers, use the handle of the cup with your index finger and thumb, while gently resting your middle finger beneath the handle. Pinky fingers may be kept down or curled, contrary to popular belief.
- Serving the Treats:
Present the food on tiered serving trays. Start with savory finger sandwiches and mini quiches followed by scones served with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Finish off with a selection of sweets like petits fours, macarons, and shortbread cookies.
Remember, a tea party is not just about the food; it’s about creating a warm and inviting atmosphere where conversation and laughter flow as freely as the tea. So, set the table with beautiful china, decorate with fresh flowers, and enjoy the company of your loved ones as you indulge in these delightful treats. Cheers to a delightful tea time!