When I think of a hosting a Victorian Tea Party serving loose leaf tea, all that runs through my mind is pomp and circumstance. But...
It doesn't have to be fancy, unless you want it to be.
A Victorian tea party can be as elegant or as down to earth as you want to make it. The important thing to remember is the time you are spending with family and friends, creating new memories.
Victorian Tea Parties History
A little background info...
As you know this is an English custom that was started in the late 19th century.
Back then the English would eat a late evening supper. Some time would lapse between the afternoon meal and the evening meal.
So Anna the Duchess of Bedford would become hunger during this time frame. To ward off those hunger pains, Anna started the tradition of afternoon tea, and invited a few friends to join her. Thus was the start of what we know as the Victorian Tea Party.
There are usually 3 courses served for an Afternoon Tea. A savory, fruit and ending with something sweet.
If you want to throw a fancy Victorian tea here are a few tips to make it a success.
For The Table
1. For the table to be elegant use a flowery tablecloth, for an added touch throw some lace on top.
2. If you have a fine china set
use that along with polished flatware and crystal water glasses.
3. Put your sugar and cream into crystal or silver creamer and sugar bowl.
4. For napkins you can use cloth with napkins rings, or purchase nice paper ones.
If you don't have all the fancy items to decorate your table with, don't sweat it. Use what you've got. Even if you don't have enough tea cups for everybody, there is no shame in asking your guest to bring their favorite tea cups to the party
In fact use that to get your guest talking about why they brought the teacup they did. You may learn something new about your
friends or even begin a new friendship.
For The Food
1. First course, savory items such as finger sandwiches, little quiches or for a southern feel serve biscuits with
2. You can follow the savories with an assortment of fruit and cheeses.
3. For the tea, depending on the number of guest, serve 2 to 3 different types. Try to pair heavier food with the more
robust black teas. Light fare with the lighter bodied and flavored teas.
4. The sweets could be anything from petit cakes or cookies to traditional scones with jams and clotted cream.
These are just few ideas; call it a jumping off point. The rest is up to you.
With the food you can make it easy by buying many of the things premade, no shame in that. For example many bakeries produce
quality items, that will save you hours of time spent in a hot kitchen.
Returning To A Romantic Era!
There is something uniquely gracious about the etiquette and manners that recaptures the romance of the past.
Nothing says that more than a Victorian Tea Party. The saying, "You must come to tea" was said by all, no matter what your social status was. Even a humble household would take afternoon tea with as much charming elegance they could afford.
A Victorian Tea Party is a time to connect with friends or to make new ones.
You may be tempted to get fancy with your party. Get out your best linens, china and crystal and even learn the proper etiquette of Victorian times. I say go for it.
But if that is not your thing, that's fine too. Keep it simple. The whole thing of tea is getting together with your friends and making memories.
Tea Party Theme Ideas.
A Victorian Tea Party is great for an: Afternoon Bridal Shower, Baby Shower, A Neighborhood Book Club or just getting together as Mother and Daughter Time.
So no matter the occasion A Victorian Tea Party may just fit the bill. More importantly it is an opportunity to open your heart and spend time with friends.
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