Tea has come to mean many things to many people. It represents rebellion as is the case with the historical Boston Tea Party in the West. It symbolizes harmony with nature, serenity with one’s self and good health in the tradition of the East with its tea ceremony. It brings back together family and friends in an elegant affair filled with sweet treats and pots of good tea.
Indeed, when we think of tea, we only have good thoughts of the hot liquid awakening our palates, warming our throats and soothing our souls in more ways than one. And so, we aspire to give tea parties in the tradition of the British but we may not know how to do so for many reasons. We live in a hurried and harried world where tea parties just seem too much trouble and yet appear to be so much fun, too.
Fortunately, elegant tea parties can be thrown for family and friends with proper planning just as in the case of other types of parties for birthdays, anniversaries and holidays. You will not even spend too much money on the food, invitations, decorations and other aspects of the tea party for various reasons.
First, the main foods like pots of tea, scones, biscuits, cookies and cake can be bought for affordable prices from bakeries and delis. Even if you make these sweet treats in your own kitchen, you will not be spending plenty of money, unlike in a full banquet of formal parties.
Second, the venue can be left as is. If you are holding it in the garden, you can just make it more beautiful by placing a few flowers on the table – no evening lights and no fussy decorations. After all, tea parties are held from mid to late afternoon in whatever venue is available in your house.
You might say that a tea party is a lazy but elegant way to entertain family and friends as well as co-workers and bosses. Your taste in parties will even impress them so much so that the tea party will be the talk of the office for days and in a complimentary way, to boot.
But of course, before your tea party can be a success, you have to plan it and plan it well. This is true for all your parties, be it the informal barbecue on the Fourth of July or the formal dinner on your wedding anniversary. Here then is a step-by-step guide on planning a tea party.
• Select the date for the tea party, which should be on the relatively free day of the invited people, say, on a Sunday afternoon. Send out the invitation at least 2 weeks before the event to allow your expected guests to clear their schedules.
• Prepare your menu. It may be as simple as two choices of cake or as many as a buffet of sweet treats. Your tea may be in two or more varieties like green, black and oolong.
• Prepare the tea equipment from the cups and saucers to the teapot. Go for the most elegant set you can afford since you can use it again and again.
• Prepare the table.
Now, all you have to do is to wait for your guests, serve the tea and enjoy their company!