Everything You Need To Host The Cutest Little Tea Party
Dear Beautiful Reader,
Hands up, if at any point in life you've ever wanted to be a princess? (HAND FLIES UP!)
Growing up, I was a true blue Disney girl. Don't get me wrong, I had my little Batman and Bucky-O-Hare action figures, but when it came to movies I knew the entire Beauty the Beasts & Aladdin scripts by heart. And in more recent pop-culture, who wouldn't love to walk in Kate Middleton, or Meghan Markle's shoes for a day!
Luckily, working in tea yields many opportunities to feel like a princess, especially when it comes to tea parties.
Above all, I feel that the recent trend and rise of interest in afternoon tea is due to the way it makes you feel. Being served top quality tea in elegant tableware, with pretty little desserts just makes you feel special and cared for.
And for me, it feels equally as exciting to make the people you value in life feel special and royal. Why not- they deserve it! And so, I decided to bring you a little guide on all the things you would need to bring the magic of a tea party to your house, and to create an unforgettable tea experience for those closest to you!
For this blog, I partnered with a company that makes you feel like royalty from the moment you walk into their store. William Ashley without a doubt carries the most enchanting and quality table and kitchenware. From Royal Albert to Versace (yes - Versace makes plates!) William Ashley is like a museum of all things pretty and elegant for your home. For each item I'll be mentioning I linked an option that is available for purchase at William Ashley. Please note that I do not receive any commission if you decide to purchase anything from them. One of the goals of my blog was to partner with brands that I feel align with my personal values, that care for their customers and for creating experiences for others- just like T by Daniel!
1. A Tea Menu
When it comes to Tea Party, you want to always keep the following in mind:
Think about everything that your guests may need, and have a solution ready for them.
Above all you want your guests to see the thoughtfulness behind your planning. Not only is your tea party beautiful, but you really took the time to think about everything your guest might need to make the experience whole for them.
Offering variety is always exciting. Being able to choose from a selection of flavours, rather than just being served whatever tea you happen to have in your cupboard will add your guests' experience. Asmall tea menu for your guests is a great way to show you want them to have fun and explore. It also shows anyone present who may have allergies, or caffeine sensitivities that you took that into consideration. This menu doesn't have to be extensive- after all, you are not a hotel. But having 3-4 options is better than just having one. Your menu could look something like this:
Two black teas, one traditional, and one unique blend with fruits, nuts or spices.
One green tea- flavoured or traditional for your health enthusiasts.
One herbal tea for anyone who is avoiding caffeine.
These options cover all your bases!
2. Pretty Little Tea Cups
Nothing feels more dainty than being served tea in pretty little teacups. I am personally a huge Royal Albert fan! For one, they have been around for over 100 years, and nothing speaks for quality like longevity in business. They are the masters of quintessential English-styled bone china. Of all their collections, my favourite is the Miranda Kerr Friendship Collection. It is inspired by the beautiful Australian model Miranda Kerr, and a few of her favourite things, including Peonies, Patels & Butterflies. Simply gorgeous!
Whether you are serving loose leaf tea or teabags you will definitely need some teapots to either hold your hot water, or steep your tea. Ideally, each guest should have their own mini teapot. If you are serving tea bags, you can fill your teapots with hot water, and give your guests their tea bags ( if they are individually packaged) so when they are ready, they can simply open their tea bags and add hot water. If you are serving loose leaf tea then you would add one teaspoon per cup to your teapot and let it steep. It is important to take recommended steeping times and temperatures into consideration to avoid serving bitter tea to your guests. You could also place one teapot on a warmer in the middle of the table of a traditional black tea that guests can easily access during the tea party. The teapot featured in this photo is a Herend Teapot from the Royal Garden collection, which was specifically designed with the Prince William & Duchess Kate in mind. It is actually painted by hand and is available through special order. I attended a Herend painting class, and let me tell you, painting on a teapot or plate takes extreme artistic talent!
4. A Temperature-Controlled Kettle
Ok for one, can we just take a moment of silence to appreciate this gorgeous kettle by Smeg
It looks like something straight out of a kitchen in the 50's, or even Barbies house!
When it comes to brewing tea, one of the best ways to ensure that your tea really shines is by adhering to the recommended steep times and temperatures, and kettles like the one above ensure that your tea will never taste bitter. When it comes to hosting a tea party, you want to make sure that the tea is memorable! After all- it's a TEA party!
The reality when it comes to tea is that every part of it is an art. From growing and cultivating it, to rolling it, to brewing and serving it. Each step contributes to a great tasting cup. Due to their individual oxidation processes, you wouldn't brew a black tea at the same temperature or for the same amount of time as a green tea. In fact, to get the best flavour of some green teas, you actually don't need to steep them for more then 30 seconds! Make sure you read your tea providers temperature guidelines and set your kettle to the right temperature for tea that WOWS!
5. Tea Strainers
If you are serving loose leaf tea your are going to need a way to hold back the leaves from getting into the cups. Insert adorable tea strainers from Royal Albert's Miranda Kerr collection! These little beauties are placed over your tea cups and have tiny holes that will hold back the leaves from spilling into the cup, leaving only a beautiful tea liquor behind for your guests to enjoy.
6. Tea Tips
Are you planning on serving teabags? Consider having tea tips available for your guests so they have a designated little plate to place the teabag on once it's done steeping. This will keep your guests from placing it on their saucers, or on a napkin, that could potentially stain your linens. It's also a very thoughtful gesture, showing once again the attention and care to detail!
7. Sugar & Creamer Set
A Sugar & Creamer set is essential to your tea party set up. You can go super fancy, like this set by Wedgwood or use something simpler, but the goal is to allow your guests easy access to cream and sugar, for the ones who prefer a little something in their cuppa!
8. Spoons, please!
Spoons are a necessary tool for a tea party. To remove a teabag from a cup, to scoop your sugar, or to stir your cream, you want to have some teaspoons ready for your guests disposal.
These adorable Alessi teaspoons just scream " I love you." (hehehe -cheesy joke!)
9. A three-tier cake stand
Of course, along with tea, you will serve some form of savouries and desserts for your guests. The best way to display your food options- is the three-tier cake stand. This lovely cake stand is part of the Friendship Collection by Royal Albert. The reason I recommended a three-tiered cake stand is that there is a traditional way to actually place your food offerings on it. You would generally place each item in the order it would be eaten starting form the bottom up. So savouries, like tea sandwiches would go on the bottom tier, your scones would sit on the second tier, and your sweets on the top tier. It's such a thoughtful and beautiful way to display your food options!
Always remember that when it comes to serving tea, or really anything for that matter, the magic is always in the details, and you can always taste the amount of love put into any dish or beverage. Whether you have fancy or simple tableware and accessories is simply a bonus to add to the experience, but ultimately the goal is to make your guests feel truly valued and that is something that goes beyond tea options and fine china. It is the emotion & desire to honour your guests that will be the heart of your event!
Lots of love & tea!