BY MADISON SKAKLE
Are you looking for a fun party to cater for your girlfriends? Hosting an afternoon tea party is sure to be unique, entertaining and easy, and something your friends will be talking about for years to come.
While a tea party may sound overwhelming, it can be seamless. It’s all in the prep, y’all! Here are the key ingredients you need for your tea party: big hats, fancy plates, cute desserts, fun dips, little sandwiches, and tea. It’s that simple!
First of all, let’s start with the hats. When you invite your friends to the afternoon tea party, tell them that hats are strongly recommended. This ups the excitement factor and makes photos a blast. Usually, the wardrobe during a tea party is summer dresses and big hats. This is the occasion to have fun with your attire and encourage your friends to do the same!
Secondly, for the serving ware, platters, plates, napkins, and basically anything on the table, this is your chance to get fancy. Do you have your grandmother’s special china that’s only been used once? This is the occasion to bring it out! Want to use your champagne flutes for mimosas? Do just that. Afternoon tea parties are usually fancy and require putting your pinkie up when drinking tea. Everything does not have to match, and you don’t need to worry about having one set of everything. Mix and match your dishes, napkins, and plates. Pattern mixing is in and so chic.
Let’s talk about the food. You need to have at least three key food groups at an afternoon tea party: little sandwiches, cute desserts, and dips. Almost everything is mini but don’t worry – this doesn’t mean you can’t eat as much; it means that you can eat more! For the little sandwiches, create a couple of different varieties. My favorite variety is a cucumber tea sandwich. It is incredibly simple and can be made the morning of the party.
Cucumber Tea Sandwich
1 cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
1 8 oz package of cream cheese, softened
¼ cup mayo
¼ teaspoon garlic powder
1 dash Worcestershire sauce
1 loaf sliced bread, crusts removed
- Combine the cream cheese, mayo, garlic powder and Worcestershire sauce and mix until smooth.
- Smear 1 spoonful of cream cheese mixture on top of 1 bread slide and then top with several slices of cucumbers (keep to 1 layer). Top with another slice of bread to complete the sandwich.
- Cut each sandwich into 4 small squares or triangles.
The desserts can be made the day ahead or purchased from a local bakery. Mini cupcakes with rosettes on top, mini muffins, and mini lemon chess pies are all great options. If you want to make something quickly yourself and save money, keep it simple and bake up a box of store-bought brownie mix. Let the brownies cool completely and then cut into small 1-inch diameter squares. Place on serving tray and then top each brownie with a small dollop of store-bought (or homemade) frosting and a raspberry. Voila!
As far as dips, I like to make a homemade crab dip, pimento cheese, or spinach artichoke. Usually, I choose two of those to have and serve it with sliced vegetables and water crackers. To make it even simpler, you can buy pimento cheese from the store (I love the My Three Sons brand). Place it in an oven safe ramekin and warm it in a 325-degree oven for 15 minutes. Serve it with pepper jelly and crackers. Yum! A little extra effort can make store-bought goodies even more fabulous.
And of course, don’t forget the tea, one of the most important parts of the tea party. Purchase a variety of herbal and caffeinated teas for your guests to enjoy. Make sure to have plenty of sugar and cream close by to sweeten things up. I also always have other options like coffee and juice because some guests do not enjoy drinking tea.
There you have it! An afternoon tea party can be simple to host. Your friends will be sure to have a blast, because who doesn’t love getting dressed up and eating miniature food?!