There are many great reasons to host an afternoon tea party. Two of the best are that it’s inexpensive to plan and it’s simple to arrange. You don’t even really need a reason to throw a tea party other than you want to gather with friends.
All good tea parties should be focused on the tea. Afternoon tea originated (so the legend goes) when a noblewoman felt faint from hunger in the mid-1800s. With only two common meals each day, it was many hours between breakfast and dinner. Afternoon tea was the perfect solution. Making tea traditionally started with loose tea that needed to be strained, but with teabags there is such a variety of great tasting teas Michigan, letting your guests choose their own flavor is half the fun. Keep cream and sugar available nearby.
The food for afternoon tea can run the gamut from finger sandwiches to petit fours. The common denominator is that whatever you serve should be easily and daintily eaten with your fingers. Fresh-made scones with jam and clotted cream are traditional, but your guests will be just as happy with a selection of crustless sandwiches or tiny cakes.
The real fun comes in when you get to dust off your grandmother’s china and tiered dessert plate. If you don’t have appropriate small plates and teacups, hit up the local antique shops and Goodwill stores. Mismatched cups and plates are perfect. Your guests can choose the style they like the best. You can even let them take home their own cup and saucer as a party favor. Find the brightest chintz tablecloth or make your own from the fabric store. Add in a few doilies and you’re ready for the party.
Tea parties are great for little girls to older ladies and everyone in-between. They can be the setting for birthdays, bridal or baby showers or just because!
Find even more great entertaining tips and ideas in our archives.