Brunch has been the buzzword for the last decade. What’s better than getting together with friends, eating good food, and getting sloshed on Mimosas? Well honey, move over, because High Tea is here. I know that sounds like something that’s highly illegal in 48 states, but trust me…it’s a blast!
Hosting an English High Tea (should I be capitalizing this? I feel intimidated by the event, so I am going to capitalize, lest the High Tea Lords come and strike me down with a boiling kettle) is no ordinary affair. It’s a chance to dress up, eat yummy food, and enjoy the company of your favorite females.
And today I am going to fill you in on how to host a High Tea so fabulous the Queen will want to attend!
How to host a high tea
High Tea is a chance to dress up and invite all your friends to a relaxing afternoon with good food and good times. If you’ve never hosted one before, it can be intimidating. There’s a lot to think about!
To start off with, if this is the first time hosting, be sure to spread the word about the event. Send facebook invites, or even go one step further and send decorative invitations in the mail.
Let your guests know:
- When the event is
- Where the event is
- What the attire is (discussed below)
- If they need to bring anything
- & What type of food to expect
Now the planning begins. Make sure you have a menu made up so you know what to shop for. Most High Tea grubs can be made the morning of the event, although some can be made ahead and frozen, such as pastries. It helps to have an assistant to help with the cooking. Sisters are great for this! It’s a chance to bond while getting ready for the big event.
For a budget friendly High Tea, pick some wildflowers and put them into vases for centerpieces.
Don’t worry if you don’t have fancy china to use for your High Tea. You do want to set your table nicely, because this is a formal sit down event, but you can use what you have to make it look nice. Fresh flowers are always a nice touch to add to the table, and offer a feminine appeal. For a budget friendly High Tea, pick some wildflowers and put them into vases for centerpieces. You can also host your High Tea indoors or outdoors depending on the weather. The place settings, table centerpieces, and location can change depending on the season. Most importantly, work with what you have around you to create a great seasonal atmosphere.
High Tea is a combination of sweet and savory foods that are light and go well with tea. Ultimately what you serve is up to you. Feel free to Americanize it. Or whatever-country-you-are-from-ize it. But I think it’s sort of cool sticking mostly with the traditional menu.
more traditional munchies:
- Scones with Clotted Cream & Jam
- Cucumber & Dill Tea Sandwiches
- Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches
- Ham or Chicken Salad Tea Sandwiches
- Breakfast Meats
- And of course, tea!
Our particular menu for this month’s Tea consisted of:
- Avocado Egg Salad Toast with Sprouts
- Sprat & Pineapple Biscuit Sandwiches with Mustard
- Sauteed Mushrooms
- Fried Eggplant
- Spring Salad Mix with Strawberries & Sesame Sticks
- Pasta with Ricotta, Lemon, & Mint
- Chocolate Cake
- Tea & Coffee
Who wishes they could get dressed up more often? Well a High Tea is a wonderful opportunity to rock out in some of those dresses that are collecting dust in the back of your closet. Sundresses are a must to a High Tea!
If you want to get really funky with it, you can even specify in your invitations what you want your guests to wear. For example, want everyone to show up in hats? Black and white? Polka dots? Let them know in the invitation!
As someone who no longer attends church, the occasions where I can dress up are limited to Saturday night orchestra concerts and weddings. And those don’t happen too often. I love being able to get dressed up for a Sunday afternoon High Tea. It makes me feel like I’m off living in rural England somewhere with a garden full of fresh smelling herbs and beautiful flowers.
Ok, that sounded very Marie Antoinette. Yikes. Please don’t come for my head.
Are you unsure what to wear? Here are some visual ideas:
Did you notice how I said sundresses were a must at a tea party, and yet all the pictures I uploaded were pants? See, you can really wear anything you want! Just make sure you look fabulous.
I think the real pleasure of High Tea comes from creating a special atmosphere in an otherwise ordinary day. It’s about celebrating the small things, enjoy the company of loved ones, and eating good food. While the aforementioned all comes from a strict set of English rules set down a long long time ago, the most important thing is to have fun. And eat food. Let’s be real. We all came for the teacakes.
If you host a little tea party of your own, please let me know how it turns out!
Peace & Love,