Tea Party Decorations
by Giorgina Devereaux
Tea party decorations will create a simple, but elegant look to your party. There are a variety of tea party themes to choose from ranging from seasonal to holiday to children’s themes, such as Alice in Wonderland.
A tea party theme provides direction in deciding what food to serve, how to decorate the room, how to design the invitations, and how to set the proper mood for your guests. When planning your tea party, consider taking advantage of the season or an upcoming holiday. For instance, during the fall, you can host an autumn tea party that reflects vivid fall colors. With this theme, you can feature fall fruits and berries, along with pumpkins and gourds. This makes for a very warm and comfortable setting and is sure to make an impact on your guests. You can create a menu that serves fall foods, such as savory turkey tea sandwiches, carrot cake, raisin bread, and lemon tea cakes. To create a lovely fall tablescape, you may wish to include decorative accents, such as leaves, gourds, miniature pumpkins, candles, seasonal flowers, and pinecones. The idea is to coordinate your tea theme with the current season or event you are celebrating and incorporate color schemes reminiscent of that time of year.
Some Popular Tea Party Themes Include:
• Bon Voyage
• Bridal Tea Party
• Children’s Theme
• Independence Day
• Mother’s Day
• Spring Fling
• Summer Luau
• Valentine’s Day
• Winter Solstice
Tea Party Decorations consist of the following:
• Cake Plate
• Cake Server
• Cake Stand
• Dessert Plates
• Place Cards and Place Card Holders
• Platter/Sandwich Tray
• Sugar Bowl
• Sugar Tongs
• Teacups and Saucers
• Two-Tier Server
• Three-Tier Server
Tea Party Decorations
Tea party decorations are critical to planning the perfect tea party. Once you have a theme in mind, start planning on how to decorate. You want the focus to be on decorating the tables. Ideally, each table should have a linen tablecloth, linen napkins, and should feature a centerpiece made of fresh flowers or consisting of small plants. The linens do not need to match. You can mix and match your linens and tea sets and still achieve a classy setting.
To further enhance your table decor, consider bringing out your best teapots (silver or white porcelain tea sets), teacups, saucers, creamers, sugar bowls, and any other unique serving pieces to celebrate the occasion. If you are hosting a winter solstice tea party, you can serve a fluffy white coconut cake on a crystal cake stand to achieve a snowy winter effect. Remember that a tea party wouldn’t be a tea party without quaint and lovely tea ware. Some popular tea ware patterns include pink Chintz roses, Dogwood, Christmas poinsettia and holly, bone china royal pansy, daffodil gardens, flower garden, English Chintz, blue Delphinium, purple violet, and vintage rose.
A warmer for your teapot is a good idea. You want to ensure that the tea stays warm, especially on a cool day. If you want to get super fancy, you may wish to include serving trays. Matching patterns are available for a consistent look.
If you plan on using a 3-tier server, arrange the scones on the top tier, savories and sandwiches on the middle tier, and desserts on the bottom tier. Place all forks or spoons on their corresponding plates and never lay a serving utensil on the tablecloth or table.
With any party, the type of lighting you select plays an important role in achieving a certain mood. To create a relaxing atmosphere, place a candle inside a votive candle holder and put it on each table. The glow is subtle and creates a calm setting. Candles are an inexpensive way to add ambience to your party. You can also place a candelabra at the main table for that Victorian effect.
Another idea is to place some rocks at the bottom of a small vase, add an orchid, some water, and a floating candle, and then put it on each table. This looks absolutely stunning and is very dramatic. The orchid gives it a delicate look. You may also consider using candles that are shaped like a flower or an angel for that unique feel.
Another must have is place cards and place card holders. This is a wonderful way to make guests feel special. Place cards look lovely when set in a place card holder and are available in silver or gold motifs. Some darling place card holders are shaped like a teapot and are available in a porcelain or silver finish. This adds a special touch to your tea party.
Other important accessories include sugar tongs, a beautifully styled cake knife, a sugar and creamer matching set, lovely napkins, and the tea, of course. Some tea varieties to consider are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, Irish Breakfast, chamomile, blackberry, lemon zest, peppermint, lemon verbena, black tea, and green tea. In addition to serving tea sandwiches and scones, you may wish to serve tea cakes, tarts, or petit fours as a tea party compliment.
Favors are a lovely way to thank your guests for attending your tea party and make a special keepsake. There are many to choose from. Some ideas include miniature teapots and teacups, fragranced soap favors, candle favors that are shaped like roses and shells, favor tea bags, and miniature tea tins. You may also wish to consider teabag caddies and tea infusers as a party favor of choice as well as potted plants.
When choosing the favors, consider the theme. For example, if it is a summer luau theme, you may give each guest a lei. For a winter solstice theme, you may give each guest a star or a moon made of metal or paper. If it is a spring fling theme, give each guest a flower. For Valentine’s Day, give each guest a red heart.
Types of Tea Sandwiches and Scones to Consider Serving
• Apricot Ham
• Bacon and Egg
• Chicken Salad
• Deviled Egg
• Goat Cheese and Watercress
• Pineapple Nut
• Prosciutto Melon
• Smoked Salmon
• Tuna Salad
Scones (can be topped with preserves or Devonshire cream)
• Banana Butterscotch
• Cherry and Blueberry
• Chocolate Chip
• Maple Oatmeal
Tea Party Etiquette – Mind Your Manners
Tea party food is generally eaten in the following order – scones or muffins, then sandwiches followed by sweets. Try to take small bites even if the whole sandwich or dessert item is small enough to fit into your mouth. If you opt to wear gloves, do not dine with them on. Make sure you unfold your napkin and place it in your lap. If you must leave the table, leave your napkin on the chair.
If seated at a table, you only raise the teacup to drink (not the saucer). Ensure that you place the teacup gently back on the saucer. If you are not seated at the table, you may hold the saucer in your lap with your left hand and raise the teacup with your right hand. You want to return the cup to the saucer between sips. Never slurp tea and avoid dipping a scone in jam or cream. Take the scone and break off bite size pieces and then add the jam or cream to your plate. Also, scones are not to be eaten with a utensil.
Tea parties are the perfect way to bring family and friends together. There’s something soothing about conversing with wonderful friends and family over a steaming cup of tea. With these simple tips, your tea party is sure to be a hit.
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