If you want to celebrate, or even just hang out with your friends and loved ones, there’s nothing better than a tea party. Not only can people bring their kids so they don’t have to worry about getting a babysitter, but tea parties are nostalgic, attractive, vintage-themed and an opportunity to incorporate a lot of fun. Here are some tips on how to throw the perfect tea party at your house…
Consider Your Occasion
First of all, there’s usually a reason that you’re throwing a party, so it’s important to make sure that you focus on that. A tea party is perfect for any sort of shower, particularly a baby shower, when the expectant mother definitely wouldn’t want to be going out to celebrate in any bars or staying out too late into the night. They’re also perfect for bridal showers – as you know, the real decadence before a wedding usually waits until the bachelorette weekend, so a tea party is a perfectly elegant contrast to the wild night that’s still to come. A tea party can also make for a great birthday party – if you want to celebrate your birthday or a friend’s birthday, but you want to create an occasion that people can bring their families to, there’s nothing better than a tea party.
Consider Your Guests
If you’re throwing a party for someone else, it’s absolutely vital that you invite the people that they want you to invite, so make sure that they give you a list beforehand. Depending on how formal the tea party is, you could print up invitations or simply send around a group email, requesting that they RSVP to let you know whether or not they’re coming. If the guests don’t know each other particularly well then why not lay out place cards so that people don’t clump together in their friendship groups? You could also play a game when everyone arrives to break the ice, like twenty questions.
Consider Your Decor
Depending on the occasion of your tea party, the details of your decor may change. If it’s a baby shower for a friend who’s expecting a baby boy then you might go for pale blue banners and for elephant motifs; if it’s a family birthday tea for your teenage daughter then you could go for bright jewel tones to make it an occasion to be remembered forever. But underneath those big details there are always a few things that you could keep constant. First of all, keep an eye out online on sites like eBay and at thrift stores for any pretty plates and cups that you could buy – there’s nothing as cute as mismatched china with different prints on it to add a quirky touch to any tea party. Finally, go for a real cloth tablecloth in a delicate floral pattern, along with banners and streamers. If the weather’s nice enough to hold your tea party outside, incorporate nature into your decor by picking wildflowers to hold in jam jars as table centrepieces.
Consider Your Refreshments
Let’s face it: the absolute best thing about a tea party is the refreshments. There’s nothing that feels quite as refined as sipping from a bone china tea cup with a scone waiting to be nibbled on beside you. Provid a couple of different types of tea – there’s English breakfast for anyone who isn’t willing to go very far out of their comfort zone, fragrant Earl Grey and Lapsang Souchong, or even refreshing organic matcha tea for anyone who wants to be more experimental. At tea parties, delicate finger sandwiches are always a good call – buy fresh fluffy bread and cut the crusts off smoked salmon, cucumber and egg mayonnaise sandwiches, adding garnishes at the sides. Buy a selection of attractive cakes and pastries, like gateau slices, pastel coloured macaroons and delicate small chocolate eclairs.
Consider Your Conversations
Finally, it’s time to make sure that everyone gets talking and that they all get along. If it’s a kids’ party or if a lot of your friends have brought their children, then why not hire a magician to keep them occupied? There’s absolutely nothing like balloon animals to fill children with absolute joy and to keep them happy while you and your friends talk to each other. If your party is themed, go for party games that go alongside the them – if it’s a princess tea party for your small daughter then why not buy cheap white t-shirts and have her and her friends draw pictures of what they’d like their princess costumes to look like on them? You could also get them to colour in superhero capes and butterfly wings.