how to host a tea party?

Here are some ideas for tea parties. If you've got any others, let us know.

a traditional english high tea party

To be held indoors, in the drawing room, and it was Miss Scarlet with the lead piping... no wait a minute, that's us getting confused. For your traditional high tea, we'd suggest:-

- English breakfast tea

Some sandwiches, cut into triangles, with the crusts cut off
- Cucumber
- Ham
- Tuna


- Butterfly buns
- Scones with clotted cream and jam
- Shortbread
- Eccles cakes

- A lovely, big tea pot - Matching cups and saucers - A milk jug and some sugar cubes - A cake stand and doilies - Napkins - Cake forks

garden tea party

Outdoors in the sun, on wrought-iron furniture, at park bench, or by the local lake, where you can feed the ducks at the same time. For your garden tea party, we'd suggest


- Iced tea with lemon, or an iced fruit tea. Ice cubes, slices of lemon, and sprigs of mint optional

Some hearty sandwiches made with crumbly fresh granary bread, on big plates or wrapped up safe in crinkly greaseproof paper
- Ham and pickle
- Cheese and tomato
- Hummus and roasted vegetables
- A big bowl of green salad, with a balsamic vinegar dressing

- Some fresh strawberries, locally picked, with double cream and buttery shortbread

- If you're in the park, a cheerful plastic picnic set, a thermos for keeping your tea cool, a picnic basket for food supplies, and a good big garden rug
- If you're at home, you can dress this up with proper plates and silver spoons for the strawberries

a tea party for autumn or winter season

One to have in front of a crackling fire, whilst cold winds whistle outside your windows. When the air's full of mists and hail and blowing a gale, take shelter indoors and conjure up some comforting scents for family and friends in your kitchen.

- Some strong-brewed traditional blend, something hearty and malty like Assam

- Buttered toast and crumpets, sandwiches made with hard boiled eggs and chicken, the aim here is to make the Famous Five (link?) jealous

- Hot sponge pudding, parkin, jam roly-poly, something made with suet and served with custard that will have been baking in the oven to perfection whilst you've been wolfing down your savouries

- A good sturdy teapot and your favourite mugs (this one is not about being dainty). Best served at a wooden farmhouse table, with oak beams above you and a spaniel underneath the table to feed scraps to.

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