High tea is a British tradition of drinking tea while seated in a high backed chair eating cold meats, vegetables, tarts and pies, bread and crackers with jelly and butter, between 5 to 7 in the evening.
Zzzzz … what a snooze fest!
Remember the famous tea party in Alice in Wonderland hosted by the Mad Hatter and the March Mare? There was tea, good food, fun riddles, and plenty of conversations to keep you entertained. Now that was a great tea party, wasn’t it?
Well, if fictional characters can have so much fun, why should we be content with a boring and conventional affair? Let’s spice things up a bit (or a lot), throw tradition out of the window (or the door – we’re not fussy like that) and do something fun.
Here are a few quick tips to help you host a high tea that will be the talk of the town.
1. Theme It Up
What’s better than a high tea with a scrumptious spread laid out in front of you? A high tea that has a kick-ass theme behind it! Ask your friends to come dressed in retro-style clothes. Throw a Disney princess party (if it doesn’t feel too teeny bopper to you). Turn the afternoon into a book reading session. Screen some black and white classics and dress up as your favorite diva. Solve a murder mystery together in a Miss Marple style. Organize a treasure hunt and hide small takeaways from your friends. Everyone’s going to have so much fun, they’ll never want to attend another boring tea party ever.
2. Nothing Like Good China
Now that the theme is decided, choose your crockery accordingly. Are you going for a Mad Hatter themed tea party? Find some quirky crockery with bold prints. If you’re going in for a vintage theme, pick out some classic china pieces, while plain white or black crockery will complement a modern, minimalistic decor. And if it’s Indian regality you have in mind, pick up a set with gilded gold design and traditional motifs.
3. Venue, Venue, Venue!
The living or dining area is generally the room of choice when you’re hosting a high tea, but where’s the fun in following the rules? We urge you to step out of these rooms and be daring enough to explore the garden or the backyard. How about the balcony overlooking the park? By your swimming pool? Or the terrace – under the blue sky and the fluffy clouds? We’ve even heard of people having high tea in their attics. As long you as you have the imagination, almost any setting could be made idyllic enough for high tea, right?
4. Don’t Forget The Décor
While we agree that the food and the tea are the high points of the high tea, it’s important that you pay attention to the decor as well. Bring out those dainty crochet doilies or the golden glitter ribbons, Change the curtains. Add some balloons. Hang up the fairy lights. Arrange flowers tastefully around the house. Because when the ladies get together for the afternoon, the place has to look like paradise, right?
5. Keep Plenty of Refreshments Handy
A good host should never run out of refreshing drinks. But instead of sticking to a variety of teas, consider other options as well. Juices, lemonades, sparkling sodas, and mocktails are some alternatives you might want to consider. However, don’t go overboard. A couple of extra options should be enough. Also, instead of spending the evening pouring drinks for your guests, set up stations from where they can serve themselves.
6. Finger Food Is Very Good
When it comes to the menu, it’s best that you stick to food that is bite-sized. Don’t make the mistake of preparing heavy food that requires your guests to sit down and use forks and knives. Bite-sized sandwiches and burgers, potato wedges, avocado on toast, cookies, macaroons, muffins, and scones are some great choices for your high tea menu.
Also, don’t forget to balance out the sweet and savory offerings. You may be tempted by images of high tea spreads with nothing but sweet treats, but your guests will tire of it very soon. So plan your menu in a way that you don’t end up giving your friends a sugar rush.
On a parting note …
At the end of the evening, say goodbye to your friends with a nice keepsake. It doesn’t have to be anything expensive or extravagant. It’s the thought that counts. A box of macaroons, a small jar of homemade jam, a bottle of your famous sauce … these are all interesting gift ideas to wrap up your high tea, and put a smile on your friends’ faces!