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How to Plan a Small Event: A Tea Party for Adults

27 August 2017

One thing about any event, big or small. You need good, solid planning. There are far too many things to remember, even if you have a brain like Einstein, so you have to make a list – or lists.

The world of event planning is hectic but also very rewarding even if the event you are planning is small, like a birthday tea party for an elderly relative or a kiddies party or a corporate focus group.

Planning a Tea Party

When we think of a tea party we usually think of a formal British style event like in Downton Abbey with beautifully dressed ladies, bone china and pinkies in the air.

As the custom has evolved, tea time is usually scheduled from mid to late afternoon. It’s a between meal snack that is a lot more elegant with tea and coffee or cakes and pastries. A Tea Party does not have to be expensive or large once you work out how many people you can fit into your chosen venue and decide how much you want to spend.

  • Choose a dress code – even for a small tea party it can be fun for guest to dress up, but “comfortable” is also ok.
  • Create invitations – you can phone, text or email guest, but why not pop into the Craft section of one of our stores and look at the beautiful paper, pens and paints and make your own.
  • Make sure your guests don’t have any dietary issues before you buy the food.
  • Select your table ware and table decorations. Beautiful paper serviettes are a thoughtful addition as are cake/cupcake stands. If you don’t want to use your own crockery, investigate some high quality paper plates.

What kind of tea are you going to serve? Maybe you would like to serve a few different kinds or even make loose leaf tea in a teapot? The most common are Earl Grey, Darjeeling, and Green Tea. You could always serve some fruit-flavoured tea or mint tea to add variety and keep your party interesting.

Don’t forget to ask each guest how he/she would like their tea – people can be very picky about strong vs weak tea and how much sugar and milk to add. Remember to provide honey and lemon slices for those who don’t take milk. (Don’t forget to buy or borrow a few teapots if you are going to brew tea)

Don’t forget the coffee. Even if this is a tea party, many people prefer coffee.

Afternoon Tea Party

An Afternoon Tea Party is suitable for many celebrations. When you’d like to host a party that isn’t as involved as a dinner party, a tea party can be the answer. The food is prepared before your guests arrive, and is either presented buffet style or by passing plates of goodies at the table. The only thing you need to serve is the tea itself, leaving you plenty of time to relax and enjoy your guests.

What Food to Serve at a Tea Party?

The time of day that the tea party takes place and the guests will influence the food you serve. A few sweet and a few savoury snacks like cupcakes, muffins and pastries or scones and quiche. This totally depends on your budget and the palates of the guests. Many people like to serve more substantial bites like small samosas, sausage rolls and sandwiches.

What makes a tea party really extra special is how you present the food and drinks. If you have a large party or a small table, you may arrange the food buffet-style and have the guests stand or sit in your living room or garden. If you have space to seat your guests around the table, place the food in the center of the table, or divide each dish among multiple serving platters to make it easy for everyone to reach.

Place an elegant arrangement of flowers at the center of the table.

Then relax and enjoy your guests. The endless conversation and stories over soothing cups of tea and delicious snacks is something that everyone enjoys.

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