I’ve got one in MY future for sure! My costumed historical events group (Somewhere In Time, Unlimited) based here in Seattle, Washington (USA) decided to have a holiday tea party this year and the best part, we don’t have to clean up! We decided to hire the famous “Queen Mary’s Tearoom” to host the event. Folks participating are encouraged to come in costume or hat/festive attire, but we discourage hoops simply because of the size of Queen Mary’s. See my little website for the details!
Additionally, I belong to a wonderful Yahoo.com group called Victoriantimes-US. There, a lovely woman named Valarie posted out her suggestions for hosting your own tea party. In case you can’t find the Yahoo group easily, I am pasting her suggestions below. Thank you in advance, Val, for doing a GREAT job of making the planning and prep work for a tea party easier on all of us!
Have a WONDERFUL Thanksgiving! Here are Valerie’s comments:
“Here are a few things and thoughts I had recorded from my tea
SERVING PIECES-CHINA, ETC, NEEDED:
For each guest: China: dessert plate, tea cup & saucer. Tea spoon,
Serving pieces: Serving plate each for sandwiches/scones/desserts/fruits,tea pot, creamer and sugar, sugar spoon or tongs,small bowls for jam, cream, lemon slices [serving
spoons for each]. Doilies to put on the plates under the food.
Tea pots: One large 6-8 cup pot per 4 people. Drip catchers for
Tea kettle, or urn for larger groups. I have an electric kettle so I don’t have to use the stove.
Large tea tray to carry things out if needed.
Cookie sheets with a sheet of parchment paper to heat up scones. A nice touch is to put cuttings of rosemary, lavender, or fresh flowers on each of the food plates. Be sure they’re non-toxic and washed.
Here is my method for serving amounts of food:
I serve one square/finger/circle of bread or 1/2 mini croissant, to
each person of each sandwich. One whole sandwich will serve 4
If I’m cutting a larger design out, like a flower, I only use one
slice of bread, and make it openfaced. But obviously that uses up
more bread. I normally make 4 sandwich spreads.
For quick cutting, use an electric knife!
So if I’m serving 12 people, I make 3 sandwiches of each spread.
(3 x 4 sandwich squares = 12) If I’m cutting fingers, I can only get 3 sandwiches out of it. ***So look at your sandwich and think 4 (or 3) cuts x 3(or4) sandwiches will feed 12 people.**** I’ve started to like using mini croissants from Costco, as long as they’re not too
dry, and I cut them in half. I’m putting the curried chicken salad
in them. No crusts to trim, so less time to prepare. Empty cream
puffs would be good for filling too.
I use different breads for each sandwich and each brand seems to
have different amounts of slices in them. So I have to keep track of how many slices are in each brand. I mostly use thin sliced bread, but use regular if the brand doesn’t come in it.
Desserts are harder because I don’t have as much
control on the amounts of ingredients. I use some packaged mixes,
like brownies, to make my double fudge chocolate circles. If I use a
tea bread mix, it makes too much for small groups. I usually end up having leftovers of desserts but hubby doesn’t mind that. And he’ll take all the leftover sausage rolls I can squeeze out. I keep a
record of how much each recipe or packaged mix makes so next time I don’t have to depend on my memory if it’s enough.
(Some of the cookies I just freeze and use for next time, so that in
the long run is a savings on time and money.
If you’re going to do this often enough, I highly recommend keeping a small notebook with notes from each party of how much each recipe/package made, and how much leftovers. Some things they eat more of, and less of others. I also keep sample receipts of costs of the items from the grocery stores. If one item is going up in price, I may decide to use something else instead. When I do small groups, 8 or less, I have much more leftovers because no matter how little I make, they can’t eat a whole package of brownies.
Then I always have this shopping list saved, and check off the things I’m going to make, and then what I need to buy for them. It makes it easier to have this sitting on my counter to work from every single time.
Scones jam clotted cream lemon curd
Sausage rolls pesto pinwheels Ritz crackers w/ crab salad or
Sandwiches– curried chicken cucumber & tomato w-dill butter
deviled ham egg salad w/ grn onions/celery/herbs de provence
lemon curd roast beef w/ apple-chutney
Fruits– apples dipped in choc strawberries grapes celery w/ p-nut butter
Tea bread– lemon poppy seed cranberry-orange
Desserts– Trifle cream puffs Norwegian molasses cookies choc-raspberry bars,
lemon bars strawberries (choc dipped or w/cream)
frosted almond cookies mini tarts (banana-
lemon-pecan) pecan squares
magic cookie bars gingerbread orange-
cranberry bread *Chocolate torte*
Chicken ham spread eggs sausage pastry sheets
lemon curd jam cream puffs cucumber celery green onions
lemon fresh dill tea bread butter mayonnaise walnuts/almonds molasses sugar cubes milk whipping cream sour cream
carrots celery w/ p-nut butter grapes strawberries
BREAD- croissants brown white egg
Hope this helps. Val”