So I am pretty much in love with the idea of afternoon tea. Curiously, that delightful tradition never really took in post-Revolution America. Anyway, on occasion, though not nearly enough, I do love to throw a tea party. Due to my love of all things vintage and tea parties I am embarrassed/happy to say that through the years I have collected tea service for 30 people. (Anything worth doing is worth overdoing. Right???)
Back in May I was talking with my darling friend Kim, and we got to talking about tea parties. She mentioned that she and her friend Amy had been talking about having a tea party for a group of their friends from school. So I offered to host one at my house. It was quite enjoyable; the only person there that I had previously known was Kim, but by the time the guests left, I had visited and gotten to know a bit about six new lovely ladies in a very fun setting.
A white table cloth is just the thing for a tea party!
I love pink roses anytime but especially at a tea party!
The clear glass lattice plates I acquired at an estate sale last year (12 plates for $20 – what a deal). I wasn’t going to get them because I already have too much “stuff”. But now I’m glad I did, as they are just perfect for this type of occasion.
Tea Party Menu:
English Scones with clotted cream and jam, sugared grapes, chocolate éclair puffs, butter tea biscuits, strawberries infused with cream, cucumber sandwiches, and flower-shaped chicken salad sandwiches. And of course, tea! Peppermint, Turkish Apple, and Raspberry!
What I always say about tea parties: “There are just a few ingredients to make a tea party – butter, cream, flour, sugar, and a bit of fruit. And more butter and cream.”
Amy made these delicious and beautiful strawberries.
Aren’t they almost too pretty to eat?
These grapes were dipped in fresh lemon water and then in sugar. They were a bit sticky. I was mentioning this and one of the ladies said if you put the grapes in the freezer 15 min before preparing them the sugar wouldn’t melt. Brilliant!
Kim prepared these- have you ever seen such dainty chicken salad sandwiches?
These English scones are my mother’s recipe and they are delicious. My lovely mother also loves to throw tea parties and her favorite hobby is baking, so trust me when I say these are scrumptious!
Lulu’s Tea Party Scones
- 2 C flour
- ¼ C sugar
- 2 ½ tsp baking powder
- ¼ tsp baking soda
- ¼ tsp salt
- I cube cold butter-cut into small pieces
- ¼ C orange juice
- ¼ C cream
- 1 egg, beaten
- ½ C Cranraisins
Mix together the first 5 ingredients, then add the cut-up butter and blend with pastry cutter. Remember to mix enough, but not excessively, as over-mixing will give you a tough scone instead of a light and fluffy pastry. Next, add in orange juice, cream, and blend together; mix in cranraisens. Form dough into a single round disk about 1 inch thick. Coat the disk in milk and then roll in sugar. BTW, the original recipe calls for I disk cut into 8 pie shaped pieces. However, since there were soooo many sweets I made mine half the size. So I made two smaller disks for 16 mini scones. Bake at 400 degrees for 14-16 minutes, or until lightly brown.
Serve with clotted cream and jam (I used strawberry freezer jam). It is not always easy or convenient to find real English clotted cream; here is a great substitute:
- 6 oz. (room temperature) cream cheese
- 3 Tbsp powdered sugar
- 1 tsp vanilla
- 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream
Beat first three ingredients together with an electric mixer. Once mixed, slowly add the 2/3 cup heavy whipping cream; continue mixing while adding. Refrigerate for 2 hours before serving.
The true beauty of a tea party isn’t just about the fancy dishes, silverware and dainty food, but rather, the pleasure of enjoying the association of good (or new) friends and sparkling conversation, accompanied by a simple cup of tea.