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Volume IV
January 31, 2014

Weekly Home / Cook'n & Eat'n

Tea Time Anytime!

By Whitney Saupan

It seems like tea time is on the rise. It could be, in part, due to the popular show "Downton Abbey"; it could also be because tea time is fun. Whether you want to have a formal tea time, with white gloves, fancy dresses, and pinkies raised in the air, or a less formal party, with finger foods and fun times, there are a few things that you'll need to make your tea time great!

The first thing you'll need to do is choose a time for your party. Traditionally tea is served between 11:30-12:30 (late noon) or early afternoon around 3:00-4:00. Really though, anytime you choose will be fantastic.

Next you'll need to make sure you have some guests so send out some invitations. Whether you want to have a formal or informal tea party, sending out invites just adds to the fun. You're guests will appreciate the gesture. Be sure to include what kind of attire is appropriate. You don't want guest showing up over or under dressed!

Once you've invited your guests and decided on a time the next thing to do is get supplies. You can decorate however you'd like. Some people like to go vintage with lace doilies and all of that good stuff. Some people like to keep it simple. Whatever you like don't forget the tea cups, a strainer, saucers, utensils and napkins, and of course tea pots!

Deciding what to serve can be kind of difficult. Again, it kind of depends on when you choose to do your tea time. Some tea times are seen as in between meal snacks, so the food is lighter with more of a brunch feel. If you're going to have replace a meal, have more choices or more substantial snacks. Either way, finger foods, like little sandwiches and cookies are always a good choice.

You've done everything you can to prepare; now it's time to enjoy. Before your guests get there, get the tea boiling (unless you're having iced tea); time it so that it'll be ready as soon as your guests arrive. Once they've arrived, escort your guests to the table and enjoy chatting and catching up!

Now that I've given you some guidelines, or suggestions, I'll share with you the tea party I had with my nieces. (See picture above). To this day it was probably one of the most fun things I've ever done.

We decided to have our tea time around lunchtime. I invited them over by calling my sister and personally talking to each one of my nieces. They thought I was a little strange, but accepted my invite.

I now had to decide what to offer my guests. Because my nieces were 8, 11 and 12, I decided to go with a simple menu filled with sandwiches cut into cute triangles, vegetables, a fruit salad, chips and a range of cupcakes for dessert. We had Kool-aid instead of tea, but my nieces loved it.

The next thing I had to figure out was where to hold my tea party. I decided to host it outside under one of our trees. The table settings were a mix of plastic plates to very fancy teacups.

When my guests arrived I had everything prepared before hand and my mom brought it out to us. When they saw the table, my nieces got excited. They decided that we needed to act very sophisticated and have proper manners. My youngest niece, Syann, even decided that we needed to drink our Kool-aid with our pinkies up and that we needed to talk in British accents.

By the end of our tea party, my nieces were asking when we could have another one. I originally wanted to have a tea party because it was something silly to do, but after they talked about how much they enjoyed it, I realized that it had been a great bonding moment. And I can't wait until our next tea party!

So what was the point of me telling you this? Well it was to point out that the most important factor of any tea party is that it's fun. It doesn't matter whether it's fancy or informal tea party, if your guests need to have fun. It can be something simple, like my tea party, or more intricate like those on "Downton Abbey"! Go have a tea party!


Whitney Saupan
Weekly Newsletter Contributer since 2013

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