By Absolutely Filipino Magazine
Photos by Gigi Grey Ricarse
“To eat is a necessity, but to eat intelligently is an art.”— La Rochefoucauld
A few years ago, my girlfriends and I went to a local cruise ship in Vancouver with the theme “High Tea on the high sea.” As far as I can remember, that tea experience was great. We had different mini-sandwiches, scones, and of course, mini-desserts. My friends were from London so high tea wasn’t even a new thing for them. So I just followed what they were doing. The four-hour cruise made the tea party experience more lavish and glamorous.
This year, Absolutely Filipino Magazine decided to have another high tea experience and we are going tell you how to plan it in detail. If you’ve been our regular reader, you might recall how much we value our planning. This particular step is so important and one of the keys for a successful event. We also did some research about its origin and history as well as the difference between afternoon tea and high tea. It was so interesting that you even have to follow some rules and etiquettes.
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It is a must to know the tea party course order because not all tea house is putting the food in the right and proper order. The lowest layer of the three-tier serving tray should be the savouries and tea sandwiches, the second course is the scones with the jam and cream, it’s known as clotted cream or Devonshire cream and the last course will be the sweets. The sweets could be mini-cupcakes, tarts, macarons, etc., depending on what you want or whatever is on the menu of the tea house. Some tea house can allow you to upgrade your tea experience by adding some sparkling liquor like champagne, prosecco and mimosa. They also developed some tea party specialty that suits the taste and needs of the younger people.
Anyway, this is all you need to know when throwing a tea party with a twist.
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Venue. Like any other party, a perfect place has a big part in the event’s success. You can do it in your own house or a tea restaurant with private tea rooms if you have many guests. As I mentioned earlier, you can also do it while on a cruise or even in the luxury hotels.
By having it in your own place, you will be able to control your budget. You can limit the costs of food like sandwiches and desserts. But you need to have a good set of teapots and teacups as well as other accessories for a tea party like a three-tier silver tray. By the way, teaware rentals are now available locally in the Vancouver area. You can also ask your guests to do bring your own (BYO) teacups. There is nothing wrong with that.
Guests. Depending on the purpose of the party, the selection of the guests to be invited will be decided based on that. What is the occasion? Do you want it to be intimate or open to the public? As much as possible, we would love to have a tea party with our closest friends and family, right?
Invitation. Make sure to invite at least 4 weeks before the event. The invitation should answer the questions what, who, when, and where. If you’re up to dressing up and making it fancy, feel free to include it on the invitation. If there is a cost, it’s important to let them know and ask to RSVP.
Food and Drinks. You can make your sandwiches and baked good items at home. Or you can simply buy it from a bakery. But if you’re having the party at a tea house, then you don’t need to worry about anything except for the costs of foods and drinks. There are many kinds of tea that you can buy from the supermarket or specialty stores. In our case, at the tea house of our choice, we chose a plethora of fruit-flavoured teas with fancy names that I couldn’t even remember.
Outfits. We always want to be simple, but why not put on a nice outfit, hats or even fascinator? We have to remember that the tea party is now associated with class and elegance. Once in a while, there is nothing wrong to be sophisticated as long as it’s within the specific theme. I have even seen people wearing flower crowns, too. And that’s what we opted to do.
Tea party experience is supposed to be fun and delightful. So allow yourself to indulge in delectable food while enjoying the company of your good friends. According to M. F. K. Fisher, “sharing food with another human being is an intimate act that should not be indulged in lightly.”
I hope you like our tea party ideas. Feel free to share your experience with us. We are always open to new learning and opportunity. If you have any suggestion, don’t hesitate to contact us.