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Ideas for Hosting a High Tea Party
"Come and share a pot of tea, my home is warm and my friendship's free."
If you find yourself organising a kitchen tea or bridal shower, in most cases it would be for your best friend.
I found myself in this very position a few years back (Gill's best friend happens to be Pink Frosting founder, Kathryn Porritt)! I have to admit, up until then I had never been to a kitchen tea and so had no idea what they were or if there were certain rules to follow! Looking back on the whole experience, the best tip I can give you is to follow your heart! I know this sounds a bit corny, but you are the one who knows your friend inside out and therefore your inspiration comes from their favourite things.
If you want to have a theme for your kitchen tea, think about what your friend loves. It could be the beach, animals, music, cinema, etc. I knew my friend loved all things Italian and had dreamt of going to Italy for an Italian coffee in a cosy little Italian café. So here is where my inspiration lay!! It’s amazing how, once you’ve decided the theme, everything else seems to easily fall into place.
This was the start of creating a cosy Italian cafe with little round tables covered in tablecloths of greens, whites and reds. Tea lights lit the tables and lanterns adorned the walls and wooden railings of the stairs surrounding the café. A lighted sign announced the café and views of the water from the lake outside made it feel a little bit like Venice. I decided to decorate the opposite end of the room, with enlarged images of Italian streets and of Venice with gondolas. I also had an area where I had little ornamental round fruit trees in pots lined up to meet a fairy light archway. This almost looked like a formal Italian garden and was the perfect scene to crown “Miss Italy “ on her throne later on in the evening! I made my own silk sash to go across the bride- to- be, but you can now get a wonderful range of inexpensive, personalised sashes like the Future Mrs... silken ones from pinkfrosting
When I think of games for any celebration, I always think of the 5 human senses! Sound, taste, touch, smell and sight. It’s amazing how these senses can help guide you to invent great fun games!
- Sound - Chinese whispers is an old favourite and is such fun as the end whisper is so different from the original one and you all end up in stitches of laughter!
- Sound -Name that song – get a collection of popular music and play just a small snippet and get the teams to guess the song!
- Taste test game – Choose a food that the bride loves or in my case I made different coffees to see if my friend could taste them and pick out the Italian one! I had different varieties from Turkish, Australian and Hawaiian as well as the Italian blend!! Amazingly, after trying them all, she picked the Italian blend!!!!
- Touch - – blindfold each team member and get them to go up and touch items on a tray (these can be a collection of odd things from around the house or garden). They then have to go back to their team and write down as many things as they can identify.
- Smell – have 10 or 15 items that have different smells like scented candles, flowers, herbs, perfume, cheese etc!!! Blindfold each person and let them sniff an item and guess what it is!!
- Sight - Draw portraits of each other or have a flower arranging competition
There are of course many other games you can play to make it personal to the bride, like bride trivia and memory games or you can buy a great range of games like The Bride to be game from Pink Frosting.
All kitchen teas have to have little prizes for winning games and little keepsakes to send your guests home with. There’s a fabulous choice of inexpensive gifts and favours to choose from now.
Here are just a few ideas:
Gifts for the bride
Sometimes it can be hard to think of something to bring the bride- to- be a little gift for her kitchen tea.
A few thoughtful ideas could include:
Also, if you are the one organising the bridal shower, when you send out your invitations, a nice idea is to send each guest a decorated note card, upon which they can put a favourite family recipe and perhaps a little message for the bride. On the day, collect all the cards and mount them in a decorated binder to be presented to the bride as a homemade recipe book. It is a thoughtful and personalised keepsake to be enjoyed for many years.
Try and link the food in line with the theme. For my Italian theme, mini pizzas, biscotti and crusty herb baguettes with mozzarella were just a few kitchen tea treats which we enjoyed.
Traditional high tea
A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards. ~A.A. Milne
As A.A.Milne, the author of “Winnie the Pooh” said, if you are going to do a high tea, do it properly, and Pooh would know!!!!
- Mini sandwiches cut into triangles and strawberry shortcakes on layered cake stands always give a beautiful traditional high tea flavour and now, serving and making the table look special is so easy to do with pinkfrosting’s "Very British" high tea range.
- Also you can try baking a very traditional “Regency Queen cake”- a moist cake studded with fruit and flavoured with rosewater and almonds. Rosewater and almonds were used in medieval times and throughout the Regency period and bring a unique flavour to the table. Serve it with your silver cake server together with nice hot cups of tea from a fine bone china teapot to really give your guests a posh high tea experience!
However you celebrate, the most important thing is you are having a fun afternoon enjoying the company of good friends. Also, it is the most satisfying feeling in the world when you see your best friend’s smile, showing she has enjoyed every minute of her special tea!
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