Tea Parties are so in style!

At Richoux, in London.

At Richoux, in London. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Be sure to click on each of the links below to see elegant pictures of items for tea parties.

Afternoon Tea… Low Tea…High Tea… Many caterers, party planners, tea rooms, hotels and protocol and etiquette “experts” are confused  on the time of day for each type of tea party.  Below explains the difference between Elevenses, Afternoon Tea, Low Tea, High Tea,and Dinner.

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ELEVENSES–  Morning coffee hour in England similar to afternoon tea, however it is held before noon and is unlike a brunch. Instead it might consist of some tea cakes or biscuits with coffee or tea.

AFTERNOON TEA OR “LOW TEA”  –  An Afternoon Tea  can be given for bridal or baby showers,  retirement parties, a birthday or graduation parties, in honor of visiting friends, new neighbors, anniversary party, a housewarming, entertaining business clients, fund raising events, graduation, holiday, post-wedding, just catching up with good friends, or as fun way to teach children etiquette.

The three basic types of Afternoon, or Low Tea:

 

ROYALE TEA– A social tea served with champagne a the beginning, or sherry at the end.

CELEBRATION TEA- Another variation of afternoon tea with a celebratory cake which is serve alongside the other sweets.

HIGH TEA– A meal eaten in the late afternoon or early evening.   A true high tea, is a a light elegant yet full evening meal served between a light lunch and late dinner.  American hotels and tea rooms, unfamiliar with the tradition,  incorrectly refer to afternoon tea as “high tea” offering tidbits of fancy pastries and cakes on delicate china.  In reality “high tea”, or “meat tea” is dinner with heartier fare, consisting of  at least one meat or fish, potatoes or vegetables, bread and butter  complete with an assortment of teas and a dessert, such as a cake or trifle.

DINNER– Dinner is the evening meal served  at the end of the day.

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WHAT TO SERVE: 

  • Teas, such as green, black, Earl Grey and herbal teas. Accompany with cream, sugar, artificial sweetener and lemon slices along with a choice of iced tea, lemonade and ice water.
  • Pastries, such as scones, biscuits, croissants, petit-fours, cupcakes and sweets
  • Finger sandwiches.  (Suggestions: Egg Salad, Cucumber and Cream Cheese, Chicken Salad,  Smoked Salmon,  Ham Salad, Marmalade, Tuna Salad, Watercress and Goat Cheese, Cucumber Mint) Many times the hostess will choose to remove the crust from the bread.

Many in-store bakeries and delis have pastries and sandwiches available or will allow you to special order.

A Tea is a tradition of refinement and elegance so use your best– whatever it is: bone china, tea cups, tea service in silver, trays, cake stands, servers, tea caddies, tea strainers, teapots, tea tables flowers and linens to add polish and grace to the occasion.

Recipes for:

PICTURES:

An article I love:  tea and civility

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2 Responses to Tea Parties are so in style!

  1. Denise B. says:

    Oklahoma Tearooms http://www.teamap.com/states/state_OK_Name.html

    lifeseniorservices.org Feb 2013 also had a really great article on Dragonmoon Tea Company and Sugar Plum tea room (Drumright)

  2. T.D. says:

    Cream Tea- A simple tea service consisting of scones, clotted cream, (a thick cream, like a marriage of butter and cream ) marmalade or lemon curd and tea.

    Elevensies- Morning coffee hour in England

    Afternoon Tea- An afternoon meal, served typically from 2-4 pm, which includes the tiers of smart little crustless sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, curd, 2-3 sweets and heaps of tea.

    Low Tea- This too is an afternoon tea, but called “low tea” because guests are seated in low armchairs with low side-tables on which to place their cups and saucers.

    Royale Tea- A social tea served with champagne a the beginning, or sherry at the end

    Celebration Tea- Another variation of afternoon tea with a celebratory cake which is serve alongside the other sweets.

    High Tea- A meal eaten in the late afternoon or early evening, consisting of a cooked dish, bread and butter and tea. Families with servants often took high tea on Sundays so the maids and butlers time to go to church and not worry about cooking.

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