Hands up; who loves a good tea party? Cucumber sandwiches and Earl Grey tea, pink lemonade and cup cakes, jelly and ice cream......just writing all that down makes me want to get the picnic blanket out and set a tea party up in the garden right away.
If you're looking to throw a tea party this summer, here are some top tips to make it the best party yet.
Get your vintage tea cups and tea pots (you'll need more than one), plates and bowls, napkins and doilies, cutlery and cake stand out of the cupboard. Check you've got enough. If not, you can pick some great china up from charity shops or ask to borrow from friends or family.
When and where?
Indoors or outdoors? Home or local park? Spring or Summer? These all depend on the weather, how much space you've got and how easy it is for people to get to the tea party location.
If you'd love nothing more than to have a big tea party at your local park but are uncertain because of the changeable British weather, have a back-up plan. Choose a park that is close to home. Tell everyone where, when and what to bring. If the weather makes a change for the worse, have a plan B - back to your place! Just make sure you've cleared up at home, so that it's an easy transition to an indoor party.
You can really go to town with this and even have a theme or you can keep it simple, it's entirely up to you. For a classic tea party, get some pretty bunting, flowers and candles. You could even have fairy lights weaving around your plates and teapots. Depending on whether you're having an indoor or outdoor party, you could think about having lots of pretty throws overlapping each other, with plump cushions dotted around and a vintage radio singing along in the background.
Remember to serve different types of tea, including caffeine free. Pink lemonade is a classic, which you could serve in kilner jar drinking glasses, with stripey straws. Think about having a bottle of bubbly on ice or in a cool bag if you're heading to the park.
There are so many lovely ideas for a gorgeous spread of food that you could be eating it up for the rest of the week. So, make sure you've got a good balance of savoury and sweet, as well as vegetarian, vegan, and gluten free depending on who's coming. Also, make your guests aware whether they need to bring anything and essentially, what. You don't want to end up with loads of cup cakes and not enough sandwiches. No one would complain but hey, you want this to be the perfect party!
Foods to consider having include: sandwiches, quiche, savoury parcels, sausage rolls, crips and dips, cup cakes, biscuits, scones with jam and cream, and jelly and ice cream. If you're having an outdoor party, especially at the local park, make sure the food is easily portable and isn't difficult to eat while sat on a picnic blanket.
You don't necessarily need any entertainment because the tea party itself will be full of chatter and merriment but here are some ideas if you fancy more than just cucumber sandwiches.
To go for that full on Victoria/vintage style party you could have a game of croquet, charades or blind man's buff. You could even get everyone to come dressed up in vintage style clothes. For a kid's party you could play musical chairs, pass the parcel or a tea themed bingo. Another idea is to put a collection of 1940s music together and have a tea party dance.
If you need more inspiration, I've also created a tea party Pinterest board full of gorgeous ideas for table decor, recipes and beverages. Head over here to have a look and enjoy that tea party!