Send out formal invitations for tea, on special stationary, handmade cards decorated with doilies and pressed flowers, and addressed to each individual particularly. Its nice to get something special in the mail in amidst all the bills, and will make your afternoon tea more of an event.
Ask your friends to bring some projects along when they come for tea. Someone may be sewing a quilt, someone may be scrapbooking, or writing cards. Nothing passes the time more pleasantly than tea, busy hands and friendly conversation.
Have everyone bring their own cup to tea. You will find that most women have a fine china teacup and saucer handed down from a relative in the family, and the stories they bring with them can be shared in a delightful afternoon of reminiscence.
Along the same lines as this, host a family tree themed tea party – set your table with an heirloom quilt instead of a table cloth, use your grandmothers china, and something for the centerpiece that reminds you of her, such as a vase she loved or some other object. Invite your sisters and cousins, and have everyone bring an old photograph to spend the afternoon reminiscing over, and straightening out that old family tree.
Have a hat-party along with the tea party! Ask guests to wear a hat to tea, whether old or new, for a bit of dress-up. It’ll give you a chance to wear that fabulous vintage 1930s feathery one you picked up at the thrift shop, or a new cap you purchased at the mall last week.
For something out of the ordinary, maybe to celebrate an event, or simply the summer solstice, have a moonlit tea after dark or during that magical dusk. Candles will accent the table, and the low lighting will set the mood for a real heart-to-heart.
Add some flavours to the afternoon. A Lavender scented tea party is a wonderful way to relax. You can adorn the table with lavender flowers, and decorate with light purple trim. Lavender flowers can even be used as an ingredient – try baking them into a shortbread cookie, or scenting your whipped cream with it. Just pour the cream over the blossoms and let sit overnight. Whip the next day and use on your scones. Cinnamon is a lovely flavour to add as well; have your guests stir their tea with cinnamon sticks, and bake apple crisp with cinnamon topping.
The possibilities are as endless as your imagination, for hosting a special tea party. Please comment with your own ideas!