Ok, so following on from the first post about putting on a Vintage Tea Party, here is a Tea Party spread we put on for a baby shower. I will admit the expectant Mother didn’t really get the whole tea thing but we said ‘You’re having a baby – let us have tea!’ and I think she’d agree that the afternoon went brilliantly in the end.
I think sometimes younger people think tea and tea parties are for the older generations, but ‘vintage’ is a big trend at the moment and I think people of all ages are bringing back the glamour and creativity of this tradition. Tea is back! We also have a few more things at our disposal now, meaning we can put a modern twist on it. At the same time, ‘modern’ doesn’t always mean we want to spend a lot of money and tea parties can be done either on a budget or more lavishly if you choose.
Tea Parties like these are perfect for a range of gatherings, such as the baby shower, Fundraising, Mothering Sunday, birthdays or just for fun, all due to their social and mostly feminine nature (what’s a party without dressing up and chatting!). They’re also a good way of celebrating National events such as the Royal Wedding and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee because of their traditional English history.
There are a few places you could put on a Vintage Tea Party (apart from on Tea Street!); in your home or out in your garden in good weather, hire a venue such as a local hall, in the park in the style of a picnic or in a marquee or bell tent if you are putting on a sizeable production. For the baby shower we used our garden and put the table underneath a gazebo to keep the heat off the cakes! Otherwise, I’d suggest just eating all the cakes really quickly before they melt!
For the tea itself, I always say to serve a well-rounded black tea as this will suit most tastes and will go wonderfully with cake. I’m a fan of M&S Gold Loose Leaf black tea and use it in a large teapot so it goes round everyone. It’s also worth having another choice of tea for the more adventurous person, and for the baby shower I went for the very pretty ‘Jing’ White Peony and Rose tea that I bought from their website. Since the rose is the English flower, it went brilliantly with the Vintage Tea Party theme and these had actual rose buds in them, which I took advantage of by using a glass teapot. It’s also very light and refreshing. I think next time I’d like to find a good Iced Tea recipe too, so watch this space!
The fun bit of a Tea Party is the knickknacks you can use to decorate, from the teacups to table decorations. Our vase/flowers didn’t last long though because the wind took it out so I’d definitely recommend a heavy vase or one low to the table – and maybe not glass! We also used vintage teacups, which I love and have been passed down from the family (so ask Gran). If you don’t have this option there are companies that hire out vintage crockery for your day so check google. Also charity shops are good places to find tea sets or even exciting one-offs, which is good for mixing things up a little and I think I prefer this to a uniform set. I’ve found some lovely tea accessories in charity shops and they’re often commented on for being individual since you can’t just go and buy them in the shops. I will post more on this soon.
Last but not least, tiered cake stands look lovely for Vintage Tea Parties, which can take a mixture of sandwiches and styles of cake, such as the ever-popular cupcake! Single cake stands can also be used for whole cakes such a carrot cake and Victoria sponge and are so classic. I’d also consider checking for any specific dietary requirements from your guests beforehand.
Anyway, I hope you’ve found this inspirational and feel free to share your own ideas!
The Vintage Tea Rooms on Tea Street.