Well! I’d say the tea party was a resounding success, despite a few minor setbacks!
Friday night I went all over the place to pick up the final ingredients and such for the main event. I visited a number of bakeries, cheese mongers, florists and grocers to get everything I needed. By that point I was so exhausted I got myself a pad thai and a taxi home :S
I spent Friday night setting up the table, the flowers & decor and prepping some of the foods for the next day. I got the chicken salad successfully curried and… well… now that I look back I think that may have been the only food-related thing I got done, aside from washing the fruit. Next time around I will definitely prepare more ahead of time!
I totally could have done the minted cream cheese for the cucumber sandwiches, and pre-rolled all the asparagus spears in smoked prosciutto. Thank goodness for helpful friends!
My new pal “Hattie” came over early to help me set up, and boy am I glad she came! Despite waking up early to get things done, I was still scrambling at the last minute. I put her to work slicing bread and applying delicious, delicious cream cheese while I got the asparagus and cucumber ready.
We went along at a clipped pace until I realized that we had already passed my “3pm SHARP!” arrival time for guests. Ruh-roh! This is one of the few times I was glad my friends were tardy! Hattie offered to finish the sandwiches for me while I went to get dressed.
It was then that I realized that I had completely forgotten about the focal point of my tea party: THE SCONES!!!! Chaos ensued while I got up to my elbows in butter and flour to whip a batch out before everyone came. Good thing I did the practice run last weekend!
After a hasty mixing session I was shooed out of the kitchen in order to dress myself. When I popped out Hattie and another gal pal were finishing everything up in the kitchen. I love my friends! Pulling me out of the fire at my own party and all that…
Finally, everything was pretty much done, and we got down to the business of socializing like the wonderful, civilized ladies we are! The scones turned out beautifully, by the way
Now, everything in a tea party is about the details and little touches, so I offer you:
My menu consisted of the following:
- Fresh-from-the-oven sugared scones
- An assortment of homemade jams (plum, apple butter & raspberry…except the raspberry wasn’t homemade. Oh well) plus double Devon cream which was a total bitch to find, but absolutely necessary in my cream or low tea
- An assortment of petit fours I picked up from the local boulangerie
- Cucumber mint sandwiches
- Smoked prosciutto and asparagus with honey mustard sandwiches
- Curried chicken salad sandwiches with apple & cranberry for a kick+colour!
- About 20 different types of teas, from traditional to rooibos to the exotic!
- Fresh fruit
- A special liqueur plus champagne drink recipe I brought back with me from Europe
- The main table set with delicate china, flowers, ornaments, bowls of jams & creams and my very special handmade Italian tablecloth I picked up at a traditional lace-making school in Venice
- A buffet for the food
- Flowers and decorations throughout the room
- My cat. Decorated. With a pink bow. She’s awesome.
The only details left to mention are the fashion and the meaning behind the tea party. Stay tuned!