First guests start off with dainty finger sandwiches, such as cucumber sandwiches or salmon salad sandwiches. Always use a lemon fork and never use your hands to pick up a lemon slice. This allows for extra hot water to be poured in the cup. Everyone can mix and mingle as they sip their favorite teas. Introducing "One Thing": A New Video Series, The Spruce Gardening & Plant Care Review Board, The Spruce Renovations and Repair Review Board. This can be a good general rule applied to anyone who is hosting or is the guest of honor. Get kid-friendly recipes, fun activities plus parenting tips delivered right to your inbox. It can also be a great opportunity for casual conversations with friends, as well as networking within the business community. ;). You may also choose to have some small tangerine slices available as well. via email as well. When it comes to lemons, slice the lemons whole. That person has probably put quite a bit of work into organizing everything, and she thought enough of you to want you there. It is best to handwrite the invitations, using your neatest handwriting. Afternoon tea is a tradition that dates back to the 1840s. An integral part of an Afternoon Tea experience is the inclusion of freshly baked, … In such a case, you should mail out or hand-deliver the formal invitation. Finger sandwiches are displayed, with the crusts of the bread neatly cut off, on the bottom tier. Small creamers and sugar bowls should be scattered around the table, making it easy for guests to reach them. Some have been known to serve afternoon tea as early as 2:00 pm. Bigelow , for instance, suggests two to four minutes for black tea, and one to three minutes for green tea. Some of the favorite party teas include Darjeeling, jasmine, peppermint, green tea, and black tea. Starting with the bottom half, apply a small amount of jam followed by a small amount of clotted cream or whipped cream. In essence, instead of a three or four-course tea meal, it just includes one. In England, afternoon tea is typically served at either 4:00 pm or 5:00 pm. Whether you decide to have a birthday party for a friend, host a bridal or baby shower tea party, or you just want to host a tea party to get together with your pals, there are some things you need to know. This allows the guest plenty of time to possibly adjust their schedule in order to attend. The tradition began to take root with people of all social classes. Have someone tell the history of tea parties. For strong tea, pour the tea no more than 3/4 full. Years ago is it true that tea was only filled halfway up the tea cup? In some cases, such as entertaining royalty, one is not supposed to eat or drink until a member of the royal family, such as the Queen of England, eats or drinks first. Scones are displayed on the second tier, followed by pastries and desserts on the upper tier. When served a scone, there are some things to remember. Typically, this involves only small finger sandwiches and does not include all of the sweet treats. Celebrating Mother’s Day with an Afternoon Tea. If your tea has an expiration date then it's just for best quality, not safety. However, there are some basic manners and etiquette to follow when it comes to tea time whether you are hosting or attending as a guest. Sugar cubes are preferred for formal tea, whereas sugar packets may be used with informal tea gatherings. I’ve akways been told and have reward in other etiquette books to break the scone - never cut. Great article, well researched! Don't forget to thank the host for the event. Never shake the sugar packet. To leave before the guest of honor is considered rude unless the guest of honor lives at the location the afternoon tea is held. It is a good idea to offer a variety of teas. A cold punch is always a welcome addition. In some casual, informal occasions, you may use teabags. High tea was actually a time when the working class who usually worked hard labor jobs, such as factories, mines, and fields, would come home from a long day very hungry. Loose tea leaves are nice but not necessary. If someone at the table prefers weaker tea, pour theirs first. It is also worth noting that it is etiquette to send a written thank you card to the host/hostess within two days after the event. Lacy or appliqued tablecloths are perfect for tea parties. Then set the sugar packet neatly on the side of the saucer. This isn't a time to dress like going out to the club or a night on the town. This Is How Each Zodiac Sign Hosts a Party, How to Plan a Classic Fourth of July Barbecue, 25 Ideas for a Farmer's Market Themed Party. You may also use loose sugar with a sugar spoon. For larger scale, less personal events — think cocktail party, New Year’s Eve blowout or other big bash — it’s acceptable to make an appearance, then jet after an hour. If you include an R.S.V.P return postcard, consider already having a stamp affixed to it to make it easier on the guest. One lump or two? Most tea parties don’t need special entertainment because the conversation will keep guests busy. Although foods served at afternoon tea are supposed to be finger foods, if you are serving desserts that require eating utensils, make sure you have the proper dessert forks as well as knives and spoons. For large events, it’s easier to make a pot of tea and drop tea leaves (or a few tea bags) in the tea pot, rather than having everyone make their own. To use the term just makes one sound silly and will clearly show that the person knows nothing of tea time etiquette or history. For example, my grandmother would have us fill no more than 2/3 of the cup. A great way to display this is by using a rectangle serving tray with sugar cubes in the center and small jars of honey at both ends. The reason why this is important is that if you prefer lemon, or orange, in your tea, you allow the slice to sink to the bottom of your teacup.

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