In this age of Twitter parties and Google hangouts, the notion of a tea party might seem old-fashioned. In fact, when I Googled the phrase "Tea Party", the first page of search results consisted entirely of links to organizations, people and subscribing to a part libertarian, part conservative (and 100% cray-cray) political ideology. But attending a tea party must surely be one of the true simple pleasures in life. What could be nicer than getting together with friends over a cup of tea, for no other reason than to get together? In the hopes of preventing the tea party from going the way of stenographers, rotary dial phones and video cassette recorders, I've decided to post the perfect recipe for hosting a proper tea party:
The primary requirement for a tea party is tea, for obvious reasons. PG Tips, Tetley or Twinings are all highly recommended, but if guests are underage, then apple juice makes a delightful substitute.
The list of allowed savory refreshments include cucumber, salmon or watercress sandwiches (slathered with butter, on white bread), quiche and leek or onion tarts.
Sweet treats include scones with clotted cream and lemon curd, fruit tarts and fairy cakes.
That's right, fairy cakes. Any proper English tea party guest will tell you these are not cupcakes, these are fairy cakes.
Serving English brands such as Tetley tea and Cadbury's chocolate lends an air of
Entertainment options include gossiping (especially about celebrities and royalty) and games such as badminton, lawn bowls or croquet.
If, at any point, your guests decide to shed their starched shirts in favor of waterproof gear and Bring On the Water Guns, then simply abandon all preconceived notions of what a tea party should look like, go with the flow, and inform your guests that water fights are perfectly acceptable -- as long as they Do Not Soak the Hostess.
As I said in the beginning, a tea party is about friends gathering together for no other purpose than being together -- and if water fights are your cup of tea, so be it. At least they adhered to another important rule for a successful tea party....pour without spilling and keep that pinkie up!
Disclosure: Thanks to Blue Bunny and MomSelect for providing Cadbury's ice cream bars and party favors for my tea party. The views and opinions expressed here are my own.