April 11, 2013

It’s a Tea Party!!!

Posted in Other Events, Planning Tips and Information tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , at 8:15 am by JBEvents

Invitation to a Ladies Tea.

Invitation to a Ladies Tea.

 

There is nothing quite so elegant as a Ladies Tea.  There are so many variations/types of Teas, each carrying with them their own sense of tradition.  Of the most popular, English and Russian, the reasons behind the “tea” varied as well as the formality of the tea.  A “High Tea” is actually a full meal  that occurs in the evening – although that is not always what occurs with an Americanized version of High Tea.  A “Low Tea”  also referred to as an Afternoon Tea is the most common style and what is typically offered.

 

Limoges Tea Set

Limoges Tea Set

 

According to Sheila, Your Tea Party Guide, she has a website that provides a multitude of information on Teas including history behind and helpful hints.

Depending upon which type of Tea you plan to have, there are several things to keep in mind.  If you are keeping completely with tradition, your menu should follow the type of options:

For your high tea menu, it will consist of several courses. Similar to any other ‘main meal’, sit-down dinner, it can be casual or formal and can consist of the following courses:

  • Appetizers
  • Soup
  • Rolls/Bread (Different types can be served throughout the meal)
  • Salad
  • Fish
  • Meat
  • Vegetables
  • Desserts
  • And several nice hot pots of tea!

finger sandwiches 80thHighTea London-Fortnum-Mason-Afternoon-Tea

Low tea party your menu will look like this:

  • Tea Sandwiches
  • Savory Scones ~ Scones seasoned with herbs, cheese…
  • Other Appetizers
  • Plain Scones served with Clotted Cream
  • Sweet Scones
  • Other Tea Breads ~ Banana, Zucchini…
  • Tea Cakes
  • Cookies
  • Sweets
  • And a nice hot pot of tea.

A low afternoon tea party can be set up to have all food available on a three-tiered tray, laid out on a buffet, or can be served in courses.

The courses are served in this order:

Savories: Tea sandwiches, seasoned scones, and any other appetizers.

savory-scones-22 tea-sandwiches-sl-1821015-l

Scones: Plain scones, sweet scones, other tea breads.

sweet scones chocolate-chip-banana-bread Chocolate-Chip-Scones-Food_com-95315-161670.card

Sweets/Pastries: Tea cakes, cookies/biscuits, confections.

cupcakes-flowers-high-tea-Favim.com-362930

 

cookies023002

 

The Low (Afternoon) Tea is certainly easier to put together and is more appropriate for a get together of some special friends or a Bridal or Baby shower.

Just as there is a certain order to the serving of the items for a tea, there is also a certain order of preparing a scone (tea biscuit) for eating.  There are primarily two different variations of this, the Devon or Cornish.  If you are observing a traditional Tea, knowing the proper method of fixing your scone is important.

If you are serving a Devon tea, you will serve scones split in half (plain with no fruits, nuts or anything added to them and never frosted), with Devonshire clotted cream then strawberry jam on top… in that order!

Devonshire Scone

Devonshire Scone

Or…

If you are serving a Cornish tea, you will serve splits(a sweet yeast roll) or scones, split in half, with butter, strawberry jam, and then a generous scoop of Cornish clotted cream on top… in that order!

Cornish Scone

Cornish Scone

 

Here is a delicious recipe for Scones.

 

Scones from Kellys Konfections

Aunt Ginna’s Legendary Cream Scones

Yield: ~12-15 scones (depending on size)

Ingredients:

Organic, unbleached pastry flour- 3 1/2 c

Baking powder- 3 1/2 tsp

Salt- 1/2 tsp

Bakers’ superfine sugar- 1 tbsp

Unsalted butter- 1 c (2 sticks), cold, cut into quarters

Eggs- 4, cold

Heavy cream- 2/3 c

Sour cream- 2/3 c

Flavoring (see note)
Directions:
1. Sift flour, baking powder, salt and sugar. Place in a huge food processor with butter chunks. Process until mixture resembles and feels like coarse meal, less than 1 minute.
2. In a separate bowl, beat eggs, heavy cream and sour cream. Stir in flavoring. Add mixture to food processor.
3. Mix together until dough forms a soft ball. Scoop dough out onto a sheet pan covered with parchment paper. Sprinkle with sugar (optional). Bake at 350 degrees F for ~20 minutes, or until golden and cooked through.

Flavoring
Vanilla scones- 1 tbsp vanilla extract
Lemon scones- 1 tbsp lemon juice, 1 tsp lemon zest
Raisin scones- 1 c raisins, 1 tsp cinnamon

Tea and scones from Kellys Konfections Kellys Konfections scone with jam and cream

 

You can purchase the Devon Double Cream or Clotted Cream from some specialty Tea stores, or you can even order it online:

http://www.englishteastore.com/british-store-cream-tea.html?gclid=CLiu8I_fwLYCFQWpnQodYRkAgQ

Clotted Cream Devon cream

In our world today where we have seemingly drifted so far away from manners and etiquette, having an opportunity to bring back something so steeped in tradition is a welcomed escape.  Why not plan a Ladies Tea for your next special occasion!!  We are able to assist in the planning of this or any type of social celebration.  Contact us for Innovative Concepts for your next event!!

scones with jam and cream

 

 

Janice Blackmon Events ~ A full-service event planning firm offering a variety of packages so clients can determine the level of assistance they need!  Our philosophy is that with our assistance, your event will be flawless!!!

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