I love the fact that I’m 25 years old and obsessed with tea parties. I wasn’t even into them when I was a little girl. I would rather make mud pies and run around barefoot. Now that I’m a married woman, I love the idea of cute little tea parties whenever I can have one. My bridal shower was a tea party, my baby shower was a tea party, my sons first birthday party would have been a tea party if my husband hadn’t put his darn foot down.
There is just something about them that makes you feel very… Stupendously elegant.
I mean I’m all about steaks, burgers, huge sub sandwiches and mashed potatoes, but when a bone-china teacup hits my hand, I sit a little straighter and my pinkies get a little higher.
So of course I immediately busted out my china tea cups my mother-in-law gave me, when my friend Nikki came to me asking if we could throw a little surprise get together for our friend Angela for her birthday. I started planning immediately in my head. I wanted to keep it more simple and light, since people would have eaten dinner beforehand. To have a nice party, it doesn’t need to be overwhelming. The famous saying of “less is more” definitely qualifies here. Quality over quantity is our motto.
The menu for the evening was:
Meringues (the recipe found here)
Fresh ripe strawberries
Crisp green grapes
Sartori, Balsamic Bella Vitano® Cheese
Food Should Taste Good Brown Rice crackers
French press coffee
Black, and Jasmine tea
It was a perfect combination. The strawberries were perfectly sweet. The grapes were refreshing. The cheese was smooth and creamy with just a hint of sharpness, and the crackers blended it together amazingly. A match made in heaven. The meringues were the icing on the cake, giving us just enough of a quencher for our sweet tooth. The coffee and tea of course made the party, and we sat in flowing conversations with our dainty tea cups in hand.
A sublime night.
To set a dinner party table, variety catches the eye and makes your gaze bounce from item to item. Height is a major part of this. Different heights adds dynamic and drama. Different patterns and mis-matching are making their headway in this world as well. Everywhere I go I see shabby chic and vintage inspired items. I. Love. It.
My decor was inspired simple by what is in my house. I have inherited a lot of antiques from my grandparents, and search high and low for good deals at flea markets, thrift shops, antique markets, yard sales and estate sales. The wooden candle sticks are from my Grandmother who passed them to my mother, who I “borrowed” from. Sorry Ma, I don’t think you’ll be getting those bad boys back. A substitute for your own party would be glass candle sticks from the dollar store and paint them. Be bold and go for a sunny yellow to liven up the table! It’ll draw in the eye immediately.
Platters are everywhere, and you can find them for great prices. White always compliments food and gives it a minimalist feel. We bought our platter from Home Goods for less than $20. Our silver stacked serving tray we have on hand for the weddings we cater. A great alternative (that I myself am in the process of collecting), is old style plates (blue dutch delft plates are a favorite) stacked with the glass candlestick holders, again from the dollar store, glued together, sandwiching the plates. The design would conform with almost any color palate.
The flowers are from my hydrangea bush in front of our house. You can never go wrong with hydrangeas. They have body that fills up a vase quickly, and gentle colors that work awesome with any scheme or theme. The vase I bought was from Kohl’s on clearance around Christmas time, but a blue ball mason jar would give you a similar quaint look.
China tea cups are at almost every garage sale. I put a cap price on $2-$3 a set. Unless you really like the design, they’re common enough to find them for a low cost. Mismatching is great too! My friends had a blast walking around to figure out which design they liked best to have as their setting.
Add a little candle light and twinkle lights for ambiance and you’re ready for the Queen of England. Alright, maybe that’s a little overzealous… Maybe Kate Middleton.
Alright, it’s your turn! Lets see what dinner parties you’ve come up with!
The Everyday Chef and Wife… Mostly the Wife this time…