I love Spring time. It’s the time when I get to plant my herb garden and flowers. It’s when we start hearing baby birds chirping. It’s when the trees grow full and green again. It’s when my home starts looking alive and warm. But most importantly, it’s when I get to start hosting Spring time Tea!
Let’s talk about Tea Parties. My favorite event. There’s something wonderful about putting on a pretty dress and sipping happiness from a delicate cup. Tea parties make it easy to gather around a table and talk about all happy things. The thought of a tea party intimidates most people. They think it’s too complicated, too fancy, too expensive, too hard. It’s not! It’s such a fun way to get together with your girlfriends and have a wonderful time. I’ll make it super easy. I’m going to go through a step by step process for hosting a brunch tea party, including some sample menus.
Step 1. Pick a date.
Typically I’ll do a Saturday morning about 11am about 3-4 weeks out. You can always do a different day, depending on the schedule of those you want to invite.
Step 2. Send the invites.
Invitations can be as fancy, or as simple, as you want them to be. They can be paper invitations snail mailed, or e-vites emailed out. You can even put together a Facebook “event” and invite guests that way. Don’t be afraid to ask for RSVP. I encourage always asking for RSVP. This is how you will know how many places to set, how much food to prepare, and what you’ll need. I ask invited guests to respond at least 7-10 days prior to the event.
Step 3. Will there be a theme?
If not, skip this step. Themes can come from a book you and your friends are reading, a fandom, a particular celebration (bridal shower, baby shower, birthday, etc.), or an upcoming holiday. If you’re going to have a themed tea, then your food and decor will center around that theme. It’s important to establish if there will be one or not before diving too deep in the planning process. (TIP: You can go to the dollar store for some table decor.) Check out my Pinterest board for neat ideas on themed parties and teas.
Step 4. Plan out your menu.
Find a legal pad and write it all out. Don’t try to put a menu together in your head. Write out several options for each category of food you want represented, and then narrow it down to the best options for your time and budget. Typically I’ll serve 2-3 kinds of each of the following: Savory egg or meat dish, fruit dish, and scones/bread dish. Also keep in mind, your menu does not need to be entirely from scratch. Serving mini pancake stacks? It’s definitely alright to buy the frozen bag of mini pancakes at the grocery store. Save yourself time and the headache when you can. I will be including three sample menus specifically for brunch teas in this post. They are just examples and can be switched around and substituted as desired. Also, all of my drink recipes will be non-alcoholic, but feel free to alter the recipes to your liking.
Step 5. Purchase necessary items and groceries.
I usually do my grocery shopping 2-3 days out. I want the food to be fresh, and I don’t want it taking up a lot of extra space long-term. There are some basic items that I always keep on hand, but specialty foods and ingredients will wait to be purchased until 2-3 days before my event. I try to pick up the things I will need for decorating at least 3 days in advance. I will map it all out and make sure I have what I want so I have time to make another run if something was forgotten. Undoubtedly, there will always be something that you forgot. It happens to me every time. It’s ok. It won’t ruin your party, and I promise no one will notice unless you say something. (TIP: Be sure to set a budget for yourself before you go out shopping. Trust me.)
Step 6. Set up you party the night before.
Do yourself a favor and set your table the night before your event. This will save valuable time in the morning as you make last-minute food preparations. Take out your china and do a quick rinse and dry so that the dishes are free of dust and spots. Bring out the kettles that you’ll need for boiling water and the strainers you’ll need for steeping tea. (TIP: If you live out in the country, you can placed the cups upside down on the plates so they don’t gather dust overnight.
Step 7. Take time for you.
The morning of your tea, take some time and put yourself together. You want to feel confident when you’re hosting, so do whatever you need to do to feel good. Makeup or no makeup, hair up or curled, pretty dress or pants, jewelry or none. It doesn’t matter, as long as you’re well-groomed and feel confident. Hats are certainly an option, but not a requirement.
Step 8. Finish preparation and welcome your guests.
Mix up your drinks 1 hour ahead and fill your ice bucket. Start setting out food and boiling water to steep tea 15-20 minutes ahead of guest arrival. When guests arrive, take their jackets and purses to a guest room and show them where the restroom is. Time to get your party started!
I’m looking forward to my first Spring Tea of the season and I hope that this guide gets you excited as well! I’d love to hear you questions regarding an event such as this, as well as any tips and tricks you’ve discovered along the way. See the links below for sample menus to spark your creativity! Good luck and happy Spring!