We spent the better part of a week planning our perfect tea menu, but there is one final step in our party preparations; setting the scene.
For full effect, set the table with proper linens: a freshly pressed tablecloth, and proper cloth napkins. Add a jug of fresh garden flowers for casual elegance.
As I have mentioned, the dainty tea foods are often served on a tiered serving tray. The nice thing about this style of service, apart from not having to jump to and from the kitchen as you move from the sandwiches through to the desserts, is that it makes for an impressive presentation.
This is a classic, yet contemporary example of a tiered serving tray from Pottery Barn.
An interesting and somewhat whimsical alternative is to stack a variety of mis-matched cake stands, such as these from Williams-Sonoma.
To serve the tea, fine bone china teacups with saucers, if you can find them, are best suited to the occasion. If you can, raid your granny's attic. My bet is there is a treasure trove waiting to be discovered, dusted off and put once again into service. Teacups are also very easy to find at garage sales and local flea markets and can often be picked up for a song. I even managed to find some vintage teacups on etsy, such as this incredibly pretty one in the shop, daisygerl. Isn't it pretty?
Add milk pitchers, a honey pot, a saucer of lemon wedges, and a bowl of sugar cubes. If you want to go all out, try colouring your own loose sugar, simply by adding food colouring one drop at a time to a portion of sugar. Mix thoroughly and continue adding food colouring drops until you are satisfied with the resultant colour. Otherwise, shop for fancily decorated sugar cubes, such as these found at Elan7253.
Now, run your fingers through your hair, don your best apron and smilingly open your door to your guests.
Finally, enjoy the experience. Pinkies up.
Hope you had fun.