High tea parties are a great excuse to gather together your closest friends for a hens night, bridal shower, or even an elegant birthday bash, and celebrate in style!
A high tea is a lovely and decidedly feminine way to entertain and can quite easily be hosted at home. While tea parties might have old-fashioned connotations with rules right down to ‘don’t slice your scone’, these days – they can be enjoyed by all. The art of doing it properly doesn’t need to be stuffy, nor restrictive – but it does require some forethought, and planning. When people see that you’re hosting a high tea, they expect to see your efforts reflected in the decor, the theme and your selection of finger-food.
So, how do you get started planning yours?
Select a theme
Planning a theme can be one of the hardest parts of planning a high tea event. There are so many different directions that you can choose to take, and it can be overwhelming.
If you wanted to put a twist on a classical, and popular route – you could take a trip down the rabbit hole and throw a mad hatter’s tea party. Invite your friends to dress according to the theme by applying a quirky spin on the usual high tea dress code. Use mismatched tea sets, and colourful flowers. Sport an eye-catching hat, and some playful makeup for a look that won’t be forgotten. Write your name tags on a deck of cards, and offer a broad selection of strange and unique teas to serve your guests.
Tailor your outfit to suit the occasion with something elegant, but just as quirky as your chosen theme. Go for feminine and cutting edge with the Butler Voluminous Sleeve Dress by Ellery!
Alternatively, go for a more simplistic theme such as: pastels, florals, a garden tea party you can organise in the comfort of your own backyard, or a colour-coordinated one, where each guest is assigned a colour to dress themselves to suit. There’s a myriad of options to choose from, but be sure to get your theme together long before your invitations are sent out!
Where will you host it? In your backyard? Your living room? A friend’s place? A rented venue? A park? There’s a lot of options to decide upon, and this list ought to be narrowed down considerably after you’ve selected a theme.
Gather together your guest list, and send out your invitations with a dress code indicated upon it, along with dietary preferences so that you can put together your finger food ahead of time. Be sure to purchase champagne and wine to spice up the afternoon, because while tea is wonderful – a drink or two can never hurt!
It can be relatively easy to purchase inexpensive tea sets, and see if your grandparents happen to have a few old sets they don’t mind lending to you, some of those old tea sets are absolutely breathtaking and will be the perfect addition to your day.
Check the weather ahead of time if your tea party will be an outdoor event, and be sure to have a backup plan in case the clouds – or the rain! – decide to visit!
Plan your outfit
Of course, as the hostess – you have to dazzle!
With cooler months approaching, it’s the perfect time to rock autumnal colours. Muted shades and a more neutral colour palette will go perfectly with a high tea event, and full-length sleeves combined with mini-hemlines make for charming, timeless, and elegant ensembles.
Try our In the Mix Mini Dress by Talulah with its floral print, and carefree frills. Pair it with a simple pair of nude heels, understated makeup and simplistic accessories for a look perfectly suited to a garden tea party!
The Thea Lace Dress is another perfect choice. With a bodycon fit, this dress features a knee-length hemline for that perfect blend of sexy, and classy. Wear your hair down and pair it with some statement earrings for a touch of glamour, and a hostess’ confidence!
Prepare for your guests
Prepare your arrival drinks! Make sure the sugar and milk is on the table and ready to be poured as your guests sit down. Provide a variety of tea, and opt for loose leaf instead of bags for a more authentic and classic feel. If it’s a warm day, why not have some iced tea on the menu?
If you own a tiered cake stand, dust it off and set it on the table with your finger foods so that your guests can see just what’s on offer. If not, go for your best crockery, and make it special with lace doilies, folded napkins and nameplate designs personalised by you. Extend your table and toss on a pretty cloth.
Give your guests plenty of time to eat – a high tea is an event for a lot of small bites. Savoury and sweet go hand in hand, and of course – don’t you forget to mingle, and have fun!