Posts Tagged ‘idea’s for afternoon tea menu’

Take Time for Tea - A quite Splendid Vintage Afternoon Tea Party

The best laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley

Ah, the marvellous British weather! I adore the quotation from Scotland’s famous poet Robert Burn’s in his 1785 poem “To a Mouse”. It absolutely captures the essence of managing unpredictability, when plans famously go askew. And after weeks of sunshine, my best laid plans of  sitting in a marquee surrounded by a warm breeze and gently fluttering bunting is gang aft agley!

The marquee on the lawn has to be abandoned, but only after the assembly crew have almost expired laughing at their own ineptitude. It is too chilly and the wind is turning the marquee cover into a kite that quite capable of launching you into the sky. Practical lesson number one – you can never know what the British weather will throw at you, so do have a contingency plan. My contingency – Turn the house into a tea room!

Beautiful Vintage Tea Cups are perfect for Afternoon Tea

Vintage Tea Cups are the just the Perfect inspiration for a Vintage afternoon Tea party

Vintage Tea cups are just so beautiful and so versatile! The original designs of these gorgeous bone china cups are quite the perfect foil to inspire a vintage afternoon tea party!

Fabulous beautiful vintage cups

A Vintage style Afternoon Tea Menu’s signal the delights to come

The design of the Afternoon Tea menu enhances the vintage theme, beautifully decorated with ribbons and gorgeous fabrics. Alluring descriptions of the delights to come, including the tea to be sampled, add interest and create a talking point, although none is needed!

The tea served is from Northern Tea Merchants and is brewed to perfection:

Classic Blend – A bright, full bodied blend of Rwanda, Assam, Ceylon, East of the rift Kenya, picked at the height of the season

Rose Congou – An aromatic flavoursome black china tea blended with rose oil and delightfully mixed with rose bud petals

I adore Famous Tea Quotes!

The addition of a famous tea quote is an ingenious idea. Quirky or thought-provoking, it adds to the vintage atmosphere. I love this one from Henry James, The portrait of a Lady

“There are few hours more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea”

Enchanting Idea's to create an enticing Afternoon Tea Menu

Fill Tea cups  with Beautiful Flowers

Beautiful country cottage flower style arrangements of soft lime green Alchemilla mollis with aromatic lavender, flowering purple thyme and pink hydrangea look  absolutely exquisite on the white linen covered tables. On a practical note, do use oasis to secure the arrangement. These floral tea cups are also a handsome gift, and for our charity afternoon tea event, the lovely flower filled cups were cheerful raffle prizes.

Summer in a Tea Cup - Fill Vintage Tea Cups with pretty flowers

Tea cups filled with Rose Jelly and Summer Fruits are an adorable sweet treat

Charming,  elegant and delicious, tea cups filled with summer fruit and rose scented jelly was an adorable sweet treat. The idea is a sophisticated extension from children tea party but it is quite simply genius – everyone loved the concept. Do generously fill cups with a mixture of summer fruit. Imagine strawberry’s, raspberries, red currants and blueberries magically suspended in a pale pink jelly delicately flavoured with rose. A rose petal completes the elegant sweet treat.

No Vintage afternoon tea is complete without a tantalising selection of Cakes, with marvellous scones, Jam and cream

The Vintage afternoon Tea is an indulgence, a treat, a feast for the senses and palate. With a bewildering choice of  tempting cakes including cup of tea cake, millionaires shortbread, melting moments, lemon drizzle, plain and chocolate butterfly cakes, as well as gorgeous scones, the pleasing dilemma was what to choose. As the ideal situation is to sample a little of everything, so do make the portion’s on the small side, so it is very feasible to sample everything!

Atmospheric 1940s melodies drifts throughout the house

The Glynn Miller big band instantly transports the afternoon tea party to another vintage era, a nostalgic time, the tunes the echo of war, where time together was precious.

And Tea Cups for the Tea!

The electic mix of china, with virtually each cup unique, is an enticing and engaging aspect of afternoon tea party. The chinking of spoons on china is such a distinctive noise, the adorable mix of china cups and saucers signal the afternoon tea is splendidly vintage.

Eclectic mix of china cups just perfect for Vintage Afternoon Tea

A Quite Splendid Vintage Afternoon Tea.

There is an intrinsic ceremony to taking time for tea. It creates such a nurturing, intimate environment, and we all need to belong, to connect, to be interested in each other. A Vintage Afternoon Tea party allows the perfect time for exploration of those needs. Afternoon Tea feels like a real treat, and evokes another era when interactions were precious. Tea with Mary Kate’s wish for this post it that it reminds us that this is still so.

As well as the conviviality of sharing afternoon tea, the other aim of this tea was to raise money for the very worthwhile cause of Help for Heroes, and my huge and grateful thanks go to Betty, Tish & Pearl for their talented and quite wonderful support for the event.

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We all need to belong, to connect, to be interested in each other. Easter Afternoon Tea allows the time for exploration of those needs.

It feels like a real treat, it evokes another era when you dusted off your best crockery. There is an intrinsic ceremony to the event and all it takes is a few simple up front preparations (or quite frankly, you can cheat and buy it all in!).

Afternoon Tea with a beautiful retro 1950s tea set

Easter Afternoon Tea is a wonderful indulgence………

I remember as a child my grandmother having a beautiful plate to serve the soft lettuce, and freshly cut bread onto which would be spread lashings of butter – it really did taste like nothing I have ever had since! Afternoon Tea is an indulgence, not only a feast for the appetite – stacks of gorgeous sandwiches, savouries, cakes and tea of course – it also a feast for the eyes – and there is a gift in its beautiful presentation, but the act of just doing it is all important.

Tempting Easter Afternoon Tea Treats

Tempting Menu Idea’s for Easter Afternoon Tea

I recently came across the delightful Mrs Beetons Household Managements book. If you’ve never read it, it a really insightful step back in time, to the issues and challenges that faced the middle class house wife. I admire the inspiration for its creation, namely that Isabella Beeton could not abide to see waste and mismanagement. One of my favorite sections is on sandwiches, and I can honestly say that I have never quite seen as many options for filling that is provided by the resourceful Mrs Beeton. Now, our taste for anchovy & haddock may have waned, but I think it’s an inspiring look at some forgotten options that it would be good to resurrect. My eternal favourite is egg mayonnaise and cress, with the secret ingredient, garlic salt, it makes them divine! The ubiquitous cucumber sandwich is synonymous with all that is afternoon tea, and really easy, so I would include these too (Mrs Beeton even has advice to avoid soggy bread, p945). I also love salmon and I’ve recently discovered trout, with its earthy taste, rather lovely. A few savouries like scotch eggs and pork pies are also good. I do make home made mini quiche, again, if you want to make it really easy, buy in the pastry. I always include onions that are fried in olive oil with salt and pepper,  and a dash of thyme. I adore pineapple and cheese on sticks as well but would include a fresh fruit salad for an alternative to the cakes.

Ok, so I know that it’s traditional to have a simnel cake for Easter, but I’m going to be rebellious and suggest a delicious Lemon Meringue Cake, a Nigella recipe. And although you’re thinking, ooh, that looks tricky, I promise you,trust the instructions  and follow exactly, and it will turn outlook and taste fabulous! I made it this week in a trial run and there was not too much left!

Gorgeous lemon meringue cake from Nigella

Make a Gorgeous Cup of Tea Cake to enjoy for Easter Afternoon Tea

If after all that encouragement you’re still not feeling brave enough, then make “Cup of tea cake”. This is incredibly easy, and I guarantee will work out and taste delicious. It’s from a 1970s farmhouse fare cookbook that I had in my Christmas stocking as a child, and I’ve always loved it, because the receipts were collected from country house wives by farmers weekly and gives such insight to “country life”. I’ll spare you the receipt for Jugged hare, but let me know if you wish to see it and I’ll happily sent it:

Cup of Tea Cake – from Mrs Asquith, Harrowgate

4oz butter

1/2Ib mixed fruit ( currents, sultanas, candied peel)

1 cup tea

1/2 Ib self raising flour

4oz sugar

1 teaspoon each of bicarbonate of soda and mixed spice ( the secret ingredients that make it fabulous!)

1 egg

Melt butter in a pan, add fruit and tea. Bring to boil and simmer for 2 minutes. Cool. Sieve dried ingredients, add boiled mixture and egg, mix well. Bake for 1 1/4 hours at gas mark 4 in a 7in tin. Spread with butter and serve with lashings of hot strong tea.

Enchanting and Connecting Easter Afternoon Tea Inspiration

Tea with Mary Kate is all about inspiration for seemingly ordinary events, and turning them into wonderful connecting experiences. This Easter gives us the opportunity to do just that, time to love generously. My wish is that this has encouraged you to enter into the spirit of the moment, and indulge your creativeness to home bake and create an enchanting Easter afternoon tea.

And Tea with Mary Kate has even more Inspiring Afternoon Tea Ideas:

Agatha Christie Inspired Afternoon Tea

Glorious Welsh Afternoon Tea

Rose Inspired Afternoon Tea

A Quite Splendid Vintage Afternoon Tea

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