how to host a tea party

**Okay, in retrospect, I would just like to apologize for how long this post is. Who knew I had so much to say about tea?

1. Set the date, create a guest list, decide on a time and location, etc etc.
This is the basic part, but of course you can get creative with it. I've always liked the idea of sending out invitations, but more often than not, my tea parties are so last minute that I just invite people in person (or create a facebook event....). You can also kindly request that your guests dress nicely, if you want.

egg salad and arugula on rye
scones with jam & clotted cream

2. Plan the menu! This is one of my favorite parts. As a rule of thumb, my menus usually include...

- Two to three different tea sandwiches. Depending on how many people you're expecting, you can make one item in large amounts and keep to this list. I always always have cucumber sandwiches , but I've also used egg salad, smoked salmon and tuna with bits of apple as well. The most important thing to remember is to use simple bread, cut off the crusts, and cut the sandwiches so they are small and dainty.

- Scones with clotting cream and jam. Ever since finding my favorite scone recipe, I've never turned back. One or two batches of this recipe can go a long way, especially if you cut the dough with little cookie cutters instead of making the larger triangles that the recipe calls for. As for the clotting cream, I have scoured the internet for the perfect recipe but I still haven't found the perfect one.

Nothing is like the real thing. But, as soon as I find something close, I'll let you know. In the mean time, I suggest finding an easy recipe online and serving that with your favorite jam.

- An extra sweet dessert or two. This can be anything, but I think it's most fun when you use desserts that are just really pretty. Mini cupcakesOne big beautiful cakeMuffins? Your choice.

we made placecards hahaha
tiers and teapots
pretty antique plates

3. Serve everything on the prettiest dishware you have.

- At my first tea party, I used my mom's antique teacup collection for everyone's teacups. Everyone had their own unique cup and altogether is was adorable. (You don't have to be nerdy like us and make place cards with fake royal titles).

Don't worry about whether things match perfectly or not. Mismatching everything just makes it all the more charming.

- Do you have plate-tier-thingy?
I don't know what this is actually called, buy my mom uses hers to store plates and in my apartment we use its different levels to hold our fruit. These are perfect for separating sandwiches when you have them out on the table. (I've seen them tons of times at thrift stores, too!)

- Make your own cake stands!
I'm sure that these cake stands might be familiar, because they were inspired by Olivia's lovely little cake stands. However, as a student on a budget, I went to thrift stores and found plates and bases to make my own. They aren't as fancy as Olivia's violet plate, but I'm proud of my little guys. Instead of only using candle votives, I also used an upside-down cocktail glass for one of mine. Thanks for the inspiration, Olivia!

laughing

4. Enjoy your tea party!
Curl your hair. Wear a pretty dress. Spend the entire afternoon sipping English Breakfast and munching on cucumber sandwiches. And take lots and lots of pictures, because tea parties always come out more beautiful than you could have imagined.