Monday, 23 July 2007

Afternoon Tea, Hints and Tips (not necessarily PG)

1. Send out invitations, stating date, time and place. Obvious really. BUT, 2 people came up to me the week before and apologised for missing the event. I explained that it was the next week and they then came. 2 people arrived at 1.45pm apologising for being late because the invitation said 1 o'clock (it didn't, it said 3.30pm).

2. Initially I decided to hold the event outside in the garden but remember this is an English summer so don't ask more people than you can accommodate indoors. Hopefully they will all RSVP and by the day before the "Tea" you should have the number of people you are catering for.

3. Drinks. Have a selection of teas: one standard everyday blend, something a bit more unusual and a herbal/fruit type. I had an everyday Fairtrade mix, Lady Grey and peppermint. If the weather had been hot I had planned to do home-made lemonade and have done iced tea in the past. If possibly have more than one kettle for boiling water as invariably you get a rush for tea all at the same time. Even more importantly have a lovely daughter or friend who you are able to trust to be in charge of the tea making,

4. Food. Sandwiches and Rolls, a selection of about 5 types in various breads and rolls. See menu below. It's good to have a vegetarian selection and serve them off a separate plate. Estimate about 4/5 portions per person unless they are growing young people and maybe more like 6 per person. I think smoked salmon is essential as it's a touch of luxury and cucumber as it's traditional. Anything else as suits you and your guest. Cakes, the best bit! I served scones with clotted cream and a choice of two different jams. A selection of about 5 sorts. I suggest one fruit, cake, one Victoria sponge and then a selection of whatever takes your fancy. If possible include some cakes that can either be frozen or last well to save you having to make everything the day before

5. Lay the food out on a table covered with a nice cloth or clean sheet and arrange the food on a variety of plates and stands of various heights, sizes and shapes.

6. If you have some bunting handy, as I'm sure most of you do, use it to decorate your house or garden. Put some kind of sign up on your front door just to help people find your house.

7. Often people like to bring a small gift with them and it is quite commonly flowers, so it can be useful to have a bucket close to hand to put them in.

8. Enjoy!


A choice of teas:

Lady Grey
The House Blend
A selection of sandwiches in various breads and rolls:

Cream Cheese
Egg and Watercress
Ham & Mustard
Smoked Salmon
Devon scones with clotted cream and jam

Lemon Drizzle
Coffee Victoria Sandwich
Chocolate & Beetroot
Saffron Fruit Loaf
Banana & Chocolate
Bunty’s Biscuits

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