Hosting a tea party is such fun! I have some great ideas to help make your party a success with menus, napkin folding and table settings, and different tea party ideas.
Once you have decided who to invite, it's nice to send out tea party invitations. Homemade party invitations are so well-received, if you have the time. Otherwise, there are some lovely invitations available online.
Working out a menu is one of my favourite parts of the planning. It really pays to think about who is coming, and make sure that you are catering for them.
If you have vegetarians coming, make sure there are heaps of options for them. If you eat meat, but everyone else is veggie, stick to just vegetarian for the party. We've got a lovely selection of vegetarian finger sandwiches.
If they are gluten intolerant, consider making everything that way so that they don't feel left out. You'd be surprised at how many gluten free treats there are these days! These pretty little open sandwiches are served on a completely gluten free buckwheat bread.
I would say that tea party etiquette is part of what makes throwing a tea party successful. It's important for the atmosphere to be deliberately light-hearted and fun.
I think it's fun sometimes having a theme for your party. One of our regular afternoon tea party themes is a poetry tea time. It's wonderful to do with your children, or with adult friends.
The most important rule for hosting a tea party is this: Make your guests feel special and cared for, and they'll never forget your party.
I really enjoy trying out different napkin folding ideas. Some of them in particular look really amazing, but are actually quite simple to do. I've included my favourites here, along with instructions.
If you are even just a simple straight line sewer (like me) you can make beautifully finished table napkins for afternoon tea in whatever colour or size you like!