Let's Have a Tea Party


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Let's have a tea party! It's an awfully fun way to entertain, and can be as simple or complicated as you want it to be.

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But it is all about pampering and getting out your fine china. It needs a good airing anyway, doesn't it? And what are you saving it for? Maybe a tea party.

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Even the simplest pound cake or bakery cookies taste better on pretty china. And tea? How hard could that be? Boil water and you have it. I do believe it tastes better in a bone china cup and saucer.

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A tea party is a perfect way for the girls to get together and have a great time. But it is also a great couples party. Just make sure you make enough to eat to fill up the guys. What man doesn't like sweets? And the idea of tea sandwiches is a fun way to graze through an evening.

Use pretty napkins. There are beautiful paper ones.

Don't forget some flowers. They bring every table to life. Even if you just go outside and snip some.

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Using a cake stand or three tiered stand (or several...) is a fun way to present your tea treats.

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And make or purchase plenty of extras. Small things disappear quickly, though they can be filling. What's a tea party without scones? Scones are a must. Our secret here at Her Majesty's is to under bake them just a tad. To keep them soft. And to ensure they do not taste like stones but retain a soft center we often add one or several of the following: coconut, nuts, chocolate chips, raisins, craisins, diced dried apricots, raspberries, strawberries, blueberries--you get the idea. By adding something moist your scones will remain moist.

Serve your scones with clotted cream and jam. We use strawberry preserves regardless of the flavor scone. We just do. We sell clotted cream (which comes pasturized from England) but in a pinch you can make your own version. Whip cream until it is almost at the butter stage. Mix with sour cream. The proportion we feel is true-ist to clotted cream is one to one.

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Any cake recipe can be a fancy small cake or cup cake. We love the decorative papers that are out now to surround your cake. As you can see here we have surrounded our chocolate cup cake with chocolate and gold striped layers that we bend and 'glue' to our cup cake. Lovely.

Tea cookies run the gambit but you cannot go wrong with short bread. Buttery, and not too sweet. Walkers makes the best but try it yourself. Easy.

Lemon curd is a staple at tea time. Fill a tart shell, spread it on a shortbread or simply dip the ends of strawberries in it. More than a jam, lemon curd it made with eggs and butter so it is tart and rich. Of course it is available in jars-we sell several varieties. But again it is easy to make and one recipe seems to make quite a bit. Enough for snacking...

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Who doesn't love pie? And small is even better. You can make or purchase your tart shells. Fill with chicken salad or any fresh fruit. Make extras...

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I love cut out cookies and sugar cookie recipes are simple and fool proof. But they take a little time. These can be made ahead of time. I like to put on a favorite movie when I settle in to decorate them. Cut out cookies are not just for Christmas....

Cupcakes

There are cute cardboard stands out there-we have some. They add a nice mix.

When it comes to sandwiches, cucumber sandwiches are a must. Slice the cucumbers extra thin, spread a little mayo or salad cream (that Brit version of mayo) on bread or a cracker or a crostini. Dust with herbs. We like Herbs d'Provance.