Friday, 9 September 2011

5 Rules To Making A Perfect Vintage Tea Party

Following on from yesterdays blog about how to make the everyday special I thought I would share with you my love of throwing tea parties. Most women (and maybe a few men) will remember throwing doll's tea parties as children. Lining up teddy and tiny tears and pouring orange squash into plastic beakers. I don't think I ever really grew out of this phase and as Ive grown older my love of a good tea party has only increased.
To my mind there are a few simple rules to the perfect tea party. These are my rules obviously so feel free to ignore them but to raise your daily cuppa up from the routine to the regal it s worth the extra effort.

Rule #1-Make A Proper Space
Whether its at the kitchen table, on the garden patio or even on a rug in your living room, clear all clutter away and create a beautiful clean space.
Time For Tea

Rule#2-Use A Table Cloth
Using a tablecloth helps lift this from the normal mug of tea and digestive experience to something with a little more cache. I really love old linen tablecloths and these are always for sale at car boot fairs and jumble sales. If you are really lucky you might find one which is hand embroidered. A great tip if you find a table cloth which is made of beautiful thick linen but is no longer a crisp white is to dye it a bright colour. I changed  a chewing gum grey table cloth into petal pink in the time it took to put a wash on using a machine dye from Dylon
Tablecloths Add A Little Extra

Rule#3-The Tea Must Be Made From Tea leaves And Made In A Pot
George Orwell famously said "There are 11 rules for perfect tea making, rules from which nobody should dare depart" Whilst I don't think I have 11 here are Betty Bee's rules for  a perfect cuppa.

Perfect Tea In My Spotty Teapot
  • Warm your teapot. Pour boiling water into your teapot and allow the pot to be warmed through. Then empty the pot. This means you wont be preparing tea in a cold pot which could lower the temperature of your tea while it brews.
  • Use one heaped teaspoon of good quality tea leaves for up to four people. Tealeaves offer a more intense flavour than teabags and seem to have a stronger smell as well.Use boiling water and allow to stand for a few minutes before stirring.Keep pot warm with a tea cosy
  • Pour your  milk into your teacup before you pour your tea, never after. There are various theories as to why this is best practice, some say its a throw back to the class system when putting milk in after pouring tea was considered a sign of being working class whilst other argue there is a scientific bias as in high temperatures, milk proteins begin to unfold and link together in clumps.All I know is that it tastes better when done this way around. 
  • Serve in china cups. Thin china seems to offer the best drinking experience whether its because the rims are more delicate so the sipping more enjoyable or just that it looks so pretty drinking out of china it really seems to add to the flavour.

    Rule#4-Serve cake or baked goods.
    Whether its just a packet of jaffa cakes or a lovely home made confection nothing goes better with a cup of tea than a slice of cake. If you have a cake stand that's even better. . Don't forget there are plenty of recipes on my blog which would be perfect for an afternoon tea party including my easy peasy strawberry shortcakes
    Fairy Cakes Compliment Tea Perfectly

    Rule#5-Fill a jug with some flowers out of the garden,invite your favourite people over and put the world to rights.
    Two For Tea

    That's my idea of a perfect tea party what's yours?


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