Throw the perfect afternoon tea
Looking to throw your own Afternoon Tea this summer? We've put together some top tips for pulling off your very own party in style!
The basic kit
You don't need much to pull off your own party. For the basic event you will need a tiered cake stand as the centerpiece of your table, dressing it with lace doilies, folded napkins and name place signs.
Charity shops are a great place for finding floral Chinaware, as well as teapots, teacups, cutlery and cake slices which you will need for serving.
Set the scene
Ensure you extend your table and cover with a quirky, vintage table cloth. Fabric shops are a great place for finding cheap spotted, floral and striped material by the metre. Next you need to string up some bunting or if you're feeling adventurous you could even bake some bunting biscuits!
If you're on a baking roll you could make place-name cookies and ice them over with your guests' names, popping them into paper bags so your guests have a small gift to take away with them.
You need to ensure the sugar and milk is set on the table ready to pour your guests a cup of tea as they sit down. You should try and provide a variety of tea such as: Earl Grey, Peppermint, Camomile, Fruit, Herbal and English Breakfast.
If it's a warm day perhaps give your afternoon tea a twist with Iced tea, a refreshing treat on a summer's day. You could even add a touch of Pimm's to the Iced tea to get the party started! Or open the fizz and serve a Sloe Gin Royale or Orange Juice Mimosa.
A standard afternoon tea is made up of a layer of sandwiches, a layer of cakes and a layer of scones or teacakes. You can also throw in pastries, petits fours or biscuits too!
Your sandwiches require minimal effort, but you should ensure you prepare your fillings in advance, assembling them just before the party begins to avoid getting soggy sandwiches. You could try: carrot and raisin, salmon club, crab, smoked salmon and avocado to name but a few!
There are many different scone receipes you could try with the following helping kick-start your inspiration: classic scone with jam and clotted cream, lemon drizzle scones, walnut scones and cherry scones.
There are many different jams you could try with the following helping kick-start your inspiration: strawberry jam, jumbleberry jam, rhubarb and ginger jam, cinnamon-scented plum jam and fragrant strawberry conserve.
Teacakes and buns
Up for a challenge? Why not try making some Parisian pastry? If you're willing to take them on, prepare the pastry or biscuits the night before. You could make the following for your afternoon tea: raspberry millefeuilles, mini eclairs, chinon apple tarts, salted caramel and popcorn crumble choux buns, creme brulee tartlets to name but a few!
It's all about individual portions, so avoid making a large cake and instead bake up something miniature. Here are a few suggestions: coffee and walnut flapjacks, blood orange and poppy drizzle muffins, little pistachio cakes, coconut chai traybake, stawberry and polenta cupcakes.
Looking to pull out all the stops? If you're looking to create the WOW factor these sweet treats could be for you: blood orange and dark chocolate madeleines, star anise meringues with mango coulis, apple rose tart, raspberry, lemon and frangipane tart, iced vanilla and caramel profiteroles. None of those take your fancy? How about some of these: lemon bars, doughnut muffins, gypsy tart with lemon cream, lingonberry and ginger cheesecake pots, seville meringue pie with pomegranate, tiramisu, bourbon, black cherry and bacon brownies.
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