A couple of years ago a friend of the family, M, was looking into tea rooms. She wanted to take her best friend's daughter H to one for H's tenth birthday. There was one problem...we all live out in the boondocks and the nearest places are really over an hour away. This wouldn't be much of a problem however M is a midwife and this was summer time and lots of babies were waiting to be born so M couldn't be more than half an hour away from her patients. I was helping M out in her office for the busy summer season and listened as she tried to make plans with the different resorts in the area to see if they could so something, anything, just a pot of tea and some sandwiches would be fine. Nothing, no one seemed willing to help.
I told M that I would host a tea party out at the house. It has a pretty woodsy setting and it could be held in the front room overlooking the trees and wildlife that come into the yard throughout the day. M was elated. With that I began planning. I had never held a tea before, well unless you count the pretend tea parties held with Baby Boy and our dolls and stuffed animals, but for this event that wouldn't be too good to use as a reference since these were real people needing real food.
Mommy had bought some pretty dishes at a garage sale earlier in the summer and we have a collection of tea cup and goblets so I knew I was covered there. We went thrifting and I was able to pick up a couple of silver teapots for little money, they just needed a good cleaning. With that I was off to create a menu.
M wanted several courses so I paired different courses with different teas. There was crudites and tea sandwiches: roast beef and lettuce with wasabi cream cheese and dill, cucumber and butter, and turkey and lettuce with sun dried tomato cream cheese.
I also made tea biscuits and cranberry scones and served them with lemon curd and clotted cream. Everything was homemade, some from cookbooks and other items were simply my creation.
There were chocolate covered strawberries, hand poured chocolates, mini chocolate bundt cakes, and these fresh fruit and custard tarts.
I dressed up and was their server telling them about each food item and tea. H was thrilled to have such a wonderful tea and kept asking M when could they come back. They each had little boxed packages to take home and H asked for the lemon curd recipe since she couldn't stop eating it. So not only were they happy with the tea they got to bring some home with them as well.
It was a lot of fun to do. Ever since I was a young girl I wanted to have parties whether they were dinner parties, tea parties, birthday parties. It didn't matter. I poured over cookbooks and magazines and created menus and thought about decor. Every year I would throw a birthday party for Baby Boy and each year it was a different theme. I never thought it would be so beneficial later in life when friends were in need. I doubt that I would want to make a career out of it but it's good to have in my arsenal.