It was such fun to host a tea party with a twist for the MOMYS group last week at Williamsburg. Since all of us were vacationing, it would have been a big load for the organizers, Tina & Skip Jenkins, to host a tea party for 65 with all the paraphernalia of tea pots, cups, and china.
So, Miranda and I came up with the idea of Picnic Tea Party! Yes, it wasn't quite 17th-18th century to use plastic disposables, but it was grand to have no clean up work afterwards. Much of the prep work was completed before we left for Williamsburg.
Here is how we managed to throw a beautiful tea party 500 miles away from home:
Picnic Tea Menu:
Tea Sandwiches (Cucumber and Chicken Salad)
Scones (Chocolate & Poppy Seed) w/clotted cream & raspberry jam
Macarons (Pink & Green) with Chocolate Ganache
Sugar Cookie with Colored Sugar
Shortbread with sprinkles
Strawberry dipped in white and dark chocolate
Chocolate Mint Patty
Our condo living room was transformed to a prep kitchen. Since bread is bulky and too delicate to transport, we purchased the bread at Williamsburg and cut the bread rounds with cookie/biscuit cutters.
We had two clear deli boxes for each attendee: one filled with savory treats, the other with sweets.
Since we had so many children attending the tea party, we served raspberry lemonade. The beautiful logo on the glass was designed by the young and talented Katie Jenkins. All the wonderful decorations were done by Jennie Hebert. Great work ladies!
*If you are planning this long distance, order the baskets, plastic disposables, mugs and have them shipped directly to the site as we did.
Here are some helpful ideas but depending on your menu, preparations will vary.
Up to 10 days ahead:
Make the following and freeze
Sugar cookie dough,
Scones dough (cut in wedges)
Bake Macarons shells
Shortbread, bake, cut and freeze in layers
Cut bread rounds or squares for tea sandwiches
De-bone rotissiery chicken and finely chop the meat only, store in freezer bag
2-3 days ahead:
Purchase all fresh produce
Make aioli or boursin cheese for cucumber sandwiches
Make raspberry lemonade and freeze in cubes
1 day ahead:
Thaw chicken meat and make chicken salad
Up to 6 hours ahead:
Whip heavy cream stiffly, add sugar to taste
Put raspberry jam and whipped cream in a 2 oz portion cups & refrigerate
(don't forget to buy lids)
Make lemonade and refrigerate
Bake Sugar cookies, when cooled, brush with beaten egg whites & sprinkle with colored granulated sugar
Make chocolate ganache
Melt chocolates (dark & white) and dip strawberries,
ensure berries are dried well with paper towels
Dip shortbread in melted chocolate (also can be drizzled using a pastry bag or ziplock baggie with cut corner), shake colorful sprinkles on to adhere
2 hours ahead:
Assemble cucumber & chicken salad sandwiches (cover with plastic wrap to avoid bread drying out)
1 hour ahead:
Assemble the boxes, we lined ours with 6" doilies
Fill mugs with frozen lemonade cubes, put fresh or frozen raspberries for color
and add lemonade to fill, secure with a lid.
Add decorative napkins and put in the baskets
Baskets purchased from Oriental Trading Company
Clear Deli Tray (can be purchase from local chemical supply store or online)
These photos were edited by my incredibly gifted niece. Thank you, Christine!