Have you ever considered doing a genuine English high tea for a bridal shower? No, not just finger sandwiches and cookies – a bona-fide high tea is a big deal, and your guests will be so delighted!
While afternoon tea is dotted with tea biscuits, lemon curd and clotted cream, along with a few assorted tiny sweets and savories, a true high tea is more like an American dinner, but with hot tea and lovely china cups and saucers. Start with a savory bacon, onion and herb bread pudding, followed by a light salad with real English Salad Cream, and move on to Potted Shrimps (actually quite delicious) and Old English Chicken and Ham Pie. Add a few little savories on the side – like Cheese Scones and a rustic English bread, served with a strawberry jam and maybe some home made lavender honey! You can find the recipes here – and most you can make in advance.
A Spot of Tea Etiquette
When serving lemon with tea, lemon slices are preferable, not wedges. Either provide a small fork or lemon fork for your guests, or have the tea server can neatly place a slice in the tea cup after the tea has been poured. Be sure never to add lemon with milk since the lemon’s citric acid will cause the proteins in the milk to curdle.
Milk is served with tea, not cream. Cream is too heavy and masks the taste of the tea. Although some pour their milk in the cup first, it is probably better to pour the milk in the tea after it is in the cup in order to get the correct amount.
Tea cups with a handle are held by placing one’s fingers to the front and back of the handle with one’s pinkie up again allows balance. Pinkie up does mean straight up in the air, but slightly tilted. It is not an affectation, but a graceful way to avoid spills. Never loop your fingers through the handle, nor grasp the vessel bowl with the palm of your hand.Do not stir your tea, with your tea spoon, in sweeping circular motions. Place your tea spoon at the six o’clock position and softly fold the liquid towards the twelve o’clock position two or three times. Never leave your tea spoon in your tea cup. When not in use, place your tea spoon on the right side of the tea saucer. Never wave or hold your tea cup in the air. When not in use, place the tea cup back in the tea saucer…
Compliments of WhatsCookingAmerica.net
Lots to think about, so here’s my idea. Research High Tea traditions and etiquette, then make yourself up a “High Tea Guide” – a little booklet with all the interesting things you discover. Then make it part of your invitation – and “request” that your guests wear gloves and hats – what fun! Then bring out the good china, pull out the white tablecloths and have a ball!
And don’t forget the favors!
More tea anyone? LOL!