This article is dedicated to Lewis Carroll, the man who sent Alice to Wonderland and took her to the Mad Hatter’s tea party. If you’ve read the original story or have seen any of the movie adaptations of the story, you’ll be familiar with the eccentric party guests, interesting conversation, and love of tea that dominates this gathering.
If you’re wanting to host a tea party that’s a little different, an Alice in Wonderland tea party is the perfect theme!
If you read our article about literary characters who drink tea, you’ll be aware that we hold a special place in our hearts for fictional characters who love tea as much as we do!
One of my favorite reasons for choosing this theme is the way it can be enjoyed by both young and old alike. An Alice in Wonderland tea party is perfect for a child’s birthday, bridal shower, or bachelorette party. It’s bright, fun, and a great excuse for catching up with your friends or family for an afternoon of memory making (though who needs an excuse, really!).
Decorations for an Alice in Wonderland Tea Party
This tea party is the perfect reason to get out all the pretty china you’ve been hoarding in your cupboards! I’m a firm believer that items should be enjoyed and used rather than kept locked away out of sight.
However, if some of your crockery holds sentimental value, you might feel uncomfortable using it for your tea party, especially if your guests are children. Why not visit some thrift shops and pick up a range of tea cups and crockery? Or invite your guests to bring their favorite tea cup to the party as a talking piece. I’m sure a lot of us would have a favorite cup with a story behind it.
The eclectic nature of an Alice in Wonderland tea party means that it doesn’t matter if your crockery doesn’t match. In fact, it looks beautiful mismatched! However, if you can’t stand the idea of total mismatch, choose a particular color to shape your decor around. Your tea cups don’t need to have the same pattern, but if they are in the same color palette you’ll end up with a more cohesive theme.
If you’re hosting a traditional sit-down tea party, make your table shine! Set the table with enough plates and cups for everyone. If your table is small, use tiered cake plates to save on space. If you have more room, use platters and tiered cake plates to create variation in height and interest for the eye.
Flowers, foliage, beads, and timepieces all make great centerpieces for your table. If you have some rabbit figurines, they can be a really nice finishing touch for your Alice in Wonderland tea party theme. Consider using some teapots as vases for your flowers. It will look beautiful and a little quirky!
Consider which elements from the story you wish to incorporate into your event. You might like to make a few labels that say “eat me” or “drink me” to attach to a few of your dishes and refreshments. Not only will it encourage your guests to feel comfortable eating the pretty spread in front of them, but it will also bring a smile to their faces as they remember Alice’s adventurous eating in Wonderland!
Dress for the Occasion
Who doesn’t like playing dress-up? It’s your tea party, so If you like dressing up, go for it!
An Alice costume can be sourced fairly easily with a headband, blue dress, and white apron. There are lots of other characters that you or your guest could dress up as, too. The Cheshire cat is one of my favorite characters, so when I attended a dress up event I borrowed a onesie Cheshire cat costume and got creative with some eyeliner. It was a lot of fun!
You could also invite your guests to wear their best Mad Hatter hat. It’s wonderful to see what people come up with. You may even like to have a prize for the person with the most “mad” hat. If you’ve got some competitive and creative friends, this is a great icebreaker.
Eat Me: Planning a Wonderland Menu
One of my favorite elements of a tea party (other than tea!) is the food. An Alice in Wonderland tea party is a theme designed for the pretty and the strange. If your table looks abundant, bright, and fun, you’ve done well!
A Vanilla Hibiscus Cake is perfect for this type of event with its lovely orange color and beautiful flavoring. Using tea as an ingredient in the desserts you serve at your tea party will impress your guests and add to the whole experience.
Another wonderful example of a tea dessert is the Lemon Elderberry Cake. This decadent cake will look beautiful on your table with its contrasting color frosting. All it’s missing now is the “eat me” label!
What tea party is complete without a sponge cake? For a cake guaranteed to wow your guests, have a go at creating our Showstopper Victorian Sponge. The layers of light sponge, jam, and fluffy cream make this cake a tea party classic for a reason.
For the savory-inclined, providing a nice cheese platter or a sandwich selection ensures everyone’s tastes are catered to. These can be made in advance of your tea party to streamline the preparation on the day.
Drink Me: Serve Up Some Tea
It’s called an Alice in Wonderland tea party, after all, so we need to serve tea! Consider having various tea pots brewing and allowing your guests to sample their tea. A tea party is a wonderful place to be introduced to a new favorite blend.
For a dash of the whimsical, serve up some some Magical Butterfly herbal tea. This tea turns a blue color when it’s made due to the butterfly pea flowers included in the blend — a favorite with children and adults alike. I think this blend would be a hit with the Mad Hatter, that’s for sure.
In honor of the infamous Queen of Hearts from Wonderland, it would be a shame to forgo the Queens Blend green tea. The lemon flavor of this tea will pair nicely with the Lemon Elderberry Cake I mentioned above.
The Queen of Hearts had quite the passion for roses, as you might recall from her servants painting them red. Serve up some Portland Rose City Chai for fans of a floral and fruity blend.
For something a little bit different, why not consider offering your guests honey sticks for their tea? The orange blossom works well with pretty much any tea and is a great alternative sweetener to introduce your guests to.
Entertainment and Games
“Do you play croquet?” The Queen of Hearts famously asked Alice on her trip to Wonderland. Whilst Alice’s game of croquet with the Queen was unorthodox, if you’re hosting your Alice in Wonderland party outside, lawn games are a great addition to your event.
Croquet, giant Jenga, and corn hole competitions offer your guests a fun way to get to know one another, and to have some laughs!
For entertainment that doesn’t need an outside space or game equipment, why not have a go at some riddles? After all, it was the Mad Hatter’s style of entertainment. Ask your guests to come to your Alice in Wonderland tea party with their best riddle, then take turns sharing and working out the answers as a group. The person with the best riddle wins.
There you have it: Everything you need to host your own Alice in Wonderland tea party. Enjoy the fun and laughter you’ll have with this quirky theme!