Work With Nature
You’ll run into a few (manageable) challenges with an outside meal. Three foremost environmental elements to consider are sun, wind, and bugs.
A gorgeous, sunny spring afternoon is a lovely time to be outside. However, if the sun is on the lower part of the horizon, you might get a lot of glare, and your guests will be squinting through the meal. Keep some small umbrellas handy or, if you can find them, some pretty parasols to provide your guests with some sun protection.
This time of year, the buzzing bugs are also enjoying the warmer weather and will happily join your party. To keep bugs at bay, set out a pretty fan for your guests to wave over their food to keep the pint-sized peskies away -- and to fan themselves, too, if there’s a sudden spike in warmth.
To avoid having your tea arrangement be upset by a sudden gust of spring wind, ensure that your plates, cutlery, and serving dishes are hefty enough to hold down the tablecloth, napkins, and décor. Consider setting up near a tree or fence that will help block some of the potential table-toppling breeze blast.
For an effortless garden tea party menu, try serving a couple of savory finger foods, and then a centerpiece dessert.
You guests will delight in these Spinach Dip Bites, and the buttery, flakey crust lends itself perfectly to the tangy cheesy dip. Can’t find puff pastry? In a pinch, you can make these easily with wonton wrappers or pie crust.
Go for a one-two puff pastry punch by using the remainder of your frozen dough for a second appetizer, Mini Crab Puffs. This recipe uses chives as a garnish, though other herbs or spices may be used, such as dill or a pinch of smoked paprika, for a little added dimension of flavor.
I love, love, love a layer cake for a spring garden tea party! Check out this show-stopping recipe for Sweet Spring Matcha Layer Cake. The unique frosting is a blend of softened butter, confectioners’ sugar, matcha green tea powder, and a bit of milk that makes a deliciously sweet green tea confection.
I had to include this recipe for Honey Lavender Tea Cake made with Earl Grey tea. The cake is incredibly moist with just the right amount of sweetness, and just a hint of bergamot and spice balances out the floral flavors of the lavender buttercream.
Choose Spring-worthy Brews
What’s brewing in the teapot for your garden tea party? For a delicious caffeine-free option, try the Hello Sunshine turmeric-maple herbal tea. Made with hand-crushed turmeric chips and generous portions of cinnamon and black pepper, this honeybush tea is highlighted with a touch of maple extract from authentic Vermont maple syrup.
Or, try a peachy favorite, the Peaches ‘n Cream Oolong. It’s a simple, bold peach tea with gentle and thoughtful touches to create a balanced flavor, not too sweet and yet still incredibly satisfying. This blend pairs wonderfully with afternoon tea treats.
A garden tea party is a wonderful event for gathering friends together to celebrate the return of the spring season! For more out-of-doors tea party inspiration, check out this article on how to host an orchard tea party. An orchard becomes an event of intoxicating scents, delicious foods, and moments for reflection and appreciation over a cup of warm and spicy tea.
For ideas on garden tea party décor and activities, check out this article on how to throw a garden tea party.