While I’d be the first to tell you that tea is an appropriate beverage all year ‘round, there’s something especially lovely about serving tea in the springtime. Whether it’s the longer days, perfect for sipping a cold brew on your porch, or maybe just the awakening and re-connecting after a long winter that perfectly lends itself to getting together with those you love, there’s nothing that brings tea lovers together better than a tea party.
Of course, there are as many ways to serve tea as there are those to drink it. So when serving tea to a crowd, where do you begin? I’ve asked the consummate hostesses of the Plum Deluxe Communi-tea for their best tips for serving tea to a group. Combined with some of our favorite recipes and tips for tea time, you’ll be ready to host your very own tea gathering in no time!
On the Set-Up
“I love to set a beautiful table with linens and nice china. One of the most important things I’ve learned is that a tea party can be fancy and lovely without being perfect. One thing I always insist (be it tea for one or tea for a crowd) is ‘use the good china.’” — Julia SL
“Provide a party favor, which I call a parting gift. Invite everyone to leave their concerns, life tragedies, world problems outside the door — this sets the tone and atmosphere.” — Susan PB
From the Plum Deluxe blog: Five uplifting and unique parting gifts that will send your guests home on a positive note.
On the Treats
“It’s awesome when I can make all of the treats myself and have an ever-so-beautiful tablescape. Likewise, it’s just as lovely to have less ‘fuss’ and buy some treats from the bakery and set up a buffet. I also like to make treats (cookies, etc.) and keep them on hand in the freezer — or even get bakery goodies from the store and freeze them.” — Julia SL
“Serve scones and mock Devonshire cream every time, despite varying menus.” — Susan PB
From the Plum Deluxe blog: The easiest and tastiest snacks you could whip up for an impromptu tea party!
On the Guests
“Invite someone new and someone who will carry an appropriate conversation with strangers.” — Susan PB
“If you’re setting a table, write a conversation-starting question on the back of everyone’s place card. Give a few minutes for everyone to ask their question to their immediate table neighbors, and watch conversation start to flow. It’s a fun way to intentionally set conversation for mindful time together.” — Mary LH
From the Plum Deluxe blog: Some of our favorite, most unique ways to add a little entertainment to your gathering, and encourage fun and unusual conversation!
On Preparing for the Unexpected
“Be aware that someone might want coffee, and always smile!” — Susan PB
Feeling ready to put on your host or hostess cap and take your tea party to the next level? Here are some fan-favorite tea party-themed tips from the Plum Deluxe blog:
- Tasha shows us how to make your evening tea soiree effortless and elegant.
- Feeling the itch to get outside and soak up the springtime sun? Why not take your tea party outdoors?
- Maybe a traditional tea party isn’t what your crowd would enjoy. This fantastic whodunit-themed book club tea is everything your mystery-loving hearts could ever want.
- Looking to get a little crafty in your decor? These gorgeous, creative and unique tea centerpieces could serve as a parting gift as well!
Whether you’re serving to two or twenty, every gathering of tea lovers is a celebration. Let these tips inform and inspire your creativity for your next great gathering!