Harvest is a time of celebration and preparation before the long, dark days of winter arrive, and a Harvest Tea Party is a brilliant way to rejoice in bountiful food, achingly beautiful weather, and friendship with your loves.
Bask in those luscious Indian Summer days of early autumn with an al fresco tea that begins in the afternoon and stretches out into evening. Soak up every last bit of sunshine under clear blue skies as the leaves begin to change color, and watch the sun set through the trees as the wind brings an edge of chill to the evening. Flickering lanterns will provide welcome light as evening falls, and providing blankets and cozy wraps will keep your guests warm and comfy as the stars come out.
Look to nature for your décor inspiration, and don’t be afraid to raid your kitchen and pantry for props and inspiration. Embrace the rich colors of fall and decorate with sumptuous reds, vivid yellows, warm oranges, and earthy greens. If you have a garden, you can trim off leafy branches to fill an old basket for a rustic bouquet, and set pumpkins, gourds, or ripe fruits around the base to give that feeling of abundance. If you don’t have access to a garden, create an autumnal oasis of your own with garlands of fat berries or cheery pumpkin pips with beautifully crafted artificial acorns, apples, grapes, or pears tucked among the vines. Jars of preserved fruit or dried herbs and spices give the impression of a full larder ready for sharing.
A Harvest Tea Party is a great time to support your local farmers market, so grab your basket and plan your menu around what is local, seasonal, and fresh. Delight your guests with a steaming pot of lusciously fragrant and delicious almond chai sweetened with local honey. Build a nourishing Autumn Arugula Salad with roasted squash and candied pecans, and pass around a platter of savory Parmesan Pepper Shortbreads. For an entrée, try beautiful Veggie Stuffed Acorn Squash with mushrooms, spinach, and rice and wonderfully smoky Bacon Wrapped Grilled Pears with pecans and mustard dressing. For dessert offer Earl Grey Panna Cotta with Mocha Whipped Cream and Smoked Vanilla Cinnamon Almonds Recipe.
Make It An Experience
While harvest is a time of celebration, it can also be a time of dread as the long months of winter darkness loom ahead. Encourage your guests to look after their hearts in the days to come, both physically and emotionally. Hawthorn berries have been used for centuries as a tonic for the heart, so provide a large jar filled with dried berries, as well as empty tea bags and spoons. As you fill your own tea bags with heart-fortifying hawthorn berries, discuss ways to keep your hearts strong.
- What foods will strengthen your heart this winter?
- What music always cheers your heart?
- Who is someone you can spend time with this winter who always nourishes your heart?