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Tea Party Catering

posted on January 13th, 2015 by Melinda Race

tea partyThe Duchess would be proud…..

The Duchess is best remembered as the creator of the British meal afternoon tea while visiting the 5th Duke of Rutland at Belvoir Castle in the mid-1840s. Bedford is the county town of Bedfordshire, in the East of England. It is the administrative center for the wider Borough of Bedford. During the 18th century, dinner came to be served later and later in the day until, by the early 19th century, the normal time was between 7:00 and 8:30 p.m. An extra meal called luncheon had been created to fill the midday gap between breakfast and dinner, but as this new meal was very light, the long afternoon with no refreshment at all left people feeling hungry. She found a light meal of tea (usually Darjeeling) and cakes or sandwiches was the perfect balance. The Duchess found taking an afternoon snack to be such a perfect refreshment that she soon began inviting her friends to join her. Afternoon tea was quickly adopted by many middle and upper class households.

There are three types of afternoon tea differing by the foods served. Aside from tea, cream tea offers fresh baked scones served with clotted cream and jam. Light tea features teas, scones and sweets like petit fours. Last, full tea has a smorgasbord of tea, sandwiches or appetizers, scones, and a variety of desserts including cookies, cakes, and pastries. The selection of teas for an afternoon tea may include some lighter black teas such as Earl Grey Crème Black Tea and Black Dragon Pearl Tea.

Planning a Tea Party? Here’s the proper and most traditional way it’s done

At an afternoon tea, the tea table is usually set around a lovely centerpiece. For formal full tea services, menus and even guest place cards can accompany each place setting. Most normal place settings apply for tea parties; however, the plates and silverware used may be modified. Smaller salad plates are typically used at tea parties, with the tea cup atop of a saucer placed directly to the right. A single fork on the left side of the plate and one knife and spoon on the right are usually enough to enjoy the food and drink. A water glass may also be supplied, placed above the knife. Cream, sugar, and a plate of lemon slices should be available for everyone at the table to use, as well as the tea pot and other necessary equipment for serving tea. The food may be presented on a nearby buffet table, on a tiered stand at the tea table, or brought out in courses by a server.

Here are a few tea party tips to remember:

  • The napkins goes in your lap, never on the table.  If you leave the table the napkins goes on your seat while you are away from your seat.
  • Do not mix milk and lemon in your tea; use one or the other.
  • No need to stick out your pinky, unless it is for fun.
  • Do not hold the tea cup by the bottom with your hands.
  • Forks or fingers work; it’s your call.
  • Do not blow on your tea, wait for the right temperature.
  • Quiet sips – not loud.

Now for the food

Bristol Farms has a Tea Party Menu that features a variety of amazing Tea Sandwiches: egg salad and watercress, softened Brie with crushed walnuts and watercress, salmon and herbed cream cheese, chicken salad with crushed walnuts, just  to name a few.  Each sandwich is crust-less and cut into 4 beautiful pieces; they are tri-level. For small appetizers we have stuffed cherry tomatoes, Mascarpone stuffed strawberries, brandied blue cheese and pear crostinis, and more. Tea Party sweets include mini scones with Devonshire cream, mini French petite fours, small butter tea cookies, and chocolate covered strawberries, just to name a few. We’d be happy to offer service and beverage as well.

What a fun way to celebrate life, a bridal or baby shower, a book club event, or just because you want to get a group of friends together to enjoy.

Click here for our complete menu and call 888-726-7271 to speak with one of our Catering Specialists today. Let us help you plan out your event.

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