I love the idea of afternoon tea. When I lived in England for a short while, I was fortunate enough to occasionally have neighbors invite me over for tea. I’ve also enjoyed taking tea at hotel restaurants and tea houses, however, I often find myself thinking, “I can do this better.” (I’m referring to the commercial establishments in this case, not my neighbors’ hospitality.)
One of my favorite times to host tea is Easter. Over the years, I’ve collected an interesting assortment of recipes for tea parties. I thought I’d share some with you early, in case you’d also like to plan an Easter Tea. It can be as simple or elaborate as you would like.
Beverages (any combination)
- Tea – Usually a pot of Earl Grey offered with milk and sugar
- Sherry – I have to thank the wives of two RAF pilots for teaching me about Harvey’s Bristol Cream on the rocks with a wedge of lime at tea time, or maybe a pitcher of Sherry Cobblers.
- Champagne Cocktail – this is the most popular beverage I’ve served for tea. I think we all just love to hold a champagne flute. Anything bubbly, mimosas, bellinis.
Savory Tea Snacks (I always offer some non-meat options)
- Scotch Eggs – I began making these because it’s a great way to use up hard boiled Easter eggs.
- Asparagus Roll-ups – spears with a little Parmesan cheese wrapped in phyllo, always popular.
- Sausage Rolls – my absolute favorite. Sausage rolls always remind me of joining the other ladies from my village for a coffee and pastry while waiting for the bus home on market day.
- Cucumber Sandwiches – the classic, butter the bread, trim the crusts.
- Hummus Sandwiches – something different, made with your own hummus or purchased, open face sandwiches, with the bread cut into rectangles, then garnish with three olive slices, I love the geometric look.
Sweet Tea Snacks
- Chocolate Peeps – dipped in chocolate, inspired by Jacques Torres
- Black currant scones with clotted cream and jam– I’ve found clotted cream in Arizona at international (if not British) stores – an Asian market and an Italian deli of all places.
- Assorted cookies – I often buy rather than bake (shortbread, fruit fillings, anything covered in powdered sugar).
- Victoria Sponge Cake – my husband had this at the train station and we fell in love with it.
- Strawberries – chocolate dipped or served with sweetened whipped cream.
- Empty Tombs – for their Easter significance and their taste.
- Conversation – the best pastime is mingling and catching up with family and friends.
- Music – soft instrumental background music, classical would be my first choice, jazz second.
- Board games – depending on the crowd, sometimes we’ll play a game. Last year, I put together a prize for our winner – a cup & saucer filled with cookies, chocolate, tea, and wrapped in cellophane and tied with a ribbon (discount and dollar stores offer very affordable options.)
- Your tea can be served in mugs. Your only other refreshment might be a wonderful cake that you share with friends. (I’m meeting some folks online that bake some fantastic cakes!)
- I’ve found that since I know I’ll be hosting another tea, I watch for things might add to my table during the year; I’m always on the lookout for a bargain.
The Dollar Store – when this tray is filled with sausage rolls, or glasses and a bottle of sherry, you’d never know that I paid a buck for it.