Culture / DIY

DIY: Host an English Garden Tea Party

Published 07/30/2014 by

Fancy a cup of rosy? Shall we have a brew? It’s easy to become Brit obsessed these days. With shows like Upstairs Downstairs and Downton Abbey taking over our Sunday nights – and our sequined closets-  it’s hard to walk away from the glitz and glam of an era gone by without thinking about what it would be like to live and dine as a highborn. The best way to feel like you’ve time traveled into another era is to transform your backyard into a proper formal English Garden Tea Party. We’ll show you how to do it in in five simple steps.

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

  1. Vintage Adventure

Find out where your local vintage and or second hand store is, and make a bee-line to their housewares section. We often overlook this area in search of unique threads but, the housewares section of a Salvation Army or Value Village is jammed packed with flatware and dinner ware that is begging for a second life. Grab some hand sewn table cloths, choose ornate elaborate sets of flatware, and breathe a second life into old tea cups. Old dressers or desks drawers are a great way to house all of the dish sets and flatware that will be displayed as a center piece.

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

2. Flatware fait du bien

The best tea is brewed using various small pots with small quantities that are warmed beforehand. Use silver teapots for an authentic vintage look and arrange flatware or silver ware in whimsical ways.. Smaller stubbier forks are for desserts and sweets. The larger leaner forks are for savory, salty treats. Miniature spoons can be used for jelly’s jams and creams.

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

 

3. Coming Up Roses

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Brits are renowned for sticking to the traditional English Garden style on their estates. The rose bush is often the star of their ornate and overgrown greenery. White roses, signifying hope, new beginnings and respect are the best match for green bountiful hydrangeas. Pink peonies can also be matched with blue or white hydrangeas depending how dramatic your setting. For a more baroque luxurious look, drape a string of pearls over a vintage birdcage with two flower bougets on each side. Use vintage glass bottle to hold single roses inside the birdcage. If you have more roses left over, spread them around the garden in mason jars to add to expand the richness of the setting.

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

 

 

4. Savory and Sweet

The perfect tea party offers a mix of savory and sweet treats. Traditionally scones, mini cucumber finger sandwiches, smoked salmon sandwiches, tea cookies and wafers make the table spread a success. We’ve added cupcakes for a dash of color! Drop them into a tea cup and use them as décor to add hidden pops of blue and pink.

 

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

 

5. Tea Cup Tier

Yes, an English Garden Party is about the flowers and the food, but most importantly it’s about the tea (Earl Grey, Lady Grey and English Breakfast onlyare to be served), and the cup.These colorful porcelain gems will bring the party the sense of aristocracy. Sipping from proper bone china is swanky. But finding a tea cup that matches your outfit or fits perfect with your personality is just simply perfect. Tea bag out! The tea bag is traditionally left inside the tea pot, not left swimming in your delicate cup.

 

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

Image Credit: Christina Stimpson

And always remember, the milk goes in first. Enjoy your cuppas!

 

 

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