I was excited when my friend Rachel said she wanted a tea party for her shower. It’s her second baby boy so she decided on a nontraditional shower blending the tea party with the Native American “The Blessing Way” tradition.
My job was the tea party: food and decor. First step was to figure out the menu so I went to my tea board on Pinterest and allrecipes to get some inspiration.
We started with a champagne, juice and fruit bar. Since we were mixing the champagne with juice, there wasn’t a need to buy an expensive champagne, but you don’t want a cheap one either. The liquor store guy recommended this Cava. He said not to go with Korbel because they’ve “gone down hill.”
I also offered a Perrier for the pregos and nondrinkers, and went with cran-pomegranate, mango, grapefruit and orange juices. Cran-pome was the favorite. I bought wine carafes at WalMart for $2.97 and painted them with chalkboard paint so I could label them.
Those are pomegranate seeds, raspberries and blackberries in the nosh bowls ($1.95 at Crate and Barrel). My hair stylist warned me that opening a pomegranate is tricky and takes some time so I watched Martha Stewart’s tutorial on how to open a pomegranate. It did take me about 45 minutes to get all the seeds out.
I saw the idea to put fruit in champagne glasses from Hostess with the Mostess, but I used wine glasses instead.
I didn’t get a photo of the scones, but I went with the “simple scones recipe” from allrecipes and it was the easiest and best recipe I’ve ever used. Definitely a keeper. I didn’t use the raisins and currants (not a fan).
I bought some strawberry and raspberry preserves and some clotted cream from a local tea place for the scones. I will someday attempt to make my own clotted cream, but for now I’m content just buying it. You can get preserves at the grocery store, but clotted cream is harder to find there.
For tea, I used an Earl Grey Cream I got from the Los Rios Tea House in San Juan Capistrano, CA. It’s their special blend and one of my favorites. I also got a decaf English Breakfast from Tea Leaves for the pregos. I usually go with Earl Grey or English Breakfast for high tea because black tea is traditional. And I stick with the British method and always use real sugar and milk (no creamer or half & half).
Possibly the best part of high tea: the tea sandwiches.
From the top, cucumber on white. I mixed some basil, oregano and green onions with some cream cheese and added sliced cucumbers. I used a Helen Corbitt’s chicken salad recipe (except no nuts) I got from Saveur. I used a food processor to get the right texture, and substituted Greek yogurt for the mayo. For the egg salad, I used a “Delicious Egg Salad for Sandwiches” recipe from allrecipes. The egg salad is my personal favorite.
Finally, the sweets.
I went with chocolate and vanilla oreo truffles and lemon tea cookies. For the lemon cookies, I used the suggestion to substitute regular sugar for the powdered sugar to make a “sturdier” cookie.
I love oreo truffles and they are so easy to make. Here are a couple tips that aren’t listed in the recipe…
The trick I got from my cousin is to put in toothpicks and then leave them in the refrigerator over night.
Then you dip them in chocolate or candy melts (I use Wilton’s vanilla candy coating for the white truffles and Baker’s semi sweet chocolate for the dark truffles – you can get those at HL, Michael’s or Joanne’s) and use a spoon to cover it completely.
Then I take the toothpicks out and move the oreos to cover the holes.
I had some leftover vanilla candy coating and crushed oreos so I mixed them together and put them in a mold to make oreo candy. I will probably send them to my oreo-loving little brother. They are a little messy because I was in a hurry, but they looked okay when I took them out of the mold. They were good, too!
I plated the truffles and put them on deck to make it easier to just switch out the plates on the serving tray when we were ready for the sweets course.
For the decor, Rachel’s only request was that I use “light army green” in the color scheme, so I paired that with some neutrals (brown, cream and white). I set up the table a week beforehand to see what I needed.
During the set up I realized that one three-tier tray wasn’t going to cut it so I bought another one at Target. Luckily they still had the exact one!
I love using mason jars, especially free ones from Joe’s Crab Shack (“free” because I bought a glass of sangria), but I had to cover the logo so I played around with burlap and ribbon.
This is one version that I liked, but I didn’t go with ultimately. It’s a fun idea for another party.
Here is how the centerpieces ended up. Hot glued green ribbon around the mason jar and some jute around the rim. I put some limes in the jar to add some extra green. My grandmother gave me the pot in the center, and I love it for flowers.
For the table runner, I used liquid stitch to attach the lace and the ribbon to the burlap. Will blog about that later.
I wouldn’t normally use doilies, but I needed something to cover the scratches on the serving plate.
The placemat is scrapbook paper, 79 cents at Michael’s, and I got eight white cloth napkins for $10 at Home Goods. I also got the table cloth at Home Goods for $10. (I love Home Goods!)
Because they didn’t have enough of the cream scrapbook paper, I made some green “placemats” with my Cameo Silhouette. I alternated the placemats with the cream and green. The teacups are ones that I’ve collected during our various travels. They are all different, but I like that eclectic feel. Out of all the collection possibilities, I think teacups are pretty useful.
For the favors, I bought the boxes and stick-on flowers at Michael’s. I cut the tea pot on my Cameo (it’s the same tea pot I used for the invitations), pasted it on with a glue stick, and wrote the names with a regular black felt tip pen. I filled them with candy I made from the Wilton candy melts and a flower mold I got from IKEA. It’s really easy…melt the candy, fill the mold, and pop in the freezer for about 10 minutes. I used a variety of vanilla, chocolate and peanut butter candy.
This was the tea station, with regular and decaf, and some extra sugar and clotted cream.
What’s a tea party without some poms? I used this pom tutorial and tied them to the chandelier.
Finished tea table!
I was still making the scones when the guests arrived, but they stayed busy at the champagne and fruit bar.
Rachel, the guest of honor (left), enjoying the company.
Then it was tea time with close friends…
After tea, another friend led The Blessing Way (she did an awesome job) where we offered our support and encouragement. We each wrote down a verse, poem or words from the heart, which will eventually be a quilt for Rachel to put in her new baby’s room. We lit a candle after we gave her our quilt square, and we will light a candle when she goes into labor.
What a special day to honor this beautiful mommy-of-two-to-be!
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