How to Host Your Own Tea Party at Home

Make your child’s imaginary tea party a reality without leaving the house. Pinkies can still extend and tea cakes can be consumed with an at-home tea party, one that even the kids can help prepare. Follow these tea party hosting tips and don your best party dress for a magical treat. 

The food

A traditional English tea comes complete with finger sandwiches, scones with jams and cakes and pastries.

Don’t be discouraged if you can’t make a perfect cucumber sandwich. A great finger sandwich can also be peanut butter and jelly, sans crust and cut into dainty strips. For a flair, consider pulling out the cookie cutters saved for Christmas for a teddy bear or flower motif. 

A good scone is a sweetened biscuit and occasionally includes fruit in the batter. When it comes to homemade scones, this simple recipe from Sally’s Baking Addiction helps you include whatever additions (dried cranberries, chocolate, cheese or all of the above) that your family will love.

Pastries are the star on the top of the tea tower. Sweet, single-bite and memorable, your pastries can include anything from expert-level chocolate croissants to anything you can make with puff pastry to this Lemony Almond-Blueberry Cake served in small pieces. 

The tea

If you can boil water, you can make tea. 

Pick teas you think your whole family would like best. Do they prefer sweets? Go with a cranberry, blueberry or peach. Maybe something heavier and savory? Try an Earl Grey or English Traditional. If everyone can pick their own, grab a selection

Kids younger than age 5 would love a swap of tea for hot chocolate (the key to the world’s best hot chocolate is milk; even in instant mix, milk adds decadence). Try this recipe if you want to avoid the powered packet. 

The service

The key to turning lunch sandwiches into tea is the service. 

Gather the best tea cups you can find, it’s OK if they don’t match each other. Or decorate for the occasion by decorating plain white ceramic cups, using Sharpies to color on them, then bake in a 350 F oven for 30 minutes (let the mug preheat and cool in the oven so that it isn’t shocked by the temp). 

If you don’t have a plate tower to present the sandwiches and pastries, use a cake plate to add levels. 

Dress in your finest or pick a theme to costume up (superheroes, princesses, zoo animals), and set the day to memory making. 


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This article also appeared in Chicago Parent’s January/February 2021 issue

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