Category Archives: tea party

A Springtime Tea Table: Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown, Tea Time Magazine

Tea Time Magazine is one of our favorite resources for tea inspiration. Along with their large and loyal following, we expect you’ll agree!

With Springtime in our thoughts, please allow us to direct your attention to Tea Time’s article for a bird themed tea table. It includes slideshows showcasing three different ways to decorate: Classically Elegant, Playfully Childlike and Casually Refined.

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown

Birds of a Feather by Angie Brown.

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like these recipes for Salmon Mousse Tea Sandwiches and Apple-Pomegranate Gellies.

Apple-Pomegranate Gellies shown with Pear-Walnut Gellies

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

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From Tea Time Magazine: Teapots by Amy Cates

This week, we’re sharing a nice article on teapots from Tea Time Magazine.

Teapots by Amy Cates

Teapots by Amy Cates

If you don’t subscribe to Tea Time Magazine, we highly recommend it for interesting articles, delicious recipes, inspiration and lots of extras! You can subscribe, give a gift subscription (a great tea gift that keeps on giving) or receive the Tea Time Newsletter at TeaTimeMagazine.com.

Our Tip: If you can afford a subscription to Tea Time Magazine, it is well worth the money as a resource that you’ll continually reference and share. Otherwise, get the Newsletter and check out the website! They’re free and the website has many wonderful resources like slide shows for making Candied Lemon Zest Curls or Sugared Flowers, printable recipe cards and many downloadable recipes.

For your next tea party visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our newest selection of english bone china tea setsteapots & tea accessories.

Candied Lemon Zest Curls Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Sugared Flowers Slideshow, Tea Time Magazine

Bone China Mugs for Tea

Lady Diana Rose Chintz Mug

C.S. Lewis said,

You can’t get a cup of tea big enough or a book long enough to suit me.”

He might have liked a mug!

Check out this video for a preview of lovely Staffordshire bone china mugs available at Teapots ‘n More!

Visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our selection of bone china mugsenglish bone china tea setsteapots & antique chintz tea cups.

Silver Plate vs. Nickel Plate?

Acorn Demi Spoons

Once or twice a year, I pull out my lovely silver plated demi spoons for a special tea party. I already know how they’re going to look even though I carefully packed them in a silver cloth. Silver tarnishes and that’s just the way it is!

It’s not a terrible thing, but I always say “good thing, I don’t mind the polishing or these babies would be gone!” Polishing the silver is a labor of love and part of the preparation for a special event. However, there are ladies who don’t want the extra fuss. Is there an alternative to silver or silver plate?

There is indeed! Nickel plated tea accessories are showing up in the market place this year. The price is good and the look is so similar to silver plate that you’d have a difficult time telling the difference. So, which is better?

There isn’t really a clear cut upside to either silver or nickel plating. It really comes down to your own preferences.

As previously stated, silver plate and nickel plate have a very similar coloring and brightness. Although, nickel can appear a little brighter. The obvious difference is the tarnishing aspect of silver whereas nickel doesn’t tarnish so no polishing is required. That, in itself, is a big plus for some gals.

Cake & Pastry Tongs

The debate over nickel plate vs. silver plate seems to be most rigorous when discussing musical instruments or jewelry findings. Silver plate is considered more durable for musical instruments such as flutes or horns. In regard to wearing jewelry, one of the more common metal allergies is to nickel. 

In my opinion, the durability and allergy questions aren’t particularly important to our discussion. In the average home, demi spoons are usually only used a few times a year: not enough to worry about durability and not enough skin contact to worry about allergies.

So, let’s sum up! The color of silver and nickel plate is very similar. Durability and allergies don’t really matter in regard to demi spoons, tea service or serving pieces. In the end, it comes down to silver tarnish. If you’re fussy about polishing silver, go with the nickel plate. If you don’t mind cleaning the tarnish, go for the silver. Either way, your table is going to be lovely!

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n Moreand browse our latest selection of English bone china teapots, tea sets, tea accessories and antique tea cups.

Two Classic English Tea Cakes

If you’re a regular reader, it comes as no surprise that we are big fans of the English tea tradition and especially tea with sweets. This week’s focus is on a few of our favorite classic English tea cake recipes: Victoria Sandwich Cake and Battenburg Cake. We hope you’ll give them a try and share your results with us!

Victoria Sandwich Cake

Victoria Sandwich Cake, or Victoria Sponge Cake, is said to have been named after Queen Victoria who favored this cake with her afternoon tea. The first known recipe was printed in an 1874 edition of Mrs. Beeton’s Cookery and Household Management.

The cake is made up of two layers of sponge cake with any seedless jam or marmalade and whipped cream in the middle. When cake is sandwiched with jam only, it is called a Jam Cake.

Battenburg Cake

Battenburg Cake has been reported as the wedding cake created for the 1884 marriage of Queen Victoria’s granddaughter to Louis of Battenberg, a German prince. The four squares of its unique checkerboard design represent the four princes of Germany at that time.

The cake is actually quite charming. It consists of two square sections of pink sponge cake put together with two square sections of yellow sponge cake. The sections are “glued” together with apricot jam and wrapped in a layer of marzipan.

Below you’ll find links to classic English recipes and tips for these delicious cakes. We admit the recipes are extra work. However, once you’ve done it, the results are worth the effort!

Tips:

– A kitchen scale will be helpful, since ingredients are often weighed out instead of measured in English recipes.

– Castor sugar is superfine sugar. You can make it by whirling granulated white sugar in your food processor to a finer consistency.

– Golden castor sugar is less refined. You can make an acceptable equivalent by whirling Turbinado, Raw or Demerara sugar in  your food processor to a fine consistency. You can also substitute regular granulated white sugar as noted above.

– For Victoria Sandwich Cake, whipped cream or buttercream frosting may be used in the filling. We prefer whipped cream and seedless raspberry or apricot jam.

– A 190 C oven is about 375 degrees F, a 180 C oven is about 350 degrees F, a 170 C oven is about 325 degrees F.  A 160 C oven is between 325-300 degrees F. American sponge cake recipes bake at 350 degrees F. We recommend trying both recipes at 350 F the first time, but keep a close eye on it as actual oven temperatures vary.

– A Battenburg Cake Pan is helpful when making this cake. They appear to be available only from England.  See an Amazon UK listing for this product by clicking on the above highlighted link.

Victoria Sandwich Cake Recipe:

http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1997/classic-victoria-sandwich

Battenburg Cake Recipe:

 http://www.bbcgoodfood.com/recipes/1120657/battenberg-cake

Are you planning a tea party? You’re invited to visit Teapots ‘n More and browse our latest selection of bone china teapots, tea accessories, tea cups, tea miniatures and english bone china tea sets.

Thrifty-Nifty Tea Party Favors

Porcelain Teapot Drip Catcher

Giving a gift is certainly one of life’s win-win moments. In giving, we prepare our gifts with care and anticipation. In receiving, we are both delighted and humbled by the expression of gratitude, love or care for us. When giving a gift two sentiments still hold true. It is better to give than receive and it really is the thought that counts.

Tea parties give us an excuse to be a giver in the preparation of a small favor for our guests. It certainly isn’t necessary or expected…just a tradition we enjoy. Perhaps you feel the same way. And since gifting can be expensive, especially for a large tea party, we thought to share our ever expanding list of thrifty, nifty tea party favors! These are great for wedding and baby showers as well. Feel free to share your own ideas.

DISCLAIMER: One of our favorite stores for inexpensive favors is AsianIdeas.com. You’ll see links below for some of the gifts we’ve discovered. However, we are not affiliated with this store and recommend shopping at your own risk. Links are for information only.

Rose Ball Candle

Gifts Under $5.oo

1. A purchased or handmade bookmark – We especially like the handmade ideas on Tipnut.com

2. A See’s Candy chocolate! If you live near a See’s store, you can purchase individual chocolates and boxes to fit just one piece. Last we checked, the cost was under $2.50 for a truffle with the box.

3. A homemade treat plus the recipe: a big cookie, some homemade candy or loaf of tea bread

4. A lovely candle

5. A paper or silk fan

6. A small potted plant: house plant, flowering annual or herb wrapped in gift foil with a ribbon or raffia tie

7. A packet of seeds

8. A packet of bubble bath

9. Tea Cup Doilies

10. Pretty Coasters

11. A nice pair of chopsticks

12. A key chain

13. Luggage Tags

14. Crystal Cut Flower Pot in Box – Beautiful!

Gifts Under $10.00

1. A Christmas Ornament

2. Name/Address book

3. Porcelain Teapot Drip Catcher

4. Paper Teapot Drip Catchers

5. Tea Strainer

6. Rock Sugar Crystals

7. Collectible Demitasse Tea Spoon

8. A mini teapot

9. Sugars by Sharon 2 oz. box

10. A paper back book: poems, tips or a fun story

A Great List of DIY Party Favors

The University of Phoenix Arts has a blog entry by Brianna Davis called Get Crafty With These 20 DIY Party Favors. It includes good ideas for weddings, kid’s parties and showers. Our favorite is #8 Cupcake in a Jar. We can definitely see some possibilities for tea parties.

We hope you enjoy these resources. May your creativity be inspired!


We invite you to visit Teapots ‘n More
and browse our current selection of tea accessories and sugars as well as new bone china teapots, tea sets and other delights.

Have a Charity Tea

With great empathy, we’ve watched the news from Japan this week along with all of you. Our hearts break for the stories of loss and alternately rejoice through tears for every life saved, every act of courage and bravery. In the face of such destruction, it is easy to feel small and insignificant. However, these are the times that require our action and affirmation of all that is good in each of us.

So, what can you do? Well, what are you good at? Are you a good organizer? Are you a good baker? Do you love to decorate? Do you know a lot of people? Do you love a good party? Perhaps a tea party?

Japanese Geisha Girl Tea Table

If you’re answer is yes, we suggest a Charity Tea. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy. Just send out invites and plan a tea as you normally would with one small change. Ask your guests to bring a donation of any amount, large or small. You’ll be surprised at how your little bit can add up when you put it all together.

Below are some ideas to spark your imagination and philanthropy!

1. Who should we give to? If you are seeking to help the  Japanese people, American Red Cross and Samaritan’s Purse are a few good suggestions. These organizations are already in the country with people and delivery systems in place. Other possibilities are a local children’s hospital, food bank, cancer society or disabled veteran’s group. Just look around or ask your guests for suggestions and pull one out of a tea cup during your tea party.

2. If your tea is small enough, total up your donation while your guests are present so everyone can share in the accomplishment. Otherwise, be sure to send out a donation total with your thank you notes.

3. To accompany your donation, write a short letter or card together with your guests and have everybody sign it.

Silk Fan in Box

4. Give your guests a remembrance of the day such as a Japanese fan, nice chopsticks, bamboo coasters or a pretty candle.

5. Make it fun. Share good food & good company for a good cause. You’ll be glad you did!