My cousin is expecting her first child and I am co-hosting a shower at our house in February. We were so excited to find out it is going to be a little girl and a afternoon tea party seemed perfect. A little cousin for Reed! And a little girl!
Whenever I plan a party a little research is in order. Especially when I don't know too much about tea except that British people have it in the afternoon and that little sandwiches and scones are in order.
I found a great website www.afternoontoremember.com that spells out the whole history of tea. Did you know that high tea is actually not super formal? It was first started by the common laborers? Afternoon tea was actually what those in high society enjoyed. I love history - especially the history of customs and how life was for generations past.
Here is a little more about afternoon tea from the Afternoon To Remember website. "While drinking tea as a fashionable event is credited to Catharine of Braganza, the actual taking of tea in the afternoon developed into a new social event some time in the late 1830’s and early 1840’s. Jane Austen hints of afternoon tea as early as 1804 in an unfinished novel. It is said that the afternoon tea tradition was established by Anne, Duchess of Bedford. She requested that light sandwiches be brought to her in the late afternoon because she had a “sinking feeling” during that time because of the long gap between meals. She began to invite others to join her and thus became the tradition."
The menu will be both savory and sweet and will of course include tea. We are going to modernize/americanize it as well and serve hot chocolate, lemonade and cold tea.
I can't wait to get fancy and bring out my fine china and silver!