The Ladies' Tea Guild

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Have a summer-time traditional English tea!

Beatrix Potter Tea table setting, May 2007. Elizabeth Urbach.
Now that the weather is staying warm for the season, it is the time of year for spending the day in the fresh air. Whether in your back yard or in a local park or garden, a traditional English-style tea party is an enchanting way to entertain. Taking inspiration from beloved author and illustrator Beatrix Potter, one can put together a lovely tea party. Here are some menu suggestions for a Beatrix Potter Tea:

Black tea with milk and sugar
Chamomile tisane with honey
Lemon Squash

Strawberry preserves
Clotted Cream

Cucumber sandwiches
Egg and Cress sandwiches
Welsh Rabbit (Rarebit)
Sausage rolls

Tea Cakes
Summer Pudding
Sticky Toffee Pudding
Berries and cream

Decorate with vintage linens (if you have any) or at least cloth napkins and tablecloth, and floral china. Casual bunches and nosegays of fresh flowers, tied with ribbons, would also be appropriate. Stuffed animals, especially rabbits, ducks, mice, hedgehogs and other traditionally English creatures would also be a fun addition. Make sure to tie ribbon bows around their necks to dress them up for the party!

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Now stir the fire, and close the shutters fast,
Let fall the curtains, wheel the sofa round,
And, while the bubbling and loud-hissing urn
Throws up a steamy column, and the cups
That cheer but not inebriate, wait on each,
So let us welcome peaceful evening in.
-- William Cowper (1731-1800)
"The Winter Evening" (Book Four), _The Task_ (1784)