Tea Party Perfection: Hosting a Fantastic Get Together at Home

With spring right around the corner, chances are the hostess in you is in full planning mode. Nicer weather means we're able to spend time outside again, and sunny days are the perfect chance to throw a tea party. Afternoon tea provides an opportunity for socialisation and conversation in a relaxed and elegant setting, making it a popular choice for catch-ups with friends and family, or for special events such as baby showers and bridal showers. Here are some of the ways you can throw the perfect afternoon tea party at home.

Plan your guest list
Start by deciding who you want to invite, and make sure to consider the number of guests you can comfortably accommodate. When you're planning a party at home you need to consider your space and your seating, the last thing you want is for guests to not have anywhere to sit. It's a good idea to consider the mix of guests, and try to invite people who will get along well together.

Choose a suitable location
Pick a location that has enough space for your guests to move around comfortably, with enough seating and tables. The garden is the perfect setting for an afternoon tea party, but you could set up in the conservatory or the kitchen if you're unsure if the weather will hold out. Open up the doors to create the feeling of being outside, even if the food is being served indoors. 

Plan the menu
Choose a variety of teas, light snacks, and sweet treats that are appropriate for the occasion. Consider any dietary restrictions or allergies of your guests, and make sure to have a range of options for both tea and food. Decide which elements you will make or bake yourself, and which you will purchase in. In the case of fancy pastries and other technically difficult elements it can be worth buying ready made if you're not sure if you have the skills to execute them. 

Decorate the space
Add some flowers, candles, bunting or other decorative items to create an inviting atmosphere. Get yourself some afternoon tea tiered stands, pretty cake stands, teapots and china cups to really make the tea party feel complete- you can find these kinds of things in charity shops if you don't want to spend a fortune. 

Prepare the tea
Choose a variety of teas, and make sure they are brewed to the right temperature and strength, and consider brewing a fresh pot as needed. Serve the tea in a pleasing and appropriate manner, such as using a tray or pitcher. Consider additional drinks like coffee, soft drinks or Prosecco too. While it's a tea party by name, not everyone will drink tea so have backup options. 

Plan activities
Consider adding games or activities to make the event more interactive and enjoyable. You could play a tea-themed quiz, have a tea-tasting session, or host a craft activity. If you're out in the garden, garden games like Jenna and connect 4 can be a fun way to get everyone mixing. Make sure the activities are appropriate for the guests, and consider offering a prize or reward for the winner.

Be a gracious host
Greet your guests as they arrive, make sure they are comfortable, and be attentive to their needs throughout the event. Be mindful of the time and try to keep the event running smoothly. Consider offering a welcome drink or snack, and make sure everyone has everything they need.

Clean up
After the event, clean up and put everything away, and make sure to thank your guests for coming. Consider making plans for the next tea party, and take note of any suggestions or feedback from your guests to make the next event even better. By taking care of every aspect of the event, you can be sure that your tea party will be a memorable and enjoyable experience for everyone involved.