The tradition of the high tea dates back to the early nineteenth century where Anna Russel, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford began the practice of hosting friends to a summery afternoon tea at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire. Generally during this period in history, individuals would sit down to two meals per day, breakfast and dinner, and it is for this reason that forward-thinking Anna began the tradition of a light afternoon snack and a pot of well-made tea. These days the high tea takes its cues from the duchess’s refined afternoon event and incorporates all of the luxury modern trimmings one would expect. We no longer limit our affair to simply tea and a dainty snack, but instead a plethora of food and drink options are available, served in an elegant and sophisticated manner.
The high tea is a fashionable affair, one that requires preparation and thoughtfulness, but in turn, is a memorable and elegant event—take a gander over the following handy tips below, and host your high tea with confidence and style.
When hosting a high tea, one of the most important things to consider is the weather—no one wants to sit outside in the cold or rain, and conversely if it is a nice summery day, your guests will prefer not to be cooped up inside a shady room, but instead enjoy the bright beaming rays of sunlight. The location for your high tea is extremely important, with several things you must consider before deciding on a site—firstly, how many guests are you expecting? Secondly, will it be a seated affair, or a more modern high tea where guests can wander and socialise with each other? Once you have specified these points, choose a location that suits your affair, pick a spot that is as luxurious and elegant as possible, because a high tea is just that, a tasteful and exclusive event.
Time to bring out your ‘best’, the tableware that is left collecting dust on the top shelf of your cupboard is about to have it’s day. For this sophisticated occasion, ensure you have enough cups, saucers, wine and champagne glasses, crockery and cutlery for all of your guests. You would hate to have to offer wine in a tumbler! Moreover, to ensure everything looks spectacular and fancy, be sure to polish your glassware and cutlery before setting the table; the extra attention to detail will complement the refined and elegant ambiance.
An essential element to a successful high tea is having everything ready to go and on-hand. This can be a difficult task however, especially if you are hosting alone. Employ a stylish storage system such as the one shown in this example, for a space that offers convenience and accessibility whilst looking sleek and elegant. The practicality of this dining console and wall-mounted shelf will ensure you do not have to rush back and forth between the kitchen, but instead, calmly and expediently have access to everything you and your guests need.
To ensure you aren’t constantly running back inside for items to look after your guests and spending time away from the party, plan on employing a movable trolley. A trolley will guarantee all of your items can be in the same room as your guests whilst looking stylish and sophisticated. Moreover, you can have extra drinks, tableware and other essentials pre-prepared and accessible—this will ensure you spend your time outside with the party and not inside gathering provisions.
Don’t turn your affair into a bland or boring event! One of the loveliest elements of the high tea is the colour and beautifully elegant accoutrements. Remember to create interest in your event with bright macarons, meringues and cakes, they will excite the atmosphere and create a sense of frivolity and flair.
A table clothed in linen is elegant, stylish and practical—you can coordinate and add colour to your high tea with linen napkins, coasters, placemats and even a table runner or cloth. This will safeguard your table from damage along with coordinating your dining setting and ensure it looks colourful, fashionable and sophisticated.
A high tea is generally a classically conventional affair, one entrenched in formality and following a style of elegance and sophistication, however, if you don’t wish to host a traditional event, it does not mean you must avoid a high tea altogether. Consider infusing some modernity into your experience through the use of contemporary accessories and colourful tableware.