Vintage Tea Parties – a hit with the Hens!

picnic on pallets

Vintage and retro tea parties are big hits at the moment. It brings back an age of politeness, elegance and camaraderie – genteel conversations over some delicious food and of course, tea, served from a teapot!

They do take a bit of organising and it really helps to have many bakers as everything can be prepared in advance (and often even frozen!) but the end result is sooo worth it!

Plus you can go the whole way and dress up in appropriate style to really set them off. At Chichester Self Catering we can even provide classic sets to really set the picture. The garden or patio is a super place for the tea party (weather allowing) but even inside the atmosphere is welcoming and friendly – for more, or less formal as you choose. So whether it is for a family gathering, a Hen Party, a special birthday or just for fun – come to Chichester Self Catering.

picnic-on-pallets Vintage Tea Parties - a hit with the Hens!

The British do traditional very well don’t we?

So why not have this as a theme for your tea party? – add some appropriate table napkins, decorations and bunting too? With the national excitement over the Olympics, the Queen’s 90th Birthday and many other events there seems to be a endless ways of celebrating being British! Union flags are easy to obtain, along with little cake flags cake decorations and a lot more! And why not?

To add an extra special zing we can also organise some vintage dressing up and dancing with the amazing Dawn Gracie – a local entertainer and vintage guru. She can give dance lessons, some tips on swishing and sweeping Burlesque type moves and brings all the kit and kaboodle with her – feathers, flounces and hair style ideas (maybe an idea for a girls dance exposition on the day of the Wedding??!)

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Raspberry Meringue Dark Chocolate Sandwiches
The great thing about these meringues is that you can make them the day before so you have less to do on the day of your tea party. They’re beautiful, they’re rose-shaped and I bet they taste pretty gorgeous, too. These raspberry meringue sandwiches with whipped dark chocolate ganache were made by Allie, from the Baking A Moment blog.

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Cranachan Ice Cream
Lauren at the blog Coffee Muffins gives us a twist on the traditional Scottish treat, Cranachan. She’s tweaked a raspberry ripple ice cream recipe, adding whisky and an oat praline layer, turning the whole thing into a beautiful Cranachan ice cream, served in lovely vintage tea cups. A refreshing alternative to all that cake, especially if it’s a warm day. If that is all too much – why not buy some of the locally made, organic icecream from Caroline’s Dairy?

So – on to what to eat! Nom nom!

Sandwich Cake
Don’t panic, because this isn’t a cucumber cake. It’s actually a sandwich cake, based on the Swedish recipe for Smorgastorta. This one comes from Pavani, from the blog Cook’s Hideout and contains cream cheese, baba ghanoush (blend flesh of roasted eggplant with tahini, lemon juice, garlic clove, salt and pepper) and a whole load of other delicious things. You make it up and then just slice it into portions like you would a normal cake.

Mini Apple Rose Pies
I’m in love with these mini apple rose pies, from Holly, who writes at the blog From My Impossibly Tiny Kitchen. And you’ll be pleased to find out that making apple roses isn’t as fiddly as you’d think. These are fun for all ages of “children” to do and they look spectacular! Check out her blog post for step by step instructions, and the full recipe.

Sponge Cake with Berries and Cherries
Sometimes, if you’re feeding a lot of people (or even if you’re not), you just need a big cake as a centrepiece to your tea party. And this is perfect. The recipe comes from Christina at Hungry Australian, and it proves you don’t need a lot of fiddly icing on it either – just pile the top of the cake with berries and cherries.

Cheese Scones
If all that cake and ice cream gets a bit much, you can always have a few cheese scones on the table, too. This recipe for Cheddar dill scones comes from the blog An Edible Mosaic. Perfect with a cuppa and thickly spread with salted butter. Yum.

Blackberry Cupcakes
More proof that decorating your cakes doesn’t have to be fiddly. Michelle from Hummingbird High has made these gorgeous blackberry cupcakes topped with rose cream cheese frosting, blackberry sauce and, of course, blackberries. You can of course pick the blackberries from the hedgerow yourself around here from early August onwards quite often! If not, substitute raspberries, blueberries or strawberries for them.

Jam Scones
Oh yes. Get out the scones, creamed jam and layer it all up for a good, old-fashioned cream tea. Bung it all on the table and let everyone help themselves. And that way, there’ll be no arguments about whether you put the cream or jam on first. (Not true – there probably will be). Get the recipe for these scones at Gourmet Kitchen Tales. GOOD quality jam is a MUST, and raspberry if possible. Cornish clotted cream is also an extra treat that goes down in a delightful way!

Pimm’s Strawberry Cups
In case you need a break from just buckets of tea. This refreshing drink comes from Jessica from How Sweet It Is. And because you can’t beat a spot of Pimm’s at a traditional tea party. Get the full recipe on her blog. I LOVE Pimm’s – it is such a refreshing drink – but just be aware that it is surprisingly alcoholic!

Rose Petal Jelly
Love the fragrance of rose petals? Then you’ll love slathering this rose petal jelly over your scones. And luckily, it’s no too difficult to make. Check out step by step photos at Lucky Beans. Katurah reckons it would also make a perfect glaze for a lemon cake or as she eats it: on baked French toast with blackberries. Don’t forget you can get rose essence and rose oil of the fresh scented petals are hard to come by.

Champagne Strawberry Jellies
If you’re looking for something a bit different from cakes and biscuits, then how about this? Champagne and strawberry jellies, from A Beautiful Day. You can make them the day before, too. Here is a lovely idea foe an “adult” party vs a children’s birthday of years gone by…

Earl Grey Cookies
Another recipe here from Hummingbird High, but I couldn’t resist. Earl Grey tea works really well in baking recipes and Michelle has cracked it here with these Earl Grey and dark chocolate cookies. She also says you can always switch out the Earl Grey for your favourite tea. Perfect.

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So I hope this has inspired you – whether you are coming to stay for a Hen Party or a family get together here – as your own house is too small for a gathering of the “clan”.

NB Don’t forget that whilst the accommodation has only room for a limited number, with agreement, you can host a larger party here if you wish.

Please, let me know what ideas you like – and if you are going to try out a recipe and how it turned out. You can always send in your photos too!

© Chichester Self Catering. Gayle Palmer 2016

All Rights Reserved.

If you like this post why not read up on How to organise a picnic?

Another alternative is to go out for tea! See the @Smokedandchard post 

Not sure how to start organising a Hen Party? Start here!

Find more inspiration on our Pinterest boards too – there are plenty!