Planning a vintage style tea party is surprisingly straightforward and absolutely nothing to be scared of. Whether you’re a real home mum who enjoys home-baking and can produce delicious titbits out of leftovers in an instant, or a working woman with little time available in the kitchen and a very close relationship with your local supermarket, you will be able to host a fabulous event with ease after following these simple steps.
The beauty of a vintage tea party is that it can be hosted for so many different occasions. We’re thinking:
Little Girls’ Birthday Parties
Kitchen Teas or Bridal Showers
Grown-Up Girlfriends’ Birthdays
Book Club Events
We’ve probably missed a few ideas there but certainly it’s clear that it is a very versatile option when you need to provide fun and tasteful entertainment for a group of special people. It’s probably important to point out that it can also suit a group as small as only four people or a large group of up to quite possibly twelve or fourteen at least.
So what are the main components that you will 레트로 need for the party?
Little Girls or Grown-Up Girls
Tables And Chairs
Table Cloths And Napkins
Tasty Finger Food
Tea! Wine too.
Retro Style Dresses
By now you will have probably decided which group of girlfriends to try out your first vintage tea party on, so we can move straight on to the furniture aspect. This is not a major problem to overcome. If the weather is bad or just rather chilly, you will be based indoors and your dining room table will serve the purpose admirably, or, equally, a selection of low, coffee and occasional tables, if you wish to sit in small groups. For sunny days your garden or courtyard is the perfect venue and here a few small tables makes for a perfect layout.
To decorate your tables you will need pretty, feminine fabrics, preferably flower patterned, although checked gingham patterns will also work, depending on your taste. These need not be actual table cloths, you can cut pieces of material to place loosely over you tables and your napkins can be created from cut fabric (hemmed if you wish, but not essential). It is particularly pleasing to have napkins of different patterned fabric. All your fabric can be sourced from charity shops, anything with a suitable pattern can be cut up.
For crockery it has to be bone china, nothing else will do. The fun of this is really in the search, which should be carried out over time by visiting charity shops, boot fairs and looking at online auctions, for instance. Once you have collected your vintage china you will be able to keep it and re-use it time and again. You will also be able to add to your collection all the time and none of it should really match. That is the joy of it, you may find it becomes quite a hobby and you will be amazed at how beautiful a table looks when laden with mismatched vintage bone china.
You shouldn’t need too much cutlery but what you do have should be delicate. Try looking around for secondhand pieces such as pretty, ornate tea spoons and small forks to use for cakes. While you are searching for your cutlery keep your eyes out for secondhand clothing or even curtains, sheets, anything with a pattern in pretty colours. These will just need to be cut up into triangles or squares and can be simply stapled to a length of ribbon or stitched if you prefer. Once hung between trees or bamboo canes outside or along the wall if indoors, the scene will be truly set.
Pretty flowers are a must for occasions such as these and anything goes here. Perhaps place stems loosely in tea cups sitting on saucers or in little crystal vases, again, collected from vintage and second-hand shops. The more flowers the merrier and if you’ve managed to pick up lots of cheap little vases, you could even give each of your guests a small vase of flowers upon leaving.
By this time we’re almost ready to begin but what about the food? Well, everything will be looking so pretty you might wonder if your guests would even notice! A vintage tea party is not really an event where people would expect to eat a filling meal so we can stick to finger food at its finest. Think lots of small and tasty sandwiches and bridge rolls with a delicious assortment of fillings, either homemade or store-bought. Load some larger plates with pretty cupcakes and you must have one or two victoria sponge type cakes too, to be authentic. Serve this delicious spread with some ice-cold white wine and have your teapot and tea cosy at the ready. Try using real loose tea for a change and invest in a tea strainer. Not only will your tea taste wonderful but your guests will really be impressed.
We’re only left with what to wear. Retro style dresses and vintage tea dresses are a must and not just for you but your guests also. This is all part of the fun and should be mentioned as your dress code in your invitation. There are plenty of cheap vintage dresses available, whether in vintage shops or online vintage stores. You may also be able to find one in a charity shop or at an online auction. It will be great fun looking for your dress and your friends will equally enjoy searching for theirs too, no doubt.
You are now ready! Who knows? The next time a group of ladies lunching are overheard saying “She’s amazing, she dresses vintage style for her vintage tea parties!” they might just be talking about you!