There’s something special about dining outdoors, especially when the sun’s out and you’re surrounded by friends and family. You could have a picnic when the temperature rises, or you might want to do something a little more elaborate by hosting an afternoon tea. Preparing a selection of delicious drinks and treats can be extremely rewarding, so here are some top tips for enjoying an al fresco afternoon tea party - just hope a tiger doesn’t turn up at your door!
If you do want to enjoy a roarsome kind of teatime, don’t forget The Tiger Who Came to Tea is showing this summer. It’s one of the best days out in London, so book your tickets today. Now, back to some tiger-free party tips.
What better way to set the scene for afternoon tea than by decorating your garden? You could make your own edible bunting by threading ribbon through triangle cookies with little holes at the top or buy a selection of brightly coloured tablecloths to cover a medley of tables. Each table can offer a different kind of sweet or savoury treat. If you’re inviting children, it might be nice to lay picnic blankets on the grass with a few teddies dotted around, so they can have a teddy bear’s picnic while the adults enjoy a more sophisticated dining experience.
Another way to make afternoon tea fun and quirky is by choosing a theme. An Alice in Wonderland-inspired Mad Hatter’s Tea Party is sure to go down well. You could send out invites telling guests not to be late for a ‘very important date’ and include a teabag and a playing card in the envelope. When it comes to garden decoration, how about setting up a long table with different types of teapots and cups. Try to use a mixture of both large and tiny teacups such as those from a doll set for added interest. Hanging up colourful paper lanterns and dotting gold keys here and there is another great tip.
You could also choose a colour scheme. If you’re celebrating a birthday, pastel colours work well. Or if it’s a party for a silver wedding anniversary, then silver decorations such as balloons or table confetti will look brilliant.
The great thing about outdoor tea parties is that you can offer a wonderful selection of finger food options that can be eaten easily off small plates. The idea is, people can try a wide range of sweet and savoury delights without filling up on one huge meal. When it comes to the sweet selection, mini lemon meringue tarts or apple pies are great for summer. Savoury treats can include little triangle sandwiches with the crusts cut off. Cucumber, egg and cress, smoked salmon and chicken mayonnaise are all good filling options. You could also make homemade scotch eggs, mini quiches, vegetable or meat kebab skewers, pizza and more.
If you want to really spice it up, you could choose a different location such as a London park and ask everyone to bring their favourite afternoon tea snack. This is possibly one of the most fun things to do in London and is a great way to try different foods. If you’re dining with kids, they’ll also have plenty of room to run around. And perhaps you can take a look at one of the family shows i London to enjoy post-lunch.
Book your tickets to see The Tiger Who Came to Tea today and make memories to last a lifetime.