Afternoon tea is part of British culture. Once enjoyed exclusively by the wealthy, it’s now a treat that everyone can enjoy. With the festive season upon us, you can add a Christmas twist to your afternoon tea to make it extra special. Let’s explore how to plan the perfect Christmas themed afternoon tea.
What would a tea party be at this time of year without some sparkling decorations? Put your tree up, pop the stockings on the fireplace and decorate picture frames and shelving with tinsel. If little ones are coming to your party, how about setting up an arts and crafts station for them to enjoy too? Ask them to make their very own paper chains from metallic foil or task them with making sparkly and brightly coloured Christmas cards for their loved ones. This will keep them entertained while the adults socialise.
Every tea party needs a good soundtrack, and a festive one is perfect for your occasion. From kid-friendly tracks such as Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer and Frosty the Snowman to Christmas classics such as Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree and Winter Wonderland, you won’t be short of choice. If Christmas-only songs are a bit much, why not include a few pop songs too? Make a playlist in advance and let the music ring out as you enjoy your afternoon drinks and snacks.
Spice up your afternoon tea with some festive games. Give much-loved games like ‘pin the tail on the donkey’ a festive twist by chancing it to ‘pin the nose on Rudolph’ and give everyone a good giggle. You could also prepare a Christmas quiz for your guests complete with general knowledge and music rounds, or enjoy a spot of festive charades. A Christmas-themed pass the parcel is also likely to go down well with younger ones. If you want to splash out on the prize, why not make it tickets to a children’s play or pantomime?
Every tea party needs some savoury treats. While preparing Christmas favourites like turkey sandwiches, sausage rolls, and mini potatoes with brie and cranberry sauce is always a good idea, you could push the boat out further with some creative food art. To make Santa sandwiches, for example, cut ready made sandwiches into a Santa shape using a cookie cutter and decorate with olives for the eyes, red pepper cut into a circle for the nose and some cream cheese for the beard. Puff pastry Christmas trees filled with red pesto and cheese are also delightful when served warm at a tea party.
An afternoon tea party at Christmas needs mince pies. These can be shop bought or homemade. You might also want to cut up small slices of Yule log or Christmas cake that people can easily place on their plates. For something healthier, use strawberries, bananas and red grapes to create a jolly fruity platter. A fruit tree using green grapes and coloured berries also looks nice. Provide toothpicks for people to pick up each piece of fruit.
You can serve a range of traditional English and fruit teas for variety. But as it’s Christmas, why not offer eggnog and hot chocolate too, complete with optional whipped cream, sprinkles, flakes and marshmallows? You could even make a hot chocolate station for extra creativity. The adults might also enjoy a spot of mulled wine or an alcoholic punch.
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