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Sebastien Centner is here with tips on how to throw the prefect tea party. 
  
www.eatertainment.com
 
Follow Sebastien at twitter.com/sebcentner
 
High Tea vs. Afternoon Tea
 
Afternoon tea started in England in the 17th century; it gained popularity during Queen Victoria’s time as a way to bridge the increasing time gap between lunch and dinner.
What North Americans consider ‘High Tea’ with small sandwiches and sweets is actually ‘Afternoon Tea’.
 
High Tea is an early dinner with meats and potatoes that was often served on Sundays to give the service staff an opportunity to attend church.

 
Tea Service
 
Tea was an item served not by the servants of the house but by the host, it was considered an intimate social meeting. The host would pour each guest’s tea personally, to order.
 
To prepare the pot of tea, hot water is first added to heat up the pot.
Loose tea is added: 1 tsp per person, plus 1 tsp for the pot
10 oz of hot water per person is added
Tea steeps for 3-4 minutes
 
The host asks each guest whether they enjoy strong or light tea. If light tea is requested, they fill ½ a cup with tea and top with hot water there is much debate whether milk is added before or after the tea. Whatever tradition was this is now a matter of personal taste.

 
Food is key of course….
  • Scones Sweets - Savory
  • Crumpets
  • Cream Scones
  • Blueberry Scones
  • Madelines
  • Victoria Sponge
  • Truffles
  • Shortbread
  • Fruit Tarts
  • Eclairs
  • Financiers
  • Cucumber Sandwiches
  • Egg Salad Sandwiches
  • Watercress Sandwiches
  • Stilton and Fig Tarts
  • Smoked Salmon Pinwheels
  • Irish Tea Bock
 
Tiers of food are present on the table the tiers display in order from top as scone, sweets and savories.
 
These are eaten in this order: savories, scones and sweets.
Accompaniments are clotted cream, lemon curd, jams and butter.
 
Extras….
 
If hosting a tea party ask your guests to bring a special tea cup with them. Most people have a special tea cup at home that they rarely use, maybe an heirloom from a relative.
 
Add a few pastel roses that were popular in the era to the table to dress it up.

Thursday, January 17, 2013

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