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Tradition has it that we children treat our wonderful mothers to either a sweet breakfast in bed or a wonderful brunch to honor them on Mother’s Day. While moms everywhere love those early-morning knocks on the door with a tray full of goodies, or the idea of not having to cook or clean up on Mother’s Day, I thought I would propose a nice alternative to tradition. Host a Mother’s Day Tea Party this year, featuring mothers and daughters of multiple generations in a true celebration of motherhood.
Tea parties are not just for ladies in the Red Hat Society or children serving “airy” tea to their collection of teddy bears. Tea parties are a great opportunity for an afternoon of simple girly time — wonderful conversation, delicious bite-sized foods, and a chance to dress up and even don an elaborate hat. So, with a little creativity and some of these great ideas, you can host a great afternoon tea party for all the mothers in your life. For even more ideas, visit our Mother’s Day board on Pinterest.
While not always necessary, it sure is fun to center your afternoon tea party around a fun theme. You can host a traditional British-style tea party or you can mix things up and add a little whimsy that will appeal to mothers and daughters of all ages. Seek out inspiration from famous tea parties in books and movies, for example. Think Jane Austen’s “Pride and Prejudice.” Or maybe you could feature a traditional Japanese or garden fairy tea party theme.
When thinking of themes, “Alice in Wonderland’s” Mad Hatter tea party instantly comes to mind. But why not create a “Beauty and the Beast” theme featuring a gorgeous chandelier made from golden flatware. Or recreate the animated scenes of “Mary Poppins” for a fun, “supercalifragilisticexpialidocious” event. While not necessarily known for featuring tea parties, you could also create themes around your favorite literary classics like “The Great Gatsby” or even the more modern book, “The Help.”
Tiny sandwiches, petit fours, scones, fruit tarts, gazpacho, hand-crafted lemonades and, of course, flavorful teas, are all traditionally part of the perfect tea party. Finger foods — both sweet and savory — are usually the top menu items for any perfect tea party. For Mother’s Day, especially if centered around a theme, the food can be a fun addition to any tea party.
Some great ideas include chicken salad stuffed into delicate wonton cups, beautiful pinwheel sandwiches, cream cheese-stuffed strawberries, bite-sized caprese salads, sliced fruit and dip piled into waffle cones. You could even create a fruit tart bar where guests can build their own fruit tarts. As for teas, offer a wide variety for everyone, including some fun hot chocolate flavors for the kids, too.
No need to go crazy when trying to decorate for a tea party. The decorations can all be inspired by those adorable tea cups and saucers. Simply use what you have and add fresh, spring accents. Don’t have a collection of tea cups? Borrow from a friend or even head to the nearest thrift store to gather a fun, eclectic collection.
Serving trays and platters, accented with sprigs of spring flowers, make delightful centerpieces, too. You can even create your own customized serving trays by gathering up old saucers from the thrift store — the more colorful the better — and gluing them to crystal candlesticks.
— Jennifer Durrant