Aug112010

How to Throw Your Own Parasol Protectorate High Tea

Invitation

You are cordially invited to a Parasol Protectorate High Tea. There can be no more delightful way to enjoy the last of summer than with delicious nibbles and a fabulous cup of tea.

Please attended {name of hostess/host} at {time} on the {day} of {month} at {venue} to enjoy good food, pleasant company, and scintillating conversation.

Guests are encouraged to wear hats in honor of Ivy, carry parasols in honor of Alexia, or even (gasp) cross-dress in honor of Madame Lefoux. BYOI (Bring Your Own Inventions) if you are maker and would like to expose others to your scientific method in steampunk style. Vampires and werewolves welcome, with the understanding that the former will keep their fangs to themselves, and the later will dress accordingly.

We hope to enjoy the pleasure of your company.
Sincerely,
Lady/Lord/Countess/etc. {your name here}

PSVP by footman, pigeon, or aetherogram.

Venue

If your own abode is undersized, a backyard garden is a lovely place to host tea or, barring that, a public park or lakeside aspect.

Suggested Savory Comestibles

Cucumber Sandwiches liberally spread with butter are always popular – I like to add a dash of fresh dill.
Egg Salad, Watercress, Chicken Salad, Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese, and Cheese & Chutney are also welcome. It is never a good idea to prepare the sandwiches too far ahead of time but if you do a clean, lightly damp dishtowel spread over the arrangement will prevent them from drying out or being attacked by bugs.

  • Hard boiled eggs
  • Scotch Eggs with Chutney
  • Sausage Rolls with English Mustard
  • Savory Scones
  • Pickled Onions
  • Crackers and Good English Cheddar

Suggested Sweets & Puddings

  • Brownie bites with dollop of whip cream and a raspberry and a sprig of mint make all the difference.
  • Upgrade pairs of gingersnaps by spreading lemon curd between
  • Turkish Delight
  • Strawberry Tarts
  • Sweet Scones with Clotted Cream and Strawberry Ja
  • Candied Lemon and Orange Peel
  • Trifle
  • Meringues (and their derivatives)
  • Macaroons
  • Shortbread
  • Raspberry Mousse Cups with Cream
  • Mincemeat Tarts
  • Sugared Rose and Violet Petals
  • Treacle Tart


The All Important Tea

Teacups. Now, if you do not own enough teacups and saucers you can encourage guest to bring their own. Ones that express individuality. This has two benefits, 1. You do not have to store them all, 2. Each guest can always identify his/her own cup, 3. Conversational openers are provided.

Tea. Twinings English Breakfast Gold Label is high quality, not bitter, and hard to over brew. But it is expensive. I sometimes, sometimes, stock Earl Grey. Never Herbal, tisanes are for medicinal uses only.

Whole milk. Guests who require alternatives should bring such things as *shudder* skimmed milk or *double shudder* soy on their own. No hostess or host should ever have to suffer the peculiarities of diet in others that the modern world has forced upon us. Eccentricity is one thing, pickiness another thing entirely.


Book Party Advise

Gail’s Daily Dose
Your Infusion of Cute:
15 Cutest Octopus, Squid and Other Cephalopods
Your Tisane of Smart:
How to speak New World Victorian.
Your Writerly Tinctures:
Babbling about Implausible Sex Scenes

Quote of the Day:

“Never trust a woman who wears mauve, whatever her age may be, or a woman over thirty-five who is fond of pink ribbons. It always means that they have a history.”

~ Oscar Wilde

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Posted by Gail Carriger

 

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