For my entire life, my family has enjoyed celebrating birthdays, anniversaries, and anything else worth celebrating by going to high tea. Lately, our favorite place to do so has been Elixir Tea House in downtown Sarasota. However, as my mother’s birthday is March 19, my two sisters and I were stumped as to what we were going to do. Because of COVID-19, our favorite way of celebrating was out of the realm of possibilities, or so we thought.
After dwelling on the issue for a bit, we decided that we would throw a tea party in our backyard (with iced tea, as it can get pretty hot outside), recreating some of our mom’s favorite foods from the parties we’ve had at Elixir and adding some of our other favorites into the mix as well. Plus, as self-isolating can become quite boring, hosting a tea party is a fun, creative way to spend your day, even if it is not a special occasion.
The first step to our “quaranTEA” party was making a list of what we wanted to serve. Choosing the menu is one of the most exciting parts of hosting a party- and it can be as creative as you want it to be. My family chose to go for a more traditional afternoon tea, but the opportunities are endless.
Here is what we served:
◦ Cucumber sandwiches
◦ Tomato, mozzarella and basil sandwiches
◦ Meat, cheese and crackers plate
◦ Chicken salad sandwiches
◦ Iced chai lattes
◦ Arnold palmers
Because it was our mom’s birthday, and we wanted it to be special, we did make a Publix run to pick up some of the items. If one wanted to recreate this idea, though, they could easily use snacks lying around the house and recipes off the internet with ingredients they already have. Before we left the house, we began steeping the Chai.
After our Publix trip, we started preparing the different types of food, which notably took a lot longer than we expected. This was mostly because we made a lot of these items from scratch, and for the first time. So, if one wants a fast set up, I suggest using premade food (though, homemade snacks always seem to taste better).
Once the food and tea was prepared, we set the outside table with a hot pink, satin tablecloth, some fancy dinnerware that once belonged to my great grandmother, and flowers (an extra gift for mom). One could also do this picnic-style, laying a blanket or tablecloth out on the ground.
Then, we took our mom outside and enjoyed the food with our whole family, just as you can do with yours! With everything going on in the world, it can be hard to take time to be creative about how to plan your days. Hopefully, your family has as much fun with this as mine did!