Throwing a Summer “Par-Tea”

Today, tea parties are in vogue for women of all ages and are quickly becoming a popular way for friends to gather together and enjoy wonderful food, stimulating conversation, and the fun of being fancy.

Michelle Virtue with BYU Campus Craft and Floral shares ideas for throwing the perfect summer “par-tea.”

Now that the kids are back in school and you’ve retaken control of your home, it’s the perfect time to invite your closest girlfriends for a summer tea party.

Tea Party Basics:

   • Do some research on holding a tea.

   • Don’t get bogged down with having the “perfect” or the “correct” tea. HAVE FUN!

   • Consider the Details



     -Number of Guests

Invitations: Make your invitations to suit you style, theme, and color scheme.

Attire: Request that guests wear a particular color OR it’s really fun to have everyone wear fancy hats, gloves, and summer dresses to make the party a special affair.


   • Use what you already have.

   • Coordinate to a particular color scheme. Try not to use more than 2-3 colors.

   • Use cloth tablecloths. Linens make a difference. Unless you are having a very informal tea,       cloth napkins and tablecloths are an expectation. If your budget doesn’t allow for       expensive linens, purchase inexpensive sheets or bulk fabrics to dress your table. Try       using a quilt or throw for added richness, texture, and depth.

   • Gather tea pots from friends. Use them to serve and as decorations. Check second hand       stores and garage sales for a fun collection of teacups.

   • Don’t be afraid to use non-traditional tea party colors and try mixing tea service styles.

Food: Keep it simple and light. You may serve a full course meal if you desire—just make sure it is not something heavy. Tea parties traditionally have three courses—tea sandwiches, scones, and tea cakes. If you’re looking for some great tea party recipes—visit

My favorite tea sandwich is of the cucumber variety:

Cucumber Tea Sandwich Recipe

1 large cucumber, peeled and sliced very thinly


3/4 cup soft butter

2 teaspoons minced fresh garlic

20 slices bread

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1 tablespoon olive oil

Pepper to taste

Lightly salt the cucumber slices and place them in a colander to drain for 1 to 2 hours. Then combine the butter and garlic and apply to 1 side of each slice of bread. In a small bowl, stir together the lemon juice, olive oil, and pepper. Add the cucumber slices, coating them well. Arrange the cucumber on 10 of the bread slices, top with the other 10 slices, remove the crusts, and quarter. Serve immediately. Makes 40 tea sandwiches.
(Variation: Tomato Tea Sandwich Recipe )

Variations on a Traditional Tea:

   • Throw a tea party for men. Use a golf TEE as a spin-off. Alter menus, decorations, and       activities to suit the male guests.

   • Try a T-party where everything starts with the letter T. Tuna, trifles, tangerines, etc.

   • A kid-only tea party is the perfect chance for little guests to dress up in their finery. Use the       book Fancy Nancy by Jane O’Connor as your party foundation.

   • You can’t go wrong with a pink princess tea party. Lots of pink chiffon, fairy wings, and       wands!

   • Bright & modern with chandeliers is striking, showy, and FUN. Try a black & white tea with       guests dressed formally.

For a great selection of fresh flowers and home décor, visit BYU Campus Craft & Floral:

Campus Craft & Floral

1021 WSC

Provo, UT 84602

(801) 422-2840

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