19.10.2017 / by YoursTrulyCatering
As the cold weather draws in, I thought I’d remind us of fun warmer times – Summer! Well actually, here in North Wales, warm summer weather almost never exists but we can all dream can’t we? Creating a summer afternoon tea party might seem like a lot of work but I have a few great tips for you to impress your guests, stress free.
Firstly, your venue. Whether it’s your back garden, a town hall or a glamorous marquee, you can easily make this look great on a budget. Florals go amazingly well with the look of an afternoon tea. Pick some wild flowers, put them in jam jars & tie them with string. A piece of floral fabric from your local textile shop on your table will make a lovely base to place your tea stands. A cup & saucer, a small plate, napkin, teaspoon & cake fork is all you should need for each guest.
The menu is important. Afternoon Tea is all about the cakes but we have found that when feeding a group of guests, they will always devour the savoury first so we say a good ratio is 4/5 sandwiches or savouries and 3 sweet treats. My ideal afternoon tea would be one meat sandwich, beef & rocket, one vegetarian sandwich, cheese & spring onion and of course, the classic cucumber & cream cheese. I would choose home made sausage rolls & Melton Mowbrey pork pies and for sweet treats, the classic scone, clotted cream & strawberry conserve, a lemon drizzle cake & double chocolate brownies (chocolate is an absolute must)!
To get prepared, most things can be made the day before. Sandwiches can made the day in advance, covered with damp kitchen towel, cling filmed & chilled in the fridge overnight. This will work for any mixture that isn’t too wet. Tuna or a coronation chicken filling would keep as well as a beef & rocket for instance. Sandwiches should be well seasoned. Check this by tasting the filling-it’s always a hard job to do 😉 . Scones & sausage rolls should always be cooked on the day of the event. They are best as fresh as possible. If you can serve these warm, even better! Cakes should be small finger cakes. You don’t want to serve something too tricky to pick up & eat and if you make the cakes too big, your guests will never manage 3 of them!
The tea is also a big deal, don’t forget that! We as Brits, quite fancy ourselves as tea connoisseurs so the more varieties of tea’s you can get hold of, the better. We make our very own blend of tea here at YT. It’s a lovely breakfast tea that suits everyone. We also stock a further 8 teas. My favourite by far is our cream earl grey with beautiful vanilla tones, it really goes well with the afternoon tea. Ensure your tea is brewed but not stewed, around 3 minutes per tea pot should do it. Have coffee available for the non-tea drinkers.
Afternoon tea should not be plated up until the guests arrive, you don’t want to serve crusty sandwiches & stale cakes. Everything must be as fresh as possible! Be prepared & have your jam & cream in dishes ready to go (we like our guests to help themselves to these) and it shouldn’t take you too long to place everything on the cake stands. Have your kettle constantly on boil so you can refill them pots. Afternoon tea should be enjoyed at a leisurely pace as there will be so much food, it will take your guests time to get through it. Some music in the background will add to the atmosphere (maybe steer clear from the heavy metal), and if your feeling fancy, crack open the champagne & make it a champagne afternoon tea!
If you can make your afternoon tea as stress free as possible, everyone will enjoy it more, including you! If you’d rather not have the stress at all, give us a call & we’ll sort it for you!
Cheers from my cup of tea to yours.