Welcome to our Spring Time High Tea Collaboration. PopcornCandi, The Beautiful Blog, C’s Style Diary and tea.eats have collaborated to bring to you 4 posts that cover everything you need to know when planning your next High Tea – in my favourite season on them all – Spring!
PopcornCandi has very kindly put together the segment on which teas are best to serve at your next high tea, The Beautiful Blog has added a stunning post on how to decorate for your high tea, C’s Style Diary has shared some tips with you to help you decide what to wear to a high tea and I have given you some tips, tricks and a couple of awesome recipes for you to use for your high tea.
Without any further ado, lets get stuck in
What food should you serve at your high tea? Some tips that will help you decide
Written by Taryn Gunn from tea.eats
When preparing eats for a high tea it is important to keep the following in mind:
An assortment of sweet and savoury eats should be served. It’s better to keep your savoury items as healthy as possible to balance out the sugary sweetness in some of the goodies. It is also a good idea to serve some gluten free items. Even if no one in your party has a gluten allergy or intolerance, people will still choose it as I find ladies always like to choose something that may seem healthier.
The food needs to be easy to eat. Ladies come all dressed up in their Sunday best, they don’t want to be dropping cream or raspberry coulis onto their clothing. This doesn’t mean the food needs to be simple, in fact it shouldn’t be. No one wants to see petite hot dogs or petite hamburgers at a high tea.
It is my opinion that when preparing food for your high tea that you take something that is simple – like a scone for instance, and you jazz it up. Instead of using ordinary strawberry jam, why not fry up some strawberries in a little honey and water to make it a little syrupy but still have integrity of the actual fruit in it. Then, instead of using a spoon to scoop the cream on to the strawberry, rather put it into a piping bag with a close tip nozzle and pipe swirls of floral cream on top. Don’t end there, look for edible and seasonal flowers and top it as garnish with perhaps a sprinkling of roasted nuts. This is a simple scone turned fancy enough for a high tea. Perhaps keep some without the nuts in case some of your guests have a nut allergy.
**Side note: Dear Reader, please don’ be silly like me and use aerosol cream. You see, as a stay at home / work at home mom the only time I have to do these things is when Mr Toddler is asleep. So I thought I would be smart and buy the aerosol cream for my images for you because it would go nice and quickly and I would be able to get it done before Mr Toddler wakes up. Bad, bad, bad mistake! You don’t have same control with aerosol cream as you would have with a piping bag, so your swirls become blobs. Also the cream is super airy – so it deflates really fast. Within a couple of minutes the cream goes all flat and looks horrible. I apologize to you that I did not take the time to do this properly for this post! I have however swirled tons of cream before and if you make a nice thick Chantilly Cream it will work beautifully! To make Chantilly cream, whip your cream with a touch of icing sugar and a drop of vanilla extract. Delicious!**
Cucumber is so readily available and generally on the lower end of the cost spectrum. Purchase a cucumber. Instead of slicing it into circles, slice thin long slices along the length of the cucumber, smeer on some cream cheese, chopped chives and a touch of smoked salmon or trout, then roll it up. Seal it closed with a toothpick. Put a cherry tomato and an olive on the toothpick. Or use a little cream cheese to hold it closed and serve it standing up.
A pretty way of serving as assortment of veg is to make rainbow spring rolls. I love this recipe and I love this blog. It looks so beautiful! Adds so much colour to your table and is super healthy!
Also have an assortment of vegetable and fruit skewers. Perhaps a hummus or baba ghanoush dip for the vegetable skewers to be dipped into and a sweet syrup – perhaps a rose essence syrup for the fruit to be dipped into. It is best to use seasonal fruit and veg here. Try get your fruit and veg in as many different colours as you can. A vegetable skewer could perhaps have green celery, an orange carrot, a brown mushroom, a yellow pepper and a red tomato. Use what is easy to find. Pick the fruit that lacks blemishes and is at the point just before being its ripest. For fruit you can use red strawberries, blueberries, apples, oranges, gooseberries, grapes.
See what you can find. It also nice to add an element of luxury to your skewers, something your guests wouldn’t ordinarily buy because it would be out of their budgets, perhaps some figs or cherries or asparagus.
A nice way to garnish your food is to cut up some herbs over them. Chives always look beautiful, parsley is pretty and basil would go stunningly with strawberries. A sprinkling of nuts adds both a visual texture as well as a taste texture and petals of edible flowers add that extra bit of glamour. You can also sprinkle edible glitter very lightly over the food so that as the rays of the sun shift, so the sparkle of the glitter will catch your guest’s eyes.
When decorating your food or deciding which food to go with, keep in mind your décor for the event. By keeping the garnishing in line with the decor, you add more to the decor of the event.
For spring, you can choose to use a floral theme for example. Your sugar cookies could be in the shapes of flowers. Decorate your cakes with fondant daisies. Perhaps a scattering of butterflies here and there in the food garnishing.
If you are doing mad hatters for example, you can use a hat shaped cookie cutter. Get hats and cats and all sorts of interesting time pieces to decorate your food with.
A fashion themed party might showcase cupcakes that look like high heels and a cake in the shape of a Gucci bag and cookies decorated with little gold balls to form necklaces. It also makes it fun to keep in line with the theme.
High tea food should be light, airy, easy to eat and bright in colours.
At a high tea, you start eating with your eyes. You see the beautiful scones that you wouldn’t find anywhere else. They are laid out so elegantly, with strawberry syrup and floral cream.
Then you eat with your hands. As you pick up the scone to place in your mouth, you feel the crumbs of the scone between your fingers.
Then you eat with your nose as you lift the scone to your mouth. The sweet aroma from the strawberry syrup and floral cream wafts gently into your nose.
Then your ears join the party when you hear the crunching of the scone as you place it into your mouth.
Lastly you eat with your mouth. If all of the other 4 senses do not illuminate the brain, you won’t put that scone into your mouth. Neither will your guests. And if they do, and if the experience is incomplete, they will not enjoy it. You see, at a high tea, you don’t eat to prevent your body from going into starvation mode. No, you eat because of the experience. You eat because that’s the activity, that’s the game, that’s the event highlight.
When the guests leave, they might comment on the conversation. They might even comment on what Suzie was wearing, but they most definitely will comment on the food. It would be better if their comments were good. You want them to want you to want to invite them to your next high tea. You want them to want more.
Below are some printables that I have made for you. The other posts also have some awesome free printables for you to use! Be sure to check out their pages to download them.
Be sure to visit PopcornCandi to learn what tea you should serve and The Beautiful Blog to get some tips on your high tea decor and C’s Style Diary to see how you should dress for your high tea. Don’t forget, they also have some awesome free printables for you to use to really wow your guests!
I hope you enjoyed this collaboration as much as we have enjoyed putting it together for you! Show us some pics of your high teas! Would love to see your pictures and hear your stories!
Below are some recipes that will help you with the catering for your high tea. These are not all my own original recipes and credit has been given to the creators of the recipes.
- 600g Chickpeas (you can use the ones from a can, or you can prepare your own)
- 3 cloves of Garlic (Crushed)
- 100ml Olive Oil
- 2 tbsp Tahini Paste
- 1 tsp Ground Cumin
- 1 Lemon (juiced)
- 1/4 cup Water
- Place all the ingredients into a food processor and process until combined.
- Add water and process again until quite smooth.
- 1 large Eggplant
- 1 1/2 tbsp Tahini sauce
- 4 cloves Garlic (Crushed)
- 1/2 Lemon (juiced)
- 1/2 tsp Red Pepper Flakes (optional)
- Sprinkling of Salt
- 1 tbsp Olive Oil
- Sprinkling Dried Parsley Flakes
- Preheat oven to 200 degrees C.
- Arrange oven racks so you have one low and one high in the oven.
- Cut a shallow slit along the side of the eggplant and place into a baking dish.
- Roast in preheated oven on the lower rack for minutes until the eggplant is completely shrunken and soft
- Move dish to higher rack and continue baking for 5 minutes until the skin is charred.
- Let eggplant cool until cool enough to handle.
- Peel and discard skin from eggplant.
- Put eggplant into a bowl; add tahini, garlic, lemon juice, red pepper flakes, and salt.
- Stir until ingredients are evenly mixed.
- Drizzle olive oil over the baba ghanoush and garnish with parsley.
- 1kg Sugar
- 400ml Water
- 8g Citric acid
- 1 tsp Red Food Colour
- 1tsp Rose Essence
- Mix the sugar and water in a heavy bottomed pot.
- Keep it on the stove.
- When the sugar has dissolved, add in the citric acid.
- Allow to boil.
- Remove from the stove top and allow to cool completely (5 to 6 hours).
- Strain the syrup.
- Add in the colour and the essence.
- Mix well.
- Pour the syrup into dry sterilised bottles and refrigerate
- 6 Strawberries
- 1 cup Sugar
- 1 cup Water
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- Thinly slice your strawberries
- Place them in a pan which is on the stove at a high temperature
- Add in the sugar, water and vanilla extract
- Allow to cook until the syrup is thick and at a nice gooey consistency