The Perfect Cup of Tea & PartyAug 3rd, 2012 | By Cecilia | Category: show tips, the show
Sophie Parrott, founder of The Marvelous Vintage Tea Party Company, has had a fascinating career in Hollywood, on stage and now in tea.
Well, not in tea, exactly — with tea.
This native Englishwoman has taken her love of tea, people and fun, and created a company that brings vintage tea parties — with myriad accoutrements — to her clients. And her clients are varied as the mismatched fine china she brings to the parties.
You don’t have to have a “genuine” Brit brew a pot of tea for you, or hand make cakes and “sammies”, in order to have an authentic tea experience.
Sophie offers some simple advice for making the perfect ‘cuppa’.
- Boil the water in a kettle.
- Pop the tea bag into the cup, pour the water in so it’s ¾ full, and let sit for about 2 minutes.
- Remove the tea bag and add milk and sugar.
- Leave for about 6 minutes (or until it reaches around 140 deg F)
- Best is served with a nice biscuit to dunk into the tea (McVitie’s Rich Tea Biscuits/HobNobs)
- Sit back, take a break and enjoy…
* Follow the same steps if you’re using a teapot, but add 2 tea bags to the pot, and add sugar to the cup
before pouring in the tea.
Sophie’s guide to creating your perfect vintage tea party:
Finding the perfect location to hold you tea party is of utmost importance. You want it to feel intimate, and be a place which you find utterly charming. Think outside the box….Is there a spot in the woods you’ve always adored? What about that arty building which has been abandoned downtown? Or is there a favorite room in your home you could decorate beautifully?
Once you’ve picked your location, you want to think about whom you are inviting to your tea party. What do they love, is there a theme that would go down especially well with this group, do they like to dress up? Are they close enough to you that they will all get along? How many people are you inviting? You could do a small sit down affair around a pretty table inside, or a large mingling tea party outside on the lawn, buffet style. Since the point of tea parties is for people to chat, you want the seating arrangements to be so they can converse with ease.
What kind of an invitation would you like to send out? I find that mailing a pretty invitation is so much more effective, and personal, than an email. This party is special, so remember to keep everything about it so. You can find some stunning ones online, or make them yourself. Trust me, your guests will adore it.
To throw a fabulous vintage tea party, you will of course need some fine china, silverware, pretty plates, and serving platters, cake stands. Don’t forget the tea cups and saucers! If you’re lucky enough you could probably find them in thrift stores, or my favorite is estate sales! Start by asking your mother, or grandmother though, as chances are she has a stunning service set packed away in a box gathering dust.
If you wanted to take it a step further, you could rent some amazing vintage furniture, props, staging and decorations to com transform the space. For my Marvelous Vintage Tea Parties, I provide all of this for my clients, as well as music, vintage hostesses, and vintage style floral displays. This way, the guests are transported to a magical, golden era and entertained through all of the senses – this point is key in my formula for success.
Pick the right music to play in the background for the theme that you are going for. If you are clueless on vintage styles, and artists, then a quick internet search, or a trip to your local music shop would be most helpful.
The secret of throwing a marvelous vintage tea party isn’t the amount of money that you have spent, it’s to make each one of your guests squeal with joy when they walk in, have a one of a kind experience during the party, and leave wanting more and feeling absolutely fabulous!
“Pinkie’s Up” to your first vintage tea party. May there be many more, filled with love, laughter, lots of giggles, and fabulous chatter!