For the classic English Afternoon Tea meal, consider three courses.
First, serve finger sandwiches of your choice. Three to six small servings of cream cheese and watercress, cucumber and butter, chicken or tuna salad, cheddar cheese and tomato, stilton and pear, or egg salad. Make them pretty by cutting them into different shapes from rectangles to triangles to squares, alternating with dark or light breads.
Next, comes scones or crumpets with jam, butter and/or clotted cream or cr�me fraiche, followed by sweets including petit fours, mini tarts, small cookies or bite-sized pieces of cake.
For an international twist, or just because they taste great with teas, consider any or all of the following finger foods: almonds, dried fruits, fresh fruits, asparagus spears wrapped with ham or melon pieces wrapped in proscuitto; cheese plates with chutneys and crackers; skewered grilled shrimp, Thai chicken satay (with peanut sauce), or fruit kabobs; Russian blinis (crepes) and caviar; Greek stuffed filo puffs or cheese or spinach; or Spanish tapas.
Nearly everyone is familiar with black teas, blends, and some classic scented ones, and the choices of even these are amazing. It's best to offer a choice of only two.
Consider the many flavors of the foods you will offer and what you believe will taste best with them. You can rarely go wrong with a full-bodied Assam black, crisp Ceylon black and sturdy English or Irish blend. Each can stand alone or take milk as desired.
For the more adventurous among your guests, you may want to offer a more delicate Indian Darjeeling, brewed lightly to enhance its bouquet or perhaps a wonderful Ti Kwan Yin oolong. It's your party, your choice; have a personal tasting prior to your event and see what you like best! An American twist to this event could be a selection of ice tea, or a tea blended with fruit.
To Plan your next Tea Party, I recommend The Lovely Lady Estelle, who sets a great English style table. Contact her at: email@example.com. Put "Plan My Tea Party" in the subject box.
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