to use AIBU for some assistance.....Vinta ge Tea Parties

(57 Posts)
farnywarny1192 Thu 24-Apr-14 12:44:52

I have recentl set up a small business doing vintage afternoon tea parties....and was hoping the wise ladies of AIBU could give me some of their own expectations from such an event......thanks in advance!

farnywarny1192 Thu 24-Apr-14 12:45:42

apologies for the slapdash typing

devoniandarling Thu 24-Apr-14 12:46:01

Clotted cream, strawberries, little cakes scones and delicate sandwiches!

MammaTJ Thu 24-Apr-14 12:47:43

Teeny tine sandwiches with delicate fillings.All beautifully laid out on a tiered stand. A nice tablecloth is a must too.

SarcyMare Thu 24-Apr-14 12:48:53

high tea

Pipbin Thu 24-Apr-14 12:50:04

Delicate crockery. Leaf tea, and a choice of teas.
Clotted cream, real butter, choice of jam in a little pot - not those individual 'hotel breakfast' tubs.

Pipbin Thu 24-Apr-14 12:50:53

And bunting. Plenty bunting. Waitresses in traditional black and white.

firesidechat Thu 24-Apr-14 12:51:53

Clean vintage china. Sorry if this sounds a bit weird, but I have eaten in a lot of vintage style tearooms and so often the china is a bit manky and tea stained. I understand the issues of having to clean vintage china by hand because I collect 1930's to 1950's china myself, but this is still a bit off putting. I'm sure you wouldn't let this happen anyway.

Top notch leaf tea and tea strainers always shout quality to me. No teabags please.

You doing them? Location is important. Also, REALLY good tea. The place near me does a special blend and gives you some to take away. Nice touch.

comicsansisevil Thu 24-Apr-14 12:53:04

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

whoneedssleepanyway Thu 24-Apr-14 12:56:45

I went to afternoon tea recently at a bakery in Covent Garden and they were using this china and it was gorgeous all different patterns on the tea cups, tea pots, jugs everyone was commenting on how pretty it was

firesidechat Thu 24-Apr-14 12:57:38

Totally agree with Pipbin about having real butter and banning pre packed anything.

I also have a soft spot for sugar tongs. They feel so civilised.

Good quality sandwich fillings are a must. Another very pretty vintage tearoom I went to had one slice of wet, processed beef in a very expensive sandwich. It didn't even cover the bread and I will never go back.

MaxPepsi Thu 24-Apr-14 13:01:34

As a non tea drinker - I would like to see more champagne afternoon 'teas'

Preferably served in bowls not flutes.

Proper sized plates.

Nice napkins.

Little pastries, both savoury and sweet.

devoniandarling Thu 24-Apr-14 13:05:08

Smoked salmon and cream cheese sandwiches are beautiful. Agree completely about real butter and no pre packed anything!

Tiered stands and loose leaf tea are a must.

As are decent napkins. And decent silverware. No spoons that bend!!!

farnywarny1192 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:05:43

I use local jams and pot them in vintage pots, everything is mismatched but beautifully delicate bone china (mostly wedgewood and royal winton) and i have made lots of cakestands from china I have been collecting for years. I use sugar cubes and epns tongs & cake forks, oh and real butter curled off with a curler.....not at the leaf tea stage yet though - but we offer a range of fruit and herbal teas as well as traditional breakfast tea. Sanwiches are always good quality meats/cheeses/prawns, cut in to delicate fingers on bakery bread. I have 3 11ft reams of bunting but I want to start using paper fans, lanters and parasols to decorate ceilings and walls. I use white linen tablecloths and antique lace doilies on trays. We wear black but our aprons are vintage patterned pinnys
Location is dependant upon the host, usually a village hall or even peoples houses, just tea for 2 and we serve and wash up.
I also hire out my china for people who want to do it themselves....am I missing anything - I have my first BIG tea party tomorrow for 50 women and I am so so nervous!

devoniandarling Thu 24-Apr-14 13:06:47

Elderflower bubbly! And fresh berries for decoration.

puntasticusername Thu 24-Apr-14 13:10:10

I slightly misread MaxPepsi's comment and am now contentedly imagining sticking my face in a washing up bowl of champagne. Mmmmm. You could bob for strawberries too.

Ok - as you were.

firesidechat Thu 24-Apr-14 13:12:06

Personally I like miss matched china, so that would make me happy and vintage pinnys are lovely.

It all sounds great and hope it goes well.

Sukebind Thu 24-Apr-14 13:15:37

Alongside having the correct type of food, drinks and tea-sets, I think you need to have a tight rein on bookings, arrival times, planning quantities and so on. We booked an early afternoon tea at Brighton Pavilion for a friend. It was for a largish group of around ten people and was on a Saturday but not a bank holiday weekend or even height of the season. It was obvious that they did not have enough cakes and there was a long wait while others were found. Other patrons (who hadn't booked) arriving for tea at a more tea-timish hour found that all the cakes had sold out. We ended up leaving some of ours and slipping them to some girls at another table.

Also, there was quite a bit of quibbling from staff about what was and wasn't allowed on each 'package' which made it less like afternoon tea and more like being in a canteen. It just didn't make a for a luxury, or even a relaxed, atmosphere. If the info on the menus had been a little clearer we could have probably avoided having to go into it all in such detail with the staff. A little thought and better organisation could have gone a long way.

Good luck with your business. It sounds fun!

Sukebind Thu 24-Apr-14 13:16:51

Oh sorry - x posted and just saw that you go to the guests, rather than vice versa. Still, I hope some of my points were vaguely useful.

Misspilly88 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:19:40

I would expect more bunting if you are doing a village hall. We had over 100metres at our vintage tea party wedding. Which I still have if you want to buy it lol
Definitely elderflower cordials too

farnywarny1192 Thu 24-Apr-14 13:22:59

Misspilly88 yes yes yes I would like to buy your bunting, can you send me pics pls?

Tomorrows event is at a womens centre, and I am doing it for free for women who are suffering domestic abuse/drug and alcohol problems/homelessness etc - they normally have a lunch club on a friday and I offered to do this to help me out too really! I need some honest feedback from these ladies tomorrow.

Elderflower cordials - in teacups do you think? I havent got 50 odd glasses

firesidechat Thu 24-Apr-14 13:25:25

Good point Misspilly88. I also made masses of vintage style bunting for my daughter's wedding and we needed every bit of it.

high tea is a hot meal usually

OP, sounds charming, and your event tomorrow sounds like a great idea. i'm not sure about cordials in teacups tbh, but it could work

pookamoo Thu 24-Apr-14 13:33:50

You can hire/borrow glasses from Waitrose, Tesco or Sainsbury's for free. They often need 24hrs notice, so ring them now and you might be in luck.

Don't serve the cordial in teacups, champagne glasses would be much better.

Sounds fab!

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