Host a Summertime Tea Party

Tea parties aren’t just for little girls anymore

Take color inspiration from the china you have.

Take some inspiration from vintage china tea services and host a summery, flower-filled tea party. They’re perfect for celebrating a birthday or a bridal or baby shower (or, perhaps, the impending arrival of Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge Kate Middleton’s baby).

You can pull together a high tea that looks high-end with items you probably already have lying around, like hand-me-down china and tableware. If not, you can also find what you’ll need at your local thrift store — the vintage pieces are often the prettiest and the least expensive. They look whimsical when arranged together, so there's no need to worry about finding a matching set. Just look for teacups, saucers, teapots, and trays with a similar color scheme.

Use these colors — often pastels — to help you plan the rest of the party. For example, if the teacups you’ve found are painted with yellow roses, let your floral arrangements echo their look: tuck a few yellow roses or other flowers into extra teacups or teapots; eggcups also make good makeshift bud vases. Flowers that are light but full, like roses, peonies, and gardenias, look especially nice arranged this way.

For a personalized touch, pick up used silverware and serving utensils at the thrift store and, after a good wash, dip their handles in a complementary color of craft paint; try to avoid areas that will touch food.

Finally, bake or buy a selection of sweet teatime treats, like scones, fruit tarts, meringues, or French macarons. Arrange them on a tiered tray for a classic teatime look. If you don’t have a tiered tray, stack two small cake stands or make a tray out of pieces that you have: use a teacup or a stout bud vase to create a base for the tray, and use craft glue to affix it to the bottom of a plate; repeat for another tier and make sure to let the glue dry completely before using.

Related Stories
Baby Mania! Tips for Celebrating the Arrival of the Royal Baby15 Easy Ways to Plan Ahead for a Summer Party10 Best Drinks for Summer Parties10 Tips for Making Perfect Iced Tea13 Top Afternoon Teas in London

Click through for more tea party inspiration — then start boiling water for tea!