While many of us are not in the habit of enjoying an afternoon tea, there does appear to be an upswing in the practice these days. If you would like to prepare a light tea for your friends, there are a few basic guidelines that you should keep in mind.
When you want to host a tea that is light in nature, you need to think in terms of quality rather than quantity. The idea is not to prepare a sit down meal or even to have everyone leaving your home with no room for the evening meal later on. Rather, the purpose behind holding a tea is to provide a relaxed atmosphere for some light refreshments and a little fun conversation.
Scones are a popular choice for any light tea event that you may plan. In fact, they become the second most important component, after the selections of brewed tea. When you prepare the scones, they should be somewhat petite in nature. You can serve them along with simple accompaniments, such a lemon curd cream cheese spread, or perhaps a butter and honey combination. As far as the number of scones to have on hand, you would want to make sure there were at least two scones for each guest, but certainly no more than three.
An alternative to the scones would be simple finger sandwiches. A couple of suggestions would be a simple cucumber finger sandwich, or perhaps pimento cheese. The idea is to keep the sandwiches petite but tasty, so think in terms of something simple to go into the sandwiches that will be refreshing but have a taste all its own, and still compliment the tea.
Pastries are also a nice addition to an afternoon tea with light refreshments. Something along the lines of raspberry puffs or lemon bars would work well with the teas, especially if you are going with a selection of English teas. The pastries should not be overly sweet, and should follow the petite pattern of the scones.
Individual tea pots for each of your guests makes it possible for everyone to have the type of tea he or she enjoys. Typically, small pots that provide room for three or so cups will be all you need. Because the refreshments are kept to a minimum, you will find that cleanup after a light tea does not take long at all. In fact, you may find the entire project so easy that you begin to hold teas several times a year. Why not plan one today and see how well it goes with your crowd?