Everything you need for an elegant outdoor tea party

18 August, 2014

As the weather cools off, you may have a craving for a nice cup of tea. Sipping the warm drink during the afternoon is a great way to relax, but you can also enjoy your Earl Grey with friends. Get some fresh air, dress up and serve your guests a tasty spread by hosting your tea party outside. Your patio is the perfect place to socialize and unwind. Of course, your elegant affair will need a few extra touches, and I don't just mean pinkies out! As you plan your party, take a look at this checklist of everything you'll need to ensure your afternoon goes off without a kettle whistle:

Tea for 2 (or 4)
How many people are you planning to invite for tea in your garden? Do you have enough seating to accommodate them? Or better yet, do you have beautiful, comfortable seating? You won't have much of a tea party without the proper outdoor dining sets! RST Brands has the perfect solution for your entertaining needs. With dining sets of numerous sizes, you're sure to find a table and chairs that fits your tastes and accommodates all of your guests. Check out these outdoor dining set options organized by number of chairs:

For two: If you've invited your closest friend over for afternoon tea, then you'll love sitting at this adorable dining set from RST Brands. The Sol Three-Piece Bistro set features a folding table and two folding chairs that look like they belong on the streets of Paris. 

For four: Breaking out the full tea set? That means you'll likely have more than just a single guest to seat! The Astoria Five-Piece Dining Set can accommodate four people. Each piece is made with durable aluminum and rattan wicker, ensuring you'll be able to host tea parties outdoors for years to come.

Lovely china
When hosting a tea party, you can go in several directions. You might create a menu in which you pair finger foods with teas. You could also offer each guest a single flavor of tea that they will drink throughout the afternoon. Either way, you'll need plenty of pots and cups, as well as milk and sugar containers. If you're having a classic English-style tea, look for fine china sets. You can find delicate cups and saucers that feature floral or filigree designs. Or, you may prefer to head east and find inspiration in Asian teas and teaware. For example, you might like a cast iron or clay pot and cups that have no handles or saucers. 

No matter what your taste or theme, be sure you have enough china to serve your guests. You may even consider placing the china on your outdoor table before people arrive.

A mini menu
Tea time often features food, though never meals. Prepare small plates and treats for your guests that pair well with the teas you select. English tea parties often include cucumber sandwiches, sweet biscuits and a variety of jams. Set the food out on trays for your guests to nibble at their leisure.

Dress to impress
Depending on how elaborate you'd like to get with your outdoor tea party, you may want to establish a dress code and send invitations. Guests can wear a sundress and hat as they enjoy the tea and food you prepared. Of course, sitting in comfortable outdoor furniture while enjoying a view of the garden helps too.