The tea table set and ready…kite tails in the runner and napkins are a nod to the Poppins’ theme. Note: I rolled one napkin (to left of plate) to show one tail and added a little striped dish turned to make a diamond …the two together make what looks like a kite!
How fun it is to build a party around a theme. I chose Mary Poppins this time because the guest I was having over loves that movie. It was a tea party for 2. I was an elementary school teacher for over 20 years. One of the ongoing joys of my life is having continuing relationships with some of my “kids” that have now grown up (at least in age, but not spirit…we take the Peter Pan stance of never growing up seriously) My guest for this tea party was one of my “kids,” her name is Kelly.
Kelly enjoying a spot of tea
Another view of table. The “Practically Perfect In Every Way” sign is actually a purse! I filled it with faux daisies and cherries.
Teaspoons I found at World Market bring a cute little whimsy with their tea themed phrases
Place setting close up.
A good place setting has layers. This one has a placemat, followed by a charger, dinner plate, salad plate, soup bowl and tucked inside that a tea bag dish. A paper napkin with the kite tail motif is under the soup bowl. The napkin to the left holds the rest of the silverware. The striped diamond shaped dish is for the spreads of butter and lemon curd. A tea cup and saucer stands at the ready for tea. The kite napkins and runners (as are the dinner, salad, and striped dishes) are from Crate & Barrel (bought several years ago.) The shiplap charger and place tile is from an online shop called Details 2 Enjoy. Glassware is from Pottery Barn (still available.) The teacup and saucer is from World Market (also recently purchased.)
A little surprise is in the soup bowl…a little tea bag dish that doubles as a take home party favor. This one says, ” Let’s Get This Par-Tea Started” I bought this at World Market.
I’ve collected dishes and items to set a table for a long time. Dishes are one of my favorite things to collect and I will be sharing more about that in a future post. I think having a good set of neutral dishes is a great start. I chose white dishes, but any neutral color would do like cream or even a gray. I also have a set of glass dishes. These are a wonderful backdrop to use for any occasion or theme. I’ve then added various salad dish sets in different styles like these white scalloped edge ones. In this Poppins’ tea party, white on white dishes were a perfect contrast to the bold napkin pattern and runners. The white dishes are also a play on clouds in their color.
Teapot with sugar and creamer stand at the ready
A tea party needs a tea set. I used my white teapot. The sugar bowl had sugar cubes. I also had another sugar bowl that had turbinado sugar, which is a thicker granulated sugar perfect for tea. The creamer held half and half. Honey and sliced lemons were also on the table. There is something about pouring from a teapot that just makes the experience of drinking tea special.
Tea spread with teas, tea sandwiches and scones.
The other part of a tea party is the drinks and food. I had a variety of teabags to choose from for the tea. I also served Cherry Limeade, the recipe is a Pioneer Woman one. It was very good. It also looked very festive. I had the traditional tea food of scones and tea sandwiches. The scones were a mix from World Market (lemon poppyseed.) I made 3 different tea sandwiches.
Close up of tea sandwiches… from left going clockwise: cinnamon bread kites with a peanut butter honey cream cheese filling; rustic wheat bread with a horseradish spread, roast beef and provolone; white bread with a pimento cheese spread; and lemon poppyseed scone with lemon curd . The olive penguins were so fun to do.
One of the things I enjoy doing when I have a theme is having foods that reflect it. These kite sandwiches were one of these. Simple to do. I cut the bread in diamond shapes and added a licorice lace tail. Pinterest has a wealth of ideas and recipes. I got most of the sandwich spread recipes from there. The one for the kite, I made up. It was simply peanut butter with honey and cream cheese.
Cheese soup and a bleu cheese salad
I served soup and salad to go with the tea sandwiches. My husband makes a wonderful puréed cheese soup (there are potatoes and other veggies in it.) I served a bleu cheese salad with candied pecans and dried cherries, too. These two items were a nice compliment to the rest of the food items. My husband made the soup the day before and I whipped up the sandwich spreads then too. I like to do as much as I can ahead, so the day of the party is less hectic.
Hot appetizers of quiches and cambert cheese/cranberry puffs.
Before we sat down at the tea table, I served cherry limeade and appetizers. The appetizers were bite size making them an extension of the tea food and easy to eat. We played the Mary Poppins’ board game (see Part 1 of the tea for a peek at the game) while we enjoyed the food.
A view of the buffet that had the appetizers, penguins olives, chimney sweeps and dessert
The buffet had the appetizers and the dessert. I had the other themed foods here. The penguin olives were so fun to do and are adorable. The chimney sweep peanut butter cups were even easier. I love when the food adds to the whimsy. Both ideas came from Pinterest.
Penguins and Chimney Sweeps in all their cuteness
I’ve already been asked a lot how the penguin olives were made. I got this idea from Pinterest. Here are my step by step directions that worked well for me:
You need two olives per penguin (one for the head and another sliced in half for the flippers.) An oval shaped ball of cream cheese for the body (it helps to soften the cream cheese a bit before molding it.) The beak and feet are made of a carrot slice cut to shape. Step 1: I cut the beak and feet (pictured below to give you a visual of how to cut them.) The beak has to be cut thin enough in width to fit the olive pit hole. Step 2: cut 2nd olive in half. Step 3: Form the cream cheese body in the shape of an oblong oval. Step 4: put the carrot beak in the olive pit hole (this was ingenious and worked perfectly!) Step 5: assemble the penguin. Place the feet on toothpick first (the trickiest parts are making sure the feet are sliced evenly, so they help the penguin “stand”) and that the cream cheese body is evenly distributed on the toothpick (again, so it will “stand.”) After the feet, thread the body. Then take each olive half and place it (push down gently, so it sticks) on cream cheese body for flippers. Add the penguin head last.
Penguins being assembled. Left photo: finished penguins. Right photos (from top to bottom): feet cut and olive sliced in half ; close up of penguin head before and after placing beak; penguin heads with beaks; all the components of the penguins including the cream cheese bodies.
The desserts…Sees candies, eclairs and cupcakes
I opted for ready made desserts. I originally planned to make one of them. Life happened that week with my mom being hospitalized (she is okay now.) One of the things I’ve learned with doing these themes is to flex a bit when needed. I got the white truffles with the cute flower tops from Sees. They had chocolate raspberry and lemon fillings. The cupcakes I got at a local bake shop called The Cake Cottage. I got a mix of vanilla and chocolate flavors for those. They came with these adorable daisies that continue the theme. The eclairs were from Trader Joe’s.
Montage of the desserts…Kelly (on right) and I using the photo booth props
We had a leisurely “tea” time then watched, “Saving Mr. Banks.” It was a lovely afternoon, practically perfect in every way (to borrow from Mary, herself.) We took some pictures with the photo booth props at the end. A couple hats, an oversized spoon, teacup, little faux bird and some captions for props helped it become themed.
A last montage of photos from tea. My hubby helped serve the soup. He dressed in black in honor of Bert, as the chimney sweep., but I teased him he was our penguin waiter.