If you’ve been around here for a while, then you know I have the tendency to be pretty ambitious with recipes and party planning! The rest of the time, I try not to go “all out” in my everyday life. 🙂 But when I get bit by the party planning bug (and that usually includes the baking bug!), I get really excited. I love the whole process.
Today I wanted to share with you what all I made for our Mother’s Day tea party!
The other day, I was spending some time on Pinterest, which I really don’t do much anymore…but I’m trying to be intentional about giving myself some more “creative time” and it ended up being really fun! I kept coming across cute tea party treats so I started a new board called “Tea Party,” and I found myself just wishing I had a good reason to have a cute afternoon tea party, and soon. 😉 I quickly realized that we could have a sweet tea party in honor of Mother’s Day coming up! So, as part of my gift this year, I told Bjorn what I’d really like to do is plan and host a fancy tea party – basically a dream come true for me as an eager party planner! 🙂 We invited my mother-in-law and sister-in-law over and had a lovely time indulging in fancy afternoon tea treats!
Since it did take a lot of time and effort, I just had to take photos of the final set-up to document this special little party. 🙂 I baked almost all day Saturday so that I could really enjoy myself on Sunday (Mother’s Day) without being stressed about completing all of the elements.
Of course, I’m no expert on British teas! But I’ve been to a couple fancier afternoon teas – the most special one being when my sister Maddie took me to tea at The Drake in Chicago to celebrate Bjorn’s and my engagement in 2013!! (So so special and fun!) So I wanted to mimic a bit of that fancy feel. I went with a 3-course feel: first course being sandwiches and savories, second course being scones, and third course being sweets.
I’d like to add to the above paragraph by saying, “Of course, don’t forget the tea!” But I did. Hahaha! Okay, I didn’t technically forget to offer tea – I bought a special box of tea to add to our already substantial collection, and I even had sugar cubes out on display! And Bjorn even heated up the water and put it in my nice teapot! But once we sat down to eat, I was really hungry and just focused on the food. 🙂 The others opted to have coffee, which was just fine! After all, the point of a tea party for us was just to spend time together and enjoy whatever fun treats we wanted to try! For me, the focus really was on the food that day.
Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea Party Menu:
I’ll link the recipes I used below! Plus the tweaks I made. 🙂 I prepared everything the day before, except for the cucumber sandwiches, the actual assembly of the chicken salad sandwiches, and the glaze for the almond tea cakes.
Course 1: Sandwiches + Savories
Cucumber Sandwiches // Bjorn made these for us the day of the tea party! (Which is a really sweet gift because he does not like cucumbers, haha!) He displayed them so beautifully, too! Our grocery store didn’t have fresh chives, so we went with green onions (even though they aren’t as mild as chives – so we just did a smaller amount of them). They turned out so well and were so delicious!! You just have to have cucumber sandwiches at a fancy tea party!
Chicken Salad Sandwiches // For these open-faced sandwiches, I didn’t follow a recipe. I just did what I always do for a simple chicken salad: in a bowl, I mix 2 cans of canned chicken (drained), a tiny splash of apple cider vinegar, and a good shake each of salt and black pepper. Then on the day of, Bjorn assembled these as open-faced little sandwich squares, similar to the cucumber sandwiches.
Mini Quiche Lorraines // These are so darling, and they make a great addition to the sandwiches as another savory option! This recipe calls for 24 3-inch frozen tart shells, but the frozen tart shells I found were much smaller (so I saved those shells for our berry tartlets, which I’ll talk about later!). So, I opted to use wonton wrappers, and they worked out beautifully! You just push the wonton wrapper into a muffin pan, brush the bottoms inside with a tiny bit of melted butter, and pre-bake them for about 7 minutes. Then just fill them with the egg mixture as described in the recipe! These reheat well, so it worked just fine to prepare them a day in advance!
Course 2: Scones with Cream + Jam
Scones // I am super pleased with this scone recipe! I definitely recommend it (actually, I recommend all of the recipes I’m sharing today). But it was so simple and easy. I went with a plain scone variety this time around, because I wanted people to be able to put different fun toppings on their scones. (But I do really want to try different kinds of scone recipes in the future!) These scones are simple to make, they’re not overly moist, but they’re also lightly sweet and I’m a fan!
Clotted Cream // A light, white blended cream like this to spread on scones is a perfect addition to a tea party, since it perfectly balances the drier tendencies of scones! The cream recipe is the very first recipe near the top of the page that I linked. It was really good, not too sweet, but added a fun authentic-feeling touch to our tea party!
Lemon Curd // This was sweet, rich, and tangy in that perfect strong lemony way! I went with this recipe because I wanted an eggless version of lemon curd. It was really fun to spread on our scones alongside the cream!
Preserves // I included two preserves options as well: apricot and raspberry. (I wanted both a lighter and a darker colored fruit as the two options!)
Course 3: Sweets
Easy Berry Tartlets // So, this recipe actually calls for pie crust, which I’m sure is fun, too! But I had those darling little frozen tart shells from the grocery store, and they were really small, so I felt they’d be best used as a vessel for these tiny berry tarts! I basically only used this recipe for the filling part. Then I just pressed either a blackberry or a blueberry onto the top of the tarts!
Almond Poppyseed Tea Cakes // I love almond flavored anything, so I just had to include something with almond at our little tea party! These tea cakes turned out well! They’re not overly moist, but I think that makes them perfect for pairing with tea…PLUS, they have an amazing almond glaze you drizzle on top! They’re especially cute and unique because you bake them almost like muffins in a muffin pan, but you actually invert them and serve them upside down!
White Chocolate Mousse // Now THIS was a fun recipe to discover and make! It involves white chocolate chips (in a food processor), heavy cream, and unflavored gelatin – just three ingredients! The recipe says it makes 6 servings, and I did follow that…but boy, were those servings large! I’d definitely recommend turning this into 12 smaller servings. It’s a lovely recipe and would be really fun to make again! It’s got a very rich, white chocolate flavor, and it’s delicious! You just really don’t need too much – a smaller serving in a little dessert dish would be just as great of a treat. 🙂 I made this mousse the day before our tea party, spooned it into dessert cups (sundae cups, actually), and it worked out very well being saved in the fridge for 24 hours!
Chocolates // I also displayed a little bowl full of wrapped Dove chocolates – it seemed like a nice added touch for the dessert course!
Selection of Teas
Heavy Cream and Lemon Slices (to offer with tea)
Juice (Cranberry-Pomegranate, and Orange)
There you have it! That was our menu for a sweet Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea! I enjoyed all of the recipes we tried, and I’d gladly do another similar tea party in the future! After we enjoyed all of the courses and our tea time was winding down, my in-laws were so, so sweet and did all of the dishes and cleanup for me while I napped upstairs! Now, that’s a beautiful Mother’s Day! 🙂
I hope you enjoyed reading about our tea party and perusing the menu together! 🙂 Let me know if you end up trying them for your own tea party sometime!
Do you enjoy afternoon teas like this? Have you ever been to one? I’d love to hear!