Set Your Lilliputian Watches, and “Don’t be late.”

You are invited to a ‘day of fun, a tea pot full of laughter, a cup full of craziness, ambrosial cuisine and an abundance of childlike joy.’

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There are so many delightful occasion’s to host a Tea for your friends or family! For instance, baby showers, weddings, birthdays, a celebration of the seasons, a farewell gathering, a promotion at work, a graduation and Valentines day. You really don’t have to have an occasion…perhaps it’s  your hearts  desire to  create a blessed day of pampering for those you love most in life.  There are also a myriad of Tea-themes…Your creative motif for your gathering could be fairytale stories, enchanted Tea’s, classic movies, your favorite TV show or famous novellas. The list goes on and on… Giving a Tea for your loved ones is actually a duel gift…it is a bestowal to them, as it gives  each guest an entire afternoon of beauty, blissfulness, delicious cuisine, savory teas, sweet treats, serene music, an abundance of fun, reverie and wondrous fellowship. For you, the hostess, you are blessed to heaven and back by doing this “fun, labor of love,” for the people you care most about! 🙂

You have heard it said that, “A picture paints a thousand words.” Here are a few beautifully photographed types of  Tea’s and their ‘themes’ to put away in your ” Ideas for giving a Tea” notebook. 🙂

This High Tea is a wondrous festivity that guests at the Ritz Carlton Hotel are blessed with.  If you do not feel up to “doing all the ‘fun work,’ ” as I call it, then going to a stellar and Five Star hotel Tea is an ideal way to still enjoy the charms  and utterly show-stopping ambiance of an afternoon filled with delightful indulgence.    ritz1

There are an abundance of Tea houses, (just like Coffee houses,) that will pamper and treat you like a princess…They even supply the winsome  ‘tea hats‘ for you. 🙂 This Tea is for little girls…it is so precious! (I love all the bright colors, animated hats and the layers, textures and brightly printed fabrics on the engaging tables. ) 🙂

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This is what you would call a Royal and Formal tea in the 18th century… Both men and women attended, dressed in their “Sunday Best” as they enjoyed finger sandwiches, a delicious array of teas from the orient and sweet confections.

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I am just guessing here, but this afternoon Tea theme looks like a celebration of the battle for ‘suffrage’ after  the women’s struggle for 72 years to vote was WON…known as the Flapper days, it was a time in our country, (like the Cindy Lauper song says,)  where girls really did  ‘just want to have fun.’  🙂

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In my opinion, there is nothing more convivial than the theme of  a “CHRISTMAS Tea.” There is already so much beauty, lush color and merriment of the season itself, that creating a Tea during this time is pure magic.  A Very Romantic time of the year…

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Springtime is one of the loveliest motifs for an afternoon tea as the weather is so beautiful outside and your home will look stunning and divine with all the lush green grass, chromatic flowers blooming and the aroma of the air is always so refreshing and invigorating! (The color pallet of bright red, pastel green,  rose- pink and creamy whites is beautifully esthetic to the eyes and soul. )

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An autumn Tea is still at the top of my list… 🙂 The air is brisk, your fireplace is calling out to be filled with fresh chopped wood to burn, enveloping candles with their dancing, petite flames warm up your every room and the kaleidoscopic colors have taken up residency within your beautiful,cozy haven. Your Tea’s menu can be a little bit heavier, thus you can cook up some great “comfort foods.” 🙂

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Summer time Teas… Again, nature is your best friend in your presentation with it’s vivacious colors and the charm that only summer brings… Bright flowers, topiary trees, light menus of  a chicken curry salad, fresh fruit in season, an ethereal lemon cake… you have a bounty of ingredients at your disposal to create an eminently memorable and splendid party for your friends. fall7

A wintry motif for your Tea is also quite engaging and enticing! There is nothing lovelier than ‘winter whites’ festooning your dining table as well as home! Another advantage during this season is that you can  employ your beautiful fireplace and a myriad of lit candles to charm your guests.

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A Saint Patty’s Day motif is exceedingly popular… If green is your favorite color, it would be a celebration of pure reverie as you prepare for an afternoon Tea for this happy and joyful occasion.

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I just had to show you this St. Patrick’s day cake that I found…. Now is this a  Five Star confection, or what? It’s amazing what the creative mind and God given talent can do. 🙂

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An exquisite and delicious work of art!

Lastly, (though the possibilities of imaginative  motifs, are endless…) is a Valentines day Tea.  It’s the most romantic day of the year …The month of February is an exuberantly bright month of color and alluring ambiance as you bedeck your home with Valentine cheer… Red is the perfect hue for your color pallet, mixed with shades of  pinks, roses,  highlighted with adoring, creamy whites.

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Your invitation today is to glean some ideas for an afternoon Tea with a “Mad Hatter” theme… mh1This Tea’s sole purpose is to bring forth an abundance of  laughter, fun and craziness with all of your guests, and yes, that means you too! 🙂  It will be a day of bliss, childlike whimsy, appetizing cuisine, imagination and an abundance of bright color!

This is ‘my rendition’ of a “Mad Hatters” afternoon Tea…I know there are many diverse and wonderful versions out there to choose from… I hope that this blog gives you some thoughts to ponder, starts your “creative juices flowing,” and is a foundation to plan your very own “Mad Hatters  Afternoon Tea.”

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We are  all familiar with the story about the ‘original Mad Hatter, right out of the Disney produced movie, Alice in Wonderland. This bizarre and quirky character, originated in the brilliant mind of English author  Lewis Carol,when he wrote his novel,” Alice in Wonderland,” in 1865…Later, in the year 1910, it was made into a  British silent film, and of course, since then, become a very popular story that has been made into several American movies.  It’s a tale about a little girl who falls down a rabbit hole and meets a potpourri of eccentric characters…(one of which is the Mad Hatter.) The Mad Hatter is ” forever and unremittingly,” having tea with the March Hare, thus you get the popular motif of a ‘Mad Hatter tea party.’ (I wonder if Mr. Carol knew how influential he would be in the 21st century.) 🙂 This Mad Hatter  ladies Tea  will be a ‘touch of ‘  the magic of  the story of Alice and Wonderland, mixed with enchantment, games, delicious cuisine, and a wealth of laughter, mirth and  FUN!

First things first…

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( These quotes are all about laughter and fun…it’s medicine for the soul! ) I can assure you, these are the real gifts you will be giving your guests today! 🙂

“I am thankful for laughter, except when milk comes out of my nose.” ~ Woody Allen

“At the height of laughter, the universe is flung into a kaleidoscope of new possibilities.” ~ Jean Houston

Laughter is an instant vacation.” ~Milton Berle

Mirth is God’s medicine …Everybody ought to bathe in it.” ~Henry Ward Beecher

“Watching a child’s laughter teach a candlesmh60 flame how to dance.”  ~ Dr. Sun Wolf.

“I’ve always thought that a big laugh, is a really loud noise from the soul saying, “Ain’t that the truth!” ~ Quincy Jones

“You can’t deny laughter; when it comes, it plops down in your favorite chair and stays as long as it wants to.” ~ Stephen King

 

For this imaginative Mad Hatter afternoon Tea, ask  every lady to arrive in her favorite, creative and colorful hat. (If she does not own a hat, it is all the better as she can create the hat of her dreams.) When you write out your invitations  for your Tea, make sure they know that there will be  a prize for the most creative and eye-catching ‘HAT.’ (Believe me, people are motivated when you have door prizes. 🙂  To get your “creative hat juices” flowing, here are a few ideas.

A beautiful array of stylish, Victorian hats…wd10

lovely, soft and feminine hats….

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WOW! These  spectacular hats  are more on the “wild and crazy side.” Very creative!

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Fanciful and  dramatically regal…I love the red and purple combination! Very flashy! 🙂

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Have fun and create one for yourself as well! 🙂 (Your door prize will be the felicity and laughter that wearing a colorful and blithesome hat will bring you and your guests.) 🙂

You will be a busy lady the day of the party as well as the day before, but it is all a gratifying and blithesome ‘busy.’ 🙂

You already have a theme… Now you want to concentrate on your home and it’s alluring appeal! I personally, would go with a formal table, linen napkins, fine china and a wealth of color… Tall pillar candles in  hurricane glass lamps are stunning, but the important thing to remember is to ‘just have an abundance  of candle light on the table and throughout your home.’ 🙂

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It is always fabulously popular and luxurious using a white linen table cloth…make sure you  bring your color onto the table through your flowers, napkins, centerpiece or flowers. (The candles can be bright as well…) I love the rose colored linen napkins with the white, but you can choose your own color pallet, and stay within those colors.  This Tea party can be a little on the “wild and extreme” side. This would make a cute centerpiece with the March Hare motif… Displaying topiary trees is always a novel and lively idea… Don’t be afraid to add some bright color to your trees…cut out some bright colored polka dots for your topiary’s, bedeck them with dried roses or entrancing, motley floral  garlands.

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Whatever China or dinnerware  you choose to use for your Tea, will be perfect…This particular pattern is beautiful with a bright color motif. It’s stunning and  generously adds prestige to a regal and formal presentation…

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Here are some more decorative table ideas… The rose heart wreath is so romantic and colorful…. it is stirring and poignant with the green and rose china this hostess  has chosen to display.   White upon white is always noble and august. Your party favors atop the napkins and bright flowers will assuredly bring an abundance of color to your blissful table

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You can never go wrong with a breathtaking floral arrangement as your centerpiece…These two arrangements are absolutely statuesque.

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On a separate table, either in your dining room, (if it is large enough,) or set out in your living room, create your theme all over again with different decor items…(You can keep it simple.) 🙂

If you are a connoisseur of tea pots like I am, you will have a few to chose from. Perhaps you have a particular tea pot that you love, use that one. Place the tea pot along side your three tiered  cake plates filled with sweet confections…  Here are a few ideas of some easy  and simple things to create for your Tea. Fresh in-season fruits are not only healthy and delicious, but they are very colorful and create a beautiful presentation.  (Especially strawberries, raspberries, red cherries and  fresh pineapple.) Bake some of your favorite cookies, or place some elegant Pepperidge Farm decorative cookies out. Baked scones are delicious, a diversity of flavored  Biscotti or Dove dark chocolates wrapped in the royal,splendid red paper is very esthetic to the eyes… (and a sweet treat for the tummy.) 🙂

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Now a days, the “in craze” is mixing and matching your tea cups…You can give each guest a different cup if you like…It’s fun and creative. (If you do not have a set of tea cups for 8-10 ladies, don’t forget, there are plenty of “great finds” at your local thrift stores.

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More ideas of the wondrous idea and freedoms of mix and match!  🙂 Don’t you love it?

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There are an abundance of ideas for your tiered plate displays…If you don’t have a tiered confections plate, a few trays on the table will look just as nice. If you would like to serve a cake for dessert, you can always display an array of crackers and cheese, healthy fresh vegetables with a delightful dip and some petite, sour cream biscuits with  homemade jam. It’s all up to you!

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Another beautiful tea pot…I personally love the chintz china. It’s divine charm is captivating!  Mary Engelbreit has a collection of clever and charmingly  cute tea pots as well…(In fact they fit the Mad Hatter theme perfectly.) Be inspired to dauntlessly place out any special touches you want to add throughout your living room, dining room and the Ladies Room,  (the three rooms your guests will ‘frequent,’) 🙂

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This tree is so cute… In this photograph, It is in the front yard  to greet the ladies as they arrive to your wondrous Tea…It would look adorable to fix up a topiary tree in your home that resembles this tree…with your creative touches! I thought these cookies were so cute and befitting for this Tea as well.

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Two more ‘March Hare’ rabbits…Both  very chipper and celebratory,  along with another beautiful side tablescape with pastries and decadent strawberries! (I adore all of the spring colors. )

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OK…You’ve done your table, your house is looking spectacular at this time… your sweet confections are all baked, ordered from the bakery or have been bought… You need to decide if you want to do individual tea bags for your guests, (just having hot water in your tea pot,) or whether you are going to make one large pot of  Earl Grey, cinnamon apple or whatever delicious tea you would like to serve. Be sure to put sugar and cream out as well.

Your luncheon menu can be made first thing in the morning. My Tea’s always begin at 12:00 noon, leaving me at least half a day to do last minute preparations! My suggestion , (and I will give you the recipe) is a dish that everyone has adored…A Bacon spinach quiche… I bake two for up to 10 guests. Along side of the quiche, I make a large tossed spinach salad with raspberries and pecans. I will give you the recipe for that as well… Those two items along with some hard rolls from the bakery , accompanied by creamy  butter, is plenty for your guests… (You will most likely have some ladies that have seconds, and I always have some quiche leftover for my husband’s dinner that night!) (There is no-way, I am cooking two times the day of my Tea.) 🙂

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Heat up your rolls right before serving and toss your salad about 10 minutes before your ladies are seated.

I usually make a homemade cake for my Teas… Knowing the ladies will enjoy that slice of cake on a less “full tummy,”, I fill my three tiered cake stand with fresh fruit, a few chocolates and maybe a few decorative cookies…Nothing to heavy as the guests look forward to  a slice , (or sliver) 🙂  of cake and tea before they have to leave their day of reverie and fun. 🙂

For your Mad Hatter Tea... there are a few cakes that would fit your wild and fun motif… I always make the same cake as it is a winner…It is my Coconut carrot cake with  pecans, topped off with a delicious creme cheese frosting. It has always been “everyone’s favorite.” 🙂

A delicious coconut carrot cake “all dressed up for a Tea.”

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A whimsical Mad Hatter’s cake…This looks very daring but delicious! (You could choose your favorite flavors for each of the layers! 🙂

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My coconut carrot cake, not dressed up, instead, its serene and simple. 🙂  It looks pretty either way!

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Music? It is up to you…for my Teas, I put melodic, easy listening CD’son or make up a playlist on my computer and keep the sound low, just as back ground music.  I would suggest, Josh Grobin, Andrea Bocelli, Piano music by Jim Brickman or the renowned Pavarotti! Don’t forget, You can always check out your favorite CD’s at your local Library.

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Every Tea should have some party favors… Nothing extravagant, just  a little something that you, as the hostess, creates and places at their individual table setting. It makes each guest feel very special and coddled. 🙂

With some fancy, sheer decorative fabric, glass votive candle holders, tea light candles, ribbon and fresh coffee beans you can easily create 8-10 of these for your guests. (It is not only attractive to the eyes, but charmingly creative as well.)  A petite tea infuser for two is another lovely gift!

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With your sheer material, and small candle holder, you can place a colorful votive candle within each glass and wrap them with the fabric and ribbon… they are adorable and will undoubtedly add a wealth of color to your table.   Another clever idea, and  cunningly creative is a tea bag wrapped in sheer fabric with a tiny  gold teaspoon tied to it with dainty ribbon or gold twine.    All of these are wondrous party favors as well as inexpensive.

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You will also need a gift for each lady… These too are not to be expensive or lavish. You will be playing two games during the tea…One is a great party for the time your gathered at the table, and the other game, (The Famous Person ‘Hat’ game,) is a great ice breaker for the first hour of your Tea…(after your guests have arrived, and have their cup of tea and a cookie in hand.) 🙂 There will be one winner for each game and then the rest of your ladies will be delighted that they too will receive a beautifully wrapped gift ‘just for being there.’  🙂

Here are some gift ideas as well as creative ways to wrap them to match your colorful and kaleidoscopic Mad Hatters motif.

Votive candles in pretty packaging is always a welcomed gift as well as  the Victorian style festooned, lovely soaps.

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Assorted hand and body lotions as well as a Mad Hatter charm bracelet, (or any motif of a charm bracelet) is an ideal bestowal .

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You can never go wrong with soy candles in bright, beautiful colors… Finding creative jars or bottles and filling them with sweet, colorful candies… (M&M’s or  fiery red, cinnamon bears,) is a cordial as well as delicious gift. 🙂

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These lovely tokens with the popular Skittle candies or renowned Jelly Belly’s are also another great door prize and gift!

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Adorable and inviting mugs for coffee, tea or hot chocolate in the brisk autumn and wintry months, are a lovely gift  as well as a cheerful and perky tea pot!

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Creative and motley picture frames are always a blessing and a ‘sure to be used’ gift.   This one is especially alluring with it’s unique design and antiquated look with the  romantic jewelry!

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Here are some creative wrapping ideas. (Gift bags are also a wondrous way to wrap your door prizes! )

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Your first gift will go to the winner of the most creative hat.… (You can hand out voting cards if you like so that all of your guests “have the honor”  of choosing the winner, 🙂  or you can do it yourself.) The second door prize will go to the winner of the “Famous Person Hat Game,) and the third will go to the ” Mystery Word game winner.” If you have invited 8 ladies, then the other five will receive the last gifts, (just because! ) 🙂 Knowing what is underneath the  beautiful and decorative wrapping, you can choose  the gift for each winner and guest, or creatively display theme out on a table and let them choose their own.

The first game, (The famous Hat game,) is actually in the blog called ‘The Famous People game.’ The only thing that changes is that you will put the name tags of famous people who are known to wear hats. Check that game out and apply every rule to this  game. (It is very simple, easy and FUN.) Here are some examples of some renowned “hat”  people. This is such a chimerical game. 🙂

Jackie Kennedy, Fred Astaire, Queen Elizabeth, the famous Santa Claus,  Tim McGraw, Barbara Streisand, Abe Lincoln, Michael Jackson, Clive Owen, Audry Hepburn,  Johnny Depp and Aretha Franklin.

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I am sure you can think of many more, these are just some ideas. Have fun!

Your second game is best introduced and played when you are all sitting down at the table. It too is in the Game category, called the “Mystery Word game.” It is enormously fun and competitive…You can make the “secret word” part of your theme… Words like “rabbit hole,” “fairytale,”   “blissful,” or the name of the author of Alice in Wonderland, “Lewis.” All the things you need to know are in the blog , again this game is very simple and a lot of fun. It can also can get exceedingly competitive as the ladies begin ‘guessing’ and ‘saying’ all different kinds of words in their sentences, (that they think the ‘mystery word is,’)  so they can WIN the game. 🙂

After you have all eaten until you can’t possibly take another bight, suggest that everyone goes to a more comfortable seat, the living room. 🙂 Have everyone take their tea or coffee and just relax! If it is a wintry day, enjoy the fireplace… Most of the ladies at my Teas stay until they have to journey home to cook dinner for their own gang! 🙂  (5:30 or 6:00 PM.) You? Go and run a hot bubble bath, give your husband quiche for dinner and ask him to clean up the Kitchen. 🙂 (Or if he is to tired from his long day at work, leave the dishes until the morning! )

The most important part of this entire day is that you and your guests have FUN… The games bring  an abundance of mirth and are great ice breakers… Each guest will be going home with a delightful gift,  party favor and a  resplendent memory of a day of being  treated like royalty…They will feel as if they have been pampered at the spa. 🙂 Their soul will be lighter because of how much they laughed…they will think about how (in the beginning,) they were a little shy to wear a ‘big, bright colorful hat,’ but now, they don’t want to take it off! 🙂   You will miss their presence, all the felicity that filled your home and will already be looking for another theme, or occasion to give another Tea. 🙂

In writing this blog, I enjoy sharing with you, my reader, the ideas I have and what has been successful for me in the Tea’s I have given. Remember, this is your Tea...so create it exactly how you would like it to be… I know it will be lovely. 🙂

For your Coconut  carrot cake recipe as well as Raspberry salad and Bacon spinach quiche, go to the “unforgettable recipes” category…The carrot cake is called “Bunny -luscious carrot cake.”

For your two games, go to the”Fabulous party games for every entertaining event,”   category and  you will find “The Famous People game” for your hat  game…it’s the exact game, only your subject is a little different with the hats. The second game is the “Mystery Word game.” Have an absolutely wonderful day and relish this time with your loved ones! 🙂

PHOTOGRAPHS: In placing your scroll over any photo or graphic, it will display where the picture originated from.

 

Additional Links:
Victoria Magazine
Country Living magazine

 

 

 

 

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