Looking for a fresh, new way to celebrate Mom this year? Why not host an elegant afternoon tea? It’s a shame this enjoyable ritual is not more common on this side of the pond; you may find yourself wanting to host many more after this!
Looking for a different way to celebrate your mom this Mother’s Day? You’ve hosted many brunches, lunches and dinners, after all. Why not host an afternoon tea instead? What a perfectly quaint and delightful way to toast your mother. Even better, much of it can be prepared in advance.
Traditionally, afternoon tea is hosted between 3 p.m. and 5 p.m., but you don’t have to stick to the “rules.” Here are some ideas for what to serve.
Loose leaf tea
Pick up a few varieties of quality loose leaf tea. Find out which types and flavours your mother gravitates toward to help you make your choices. Consider picking up an extra tin or two to include in your gift for her. That day, make sure to follow these tips on how to brew a better cup of tea.
Scones are a must, as they are a staple of afternoon tea. Bake some that morning or the day before. Try almond scones, whole wheat chocolate chip scones or cranberry scones. Be sure to include several accompaniments too, like clotted cream (also known as Devonshire or Devon cream), butter and a choice of jams. If you can’t find clotted cream in your grocery store, you can make something similar by mixing mascarpone cheese with whipped cream, a bit of sugar and some vanilla extract.
There’s something about the petite, dainty tea sandwiches that no one can resist. Popular tea sandwich fillings to serve at afternoon tea include smoked salmon, cucumber and basil, watercress, egg salad, tuna salad and chicken cranberry. Don’t forget to cut off the crusts and keep the sandwiches wrapped with plastic wrap until just before serving to prevent the bread from becoming stale.
For something a little more substantial, mini quiches are a chic addition to your tiered dessert platter. This recipe for mini quiches is pretty simple, but if you want to make your task even easier, opt for prepared tartlet crusts.
Petit fours and macarons
Unless you’re a serious baker, we suggest picking up a box of petit fours and macarons from your favourite French bakery, as these pastries are particularly labour-intensive and finicky to make.
Have a selection of bite-size fruit on your table too. Grapes, berries and cubed melon are some good choices. Dress up the platter a little by making some chocolate-dipped strawberries — always a favourite, they’ll disappear quickly.