When I think of the autumn months, my mind is populated with images of pumpkin patches, cute boots and sweaters, candy corn, swirling golden leaves, and football games. But the thing I most appreciate about Fall is the way the season gently invites us to come inside. There’s an understated beauty in turning on your oven again after a summer of crisp salads. I also can’t help but feel giddy when sunglasses and bathing suits are replaced by cozy scarves and adorable hats. But have you noticed that a good majority of the festivities during this beloved season revolve around kids? Please don’t misunderstand me…I love Halloween more than most people. I start planning costumes 6 months in advance, and there’s nothing more adorable than a toddler clumsily making her way through a pumpkin patch. But sometimes it’s nice to gather and appreciate the charm of this season with other adults. Just adults.
What could be more soothing to a frazzled mom than candle light bouncing off of vintage china, and fantastic conversation on a chilly, rainy October night? I think the beauty of throwing a tea party as opposed to a traditional dinner party is that nothing has to perfectly match, and eclectic decorations and china are not only acceptable, but completely preferred. I even borrowed an old bed sheet from my friend for the table cloth because I fell in love with the lace trim.
Another perk of throwing a tea party during the autumn months is the fact that you already have fall decorations lying around the house. Just pull some white lights and battery operated candles from your box of Christmas decorations, and you’re all set. Thankfully my mom is a collector of tea pots and tea cups, and she was sweet enough to loan them to me. But if you don’t have access to china, you can find beautiful and unique tea sets at any thrift store- usually for under a dollar. Have fun with your tablescape. Play around with different serving dishes, and don’t feel that everything has to coordinate. There is such beauty in imperfection. This table was somewhat boring until I decided to pull out these teal water glasses. They offered a much needed pop of color against golden and orange backdrop.
For the meal, I served cucumber tea sandwiches, a spinach and bacon salad, and roasted red pepper and tomato soup. As toppings for the soup, I offered croutons, toasted pine-nuts, and parmesan cheese. The savory portion of the meal was yummy, but I think sweets are paramount to the success of any tea party. Who doesn’t love mini-cheesecakes, petit fours, chocolate covered cherries, and fruit with cheese? I also picked up a box of beautiful assorted cookies from my local grocery store. For the hot drinks, I served vanilla herbal tea and apple cider that was blended with cranberry and grape cocktail juice and just a pinch of cinnamon.
I hope I’ve inspired you to host a cozy gathering of your own this year!
By Janet Schlosser @ forgetthefinishline.blogspot.com