I had always wanted to host a tea party at home, and was all the more inspired after AJ treated me to an afternoon tea at Manila Peninsula last August. But I was so busy at work and was doing all those traveling I just couldn’t put my mind and time into it.
But I found my perfect opportunity when my friend (and kumare) Denise sent me a message one day asking when are we having our next get-together. I popped the idea of us having a tea party at our little apartment and before I knew it, AJ and I were looking for the perfect tea cups, tea pot and little plates for a DIY tea party.
Boy, I never thought that looking for those tea cups and little plates would be a challenge! We scouted at the malls (Landmark and SM) and even at Uniwide but I just can’t find what I’m looking for.
This is what I had in mind:
If only there’s a Cath Kidston store here in Manila I would have gotten this Provence Rose tea set pronto. But I have to be creative and resourceful in the meantime, and look for a tea set with dainty floral design.
But I simply couldn’t find one! After weeks of going back and forth to Landmark to look, I settled for an (almost) all-white tea set ensemble. This was because almost all teacups and little plates available at the Landmark were in white. AJ and I personally chose each piece that will make up our tea set. It was a fun process, and finding that most items we picked were at a discount (or priced cheaply) was a bonus.
Here’s what we were able to come up with after scouting the whole Home Section of the Landmark:
Our tea set is good for 6 persons and total investment was about P1,200.00.
I love the little plates we found which are designed to look like flowers. They’re only P50.00 a piece, would you believe? The glass sugar container is only P89.75, the little milk pot P99.75, the teaspoon P24.75 each, and the tea cup-saucer set is only P35.00 (discounted from P50.00).
That means that the 6 teacups and 6 saucers we got cost us only P210.00. The tall tea pot is priced at P89.75, while the round one (which was belatedly found at Japan Home) is priced at P88.00. I wished we found this sooner!
And what’s a tea party without some nice paper doilies? They’re available at most supermarkets. Cocktail toothpicks are also a must since we will be serving finger foods and little sandwiches. The Santa-themed table napkins with bright colors added a nice contrast to our all-white tea set.
A cupcake stand is one of the highlights of a tea party. I found this one at SM. It’s affordable, simple but sturdy. To give it a dainty look, I placed paper doilies on top of each plate.
Now, the table cloth. I could not find a table cloth in pastel colors or with floral designs so I thought of using gift wrappers as table cloth / cover. I found this nice gift wrapper at National Bookstore with faint damask pattern in different pastel colors. I tried it with our side table and it was perfect.
I played with different table settings and liked this one best:
Once the table setting was settled, planning for the tea party menu was a breeze. We’re having just a small company (Denise, Roy (hubby) and Maxine (her eldest daughter and my inaanak)) so AJ and I decided on the following for the menu: sandwiches from Earle’s Delicatessen, cookies from Marks and Spencer, hotdogs and mallows on sticks (for Maxine) and AJ’s homemade custard (check our recipe here).
But on the day of the tea party itself, I made a mistake of not preparing earlier than I should have. AJ and I returned home late from lunch, and to my dismay, I discovered that the gift wrappers I bought as cover for the dining table were not long enough to cover the whole thing. I ended up using our Abel Iloco table cover which is also in white!
So we had a white-on-white table setting instead. Not bad, if I may say.
Not in picture are the classic and coffee-flavored custard prepared by AJ (the coffee-flavored one is so good I asked him to make one again this weekend!).
As for our guests, Maxine doesn’t drink tea so we gave her iced tea instead, still served in a tea cup, of course. She happily ate the hotdogs and mallows and cookies and capped her meal with a vanilla ice cream. Here she is examining her small plate.
Denise and Roy. I was happy to find them enjoying the afternoon tea, and they both liked the fruit teas we served.
AJ and Me. Happy with the success of our DIY tea party!
Group picture (thanks Maxine for taking this one!)
It’s a good thing we have an electric kettle so heating water for the tea didn’t take time. I was also very happy with the tea pot we got from Japan Home because the water stayed warm longer than I thought.
It was a wonderful afternoon filled with calming tea, fresh sandwiches, sumptuous desserts and the company of good friends. We also enjoyed watching the Pixar movie, “Brave”, which we actually readied for Maxine but was also enjoyed by her parents =)
My friends have already seen some of these photos uploaded in my Facebook page and are now asking me to schedule theirs next. I could feel their excitement and am giddy with excitement too! And this time, we’ll prepare early hehe!