|Tea party number one (at home)|
|Tea party number two (at uni)|
ONE BIG CAKE. When your party is for a celebration like a birthday, it's nice to have one main cake to be the centrepiece. You want something you can put a candle in and can slice into pieces after everyone has sung "Happy Birthday" to you (while you sit there awkwardly smiling, unsure of what to do with yourself). Party number one (for the fam) had a triple layer chocolate, Nutella and peanut butter cake, whilst party number two had a pink raspberry cake. Both went down a treat.
A TRAYBAKE AFFAIR. To go alongside your main cake, it's a good idea to have something of a different texture (non-cakey) that can be cut into slices or squares - we had flapjacks at party one and my chocolate biscuit cake at party two. I must say, the latter always amazes everyone, despite how easy it is to make. Go on, click the link and try it yourself.
|Mini banana cupcakes|
CHOCOLATES. If you're a serious culinary goddess, by all means make your own, but I think it's perfectly fine to have some nice shop-bought truffles to offer your guests.
FRUIT. Often people like to mix up their consumption of unhealthy foods with something slightly healthier to make them feel better (I know I do!), so it's a good idea to have a bowl of strawberries, grapes or some other fruit out. Also makes a nice palate cleanser.
FINGER SANDWICHES. Trust me, it's important to have something savoury at a tea party. Even a sugar-addict like myself needs some actual proper food to help get through such an intense cake-fest. I like to go traditional with little cucumber sandwiches cut into triangles (why do they taste so much better than squares?). Yum!
|Cucumber finger sandwiches|
TEA. A tea party isn't much of a tea party without tea. My student tea party was a slight fail as we didn't have a teapot, but at party number one we served tea in matching tea cups which is nice to do if you can.
COLD DRINKS. People often like to have something cold alongside their tea and cake, so try putting out a jug full of squash that guests can help themselves to throughout your party.
|yummy pink punch!|
|We jazzed up our student lounge|
SERVING. If you've got a matching fine china tea set, whack it out, but if you haven't, pretty napkins and paper plates can be bought relatively cheaply, and they make a real difference to the vibe of your tea party. Don't forget to put out cutlery for your guests too.
So there you have it, an easy-to-follow guide for a perfect tea party. Of course, play to whatever strengths you've got - one of my housemates is rather adept at facepainting, so a fair few of my guests at party number two left with moustaches painted on their faces. Crazy students, eh?