Weddings are always wonderful, but a Royal Wedding? Once in a lifetime historical moments! Lots of thought and planning went into our Royal Wedding Tea Party! Coverage started at 4:00 a.m., and I was up bright and early, and more than a little excited!
So many memories! While I was busy getting everything finished up the night before, Skipper was kind enough to polish the silver for me...certainly not my favorite thing to do! I have memories of rubbing the tarnish off my Mom's silver and polishing it up before bridal and baby showers. Just getting everything ready ahead of time for such an early morning event took a lot of advance planning.
Getting out my Gram's English tea cup collection was another walk down memory lane. She had more than 30 completely different and beautiful English teacups and saucers because she always said that having a matched set was "too boring". We were having the hardest time picking out our favorites, so eventually I just paired them up and let everyone pick out their own special cup for the morning. And for those of you wondering if a tea party is just too old fashioned or too much work, I can't begin to tell you how excited all of my kiddos were for this!
Any good Tea Party needs to start with some good tea (and coffee). I picked up a selection of English Breakfast tea, herbal teas and fruit teas, just to be sure that I had everyone's favorite. Although my mighty Keurig gets a workout everyday with a variety of coffee, there is something just a little bit special about picking out your favorite tea cup, tea bags and taking the time for it to steep. Lemon slices, honey, and sugar, on the side is about as easy as it gets!
A selection of orange juice, apple juice and fruit juice made the little ones happy - and thanks to Great Gram, luckily we had little tiny, itty-bitty tea cups for them so that they felt like they were part of the party too.
Of course, it was all about mimosas and Peach Bellinis later in the morning!
Making the fillings for the tea sandwiches was easy enough to do ahead of time - fresh bread from the bakery and some cocktail bread made quick work of putting these together. So many long-time recipes to pick from that it was hard to choose a favorite! Being that this was a royal wedding tea, however, meant that I had to make some Coronation Chicken Salad - it's a tradition!
Coronation Chicken Salad
Deviled Ham Salad
Cranberry Almond Poppy Seed Chicken Salad
Apricot Basil Chicken Salad
Cucumber & Herbed Cream Cheese Finger Sandwiches
Mandarin Orange Chicken Salad
I thought that everyone would be crazy about the tea cakes and tarts as well, and they were a hit. Like everything else, I wanted to keep the finger sandwiches and sweets tiny and cute - no more than 2 or 3 bites each. That way no one felt guilty munching throughout the morning with their favorites or trying new things.
Television coverage started at 4:00, and the wedding began promptly at 7:00. We had an absolutely sunny and glorious morning watching this, and like all of the other royal weddings that I have enjoyed over the years, this one was memory-filled as well - it was amazing how much fun we all had. Everyone was pretty much in pajamas for the event, but hats and fascinators were LOTS of fun! And with the Preakness Stakes later in the day, with everything made ahead of time, I could actually relax and enjoy the entire day of events!
We had so much fun at our Royal Tea Party - it really was worth the time and effort. Hope you were able to share the moment as well, but I'm sharing all of our favorite recipes so that you can give them a try for your next tea party, baby or bridal shower. My daughter Chantel is getting married later this year, and I can already see a Garden Tea in our future! So much fun!
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