By Kelly, Contributing Writer

Hosting a simple, yet elegant afternoon tea party is a delightful way to celebrate the special women in our lives whether it’s honoring our moms on Mother’s Day, hosting a bridal or baby shower, or just sharing a fun afternoon with good friends.

Simply dress up your table with some pretty linens and fresh flowers. And don’t be shy about borrowing extra china or serving platters from friends. Personally, I love the eclectic look of mismatched dishes and platters.

Keep the menu simple, yet elegant. A selection of assorted finger sandwiches pair nicely with tea. Lemon Dill Cucumber Tea Sandwiches (see recipe below), as well as egg salad and chicken salad are all traditional favorites. Another classic pairing with tea is biscuits or scones served with homemade jam and clotted cream.

For dessert, consider serving dainty treats such as little Lemondrop Cupcakes, Thumbprint Cookies, or Raw Cookie Dough Bites.

And of course, the most important part of any tea party is the tea! Set up a traditional tea service with teapots, cups and saucers, and a nice selection of tempting teas. Traditional favorites such as English Breakfast, Darjeeling and Green Tea are all delicious. For a special touch, consider creating your own unique tea blends such as Rosy Black, Lemon Tisane, or other Health-Boosting Herbal Teas.

Afternoon tea is all about simple pleasures – a time to sip tea, relax and enjoy a memorable afternoon together. It truly is a wonderful way to honor and appreciate the special women in our lives!

Lemon Dill Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
 
Recipe type: Appetizer
Serves: 3-4
Ingredients
  • 4 oz. cultured cream cheese, softened
  • 1 tsp. finely chopped fresh dill (or ½ tsp dried dill weed)
  • ½ tsp. lemon zest
  • 1 tsp. fresh-squeezed lemon juice
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 English cucumber, peeled and sliced thinly
  • 6 slices of your favorite wholesome bread
Instructions
  1. In a medium bowl, using an electric mixer, blend together the cream cheese, dill, lemon zest and lemon juice until smooth and creamy. Then, season to taste with salt and pepper.
  2. Cut crusts off the bread (reserve for making breadcrumbs or another use). Spread a generous layer of the cream cheese mixture on each slice of bread.
  3. Layer the cucumber slices among three of the bread slices. Add a few sprigs of fresh dill, if desired. Top with the remaining three bread slices. Slice into quarters on the diagonal and serve (Or cut sandwiches into pretty shapes, using a favorite cookie cutter.)

Have you hosted an afternoon tea party? What are your favorite tips and treats for making it a memorable affair?