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Bachelorette Parties
Posted by Cayla Capri
Ooh La Tea
Bridal tea cover full
Ignore the call of the cosmo bar and get back to your girlish roots with a bridal tea party. The modern day version is primly proper on the outside (think Kentucky Derby accessories), yet totally unpretentious on the inside (nix the raised pinkies). Tea parties have been filtered of their elitist connotations and infused with playhouse whimsy - sans dolls and mommy-drag, though you can keep the bad British accents. Any remaining self-seriousness can be solved with a platter of spicy wings, guaranteed.
the tea
Bridal tea 1
Put the kibosh on bags. They make life too easy. Interactivity always trumps convenience, so go with a buffet of loose teas set in darling wooden bowls, and promote a build-your-own-sundae mentality. (As stand-ins for caramel, fudge and whipped cream, think honey, sugar and buttermilk.) Everyone should be equipped with their own infuser for portion control, so consider dishing them out as premature favors.
Have black, oolong, green and white on hand for the sheepish, but arrange a bevy of tisane-gear for those desperately seeking savor.
flowers like dandelions or lime blossoms
roots in the vein of licorice and ginger
fruits like dried blueberries or orange peels
plants like peppermint or mistletoe
herbs and spices in the style of cinnamon and sage
seeds like anise stars or fennel
Clever tip:
It’s usually appropriate to lay off the steeping at three minutes.
the finger-licking food
Bridal tea 2
There’s no mid-afternoon bylaw decreeing tea time food as bland and tiny, so please think outside the china tiers of crust-less sandwiches.
lime and cumin hummus with toasted pita wedges
mini lamb kabobs with grilled cherry tomatoes and mango
spinach, artichoke and jalapeno poppers
roasted chestnuts wrapped in prosciutto
spicy crab and edamame pot stickers
The Brits are definitely onto something with the crumbly, buttery goodness of scones. But to cut the bitter out of the blackest of teas (or to compliment the hot water you infested with vanilla beans and sugar spoonfuls), do not shy away from:
hot-cross buns with apricot-raspberry jam
cinnamon buns with orange glaze
fried-banana scones with lemon curd
mini carrot muffins with cream-cheese maple frosting
chocolate croissants with chocolate croissants
If the tea thing is just a toxin-flushing preamble to a fabulous mom-cooked meal, order of takeout Chinese, or girl-beque, skip the carbo-loading and nibble daintily on:
bowls of (candied) nuts
bowls of (dark chocolate-covered) dried fruit
bowls of fresh fruit of still-life proportions
raw asparagus with wasabi dip
toasted French baguette with bruschetta and guacamole
everything else
Bridal tea 3
Bump getting-to-know-you games and head straight for the gossip. However, if you’re desperate for small-talk starters, place ‘fun fact’ cards – Snapple style – by each tisane ingredient. Most actually contain a pretty juicy background story. The thyme in your tea, for example, is an antiseptic used in Listerine, the Kava root promotes more chit-chatter and the coca leaves had to be (mostly) de-cocainized to discourage too much of it.
In terms of setting, all you really need is a cozy nook and a purty set of table accoutrements - including a glass tea pot with blooming silk flowers. Try a sun-drenched patio, secret garden or boho tea house. Play music that easily fades into the background without veering into elevator territory, like bubblegum pop or something folksy.
In terms of theme, try real-life princess with slim-fitting cocktail dresses and white pumps, or play girls-playing-grown-ups with vintage tea-dresses, lace gloves and wide-brimmed hats. If you really want to make a statement, throw a ‘Mad Tea party’ fit for a hatter. Station your party at one end of a preposterously long table, attach riddles to the strings on tea bags, and don’t forget to talk in cryptic, nonsensical circles. To help fuel the fires of absurdity, spike the tea with red wine, rum or cognac. Make sure guests come dressed as Lewis’ characters – and you can skip the sleeping mouse in the sugar bowl.