Category Archives: Valentines

Sweet Valentine’s Afternoon Tea

Afternoon teas are a splendid and relaxing way to spend an afternoon and catch up with friends.  Teas are perfect for special events such as birthdays, Easter, Christmas, and Valentine’s Day. For me, though,there doesn’t have to be an occasion or an event to have afternoon tea – I love the experience at any time of the year.  That said, Valentine’s Day is a great time to host an afternoon tea for friends. It’s a gorgeous girly treat! So, come along and have a peek at my afternoon tea before my guests arrive.

My color theme for this year’s Valentine’s Tea is pink and yellow, both cheery colors in the mid-winter. These beautiful tulips were grown here in PEI in the Vanco greenhouses in Mount Albion, not far from Charlottetown.

I am centering the afternoon tea around the coffee table in front of the fireplace. Cozy sofa and chairs invite a relaxing afternoon of conversation while sampling some of my home-baked treats.

I have chosen to use my Royal Albert “Lavender Rose” china for the tea and I love, love, love three-tier servers!

For an afternoon tea, it is not necessary to have several kinds of sandwiches, though that is quite lovely. Two to three varieties are just  fine. Traditional tea sandwiches for my event today include tomato and shaved turkey, and ham and Havarti cheese. I like to use different breads for the sandwiches because it adds variety to the tea plate. Sometimes I cut the sandwiches into different shapes but, today, I have simply used the traditional fingertip sandwich.

Fresh scones straight from the oven are always divine, especially with a light dusting of sugar.

I picked up the jams on a recent trip to England – I am always on the lookout for items suitable for one of my afternoon teas!

Clotted cream and lemon curd, two staples on the tea table! I could eat a jar of lemon curd just on its own!

Tender and flaky scones make a great base for the lemon curd and red berry jam.

The fresher the scones, the better!

The tartness of the lemon curd plays off well against sweet jam.

And, on the sweet plate: Simple custard with a dob of lemon curd served in small stemmed liqueur glasses, lemon spritz shortbread cookies, and pink macarons.

I love the delicate shades of pale yellow and pink together!

The macarons are flavorful, light and airy in texture.

A selection of specialty teas from the teabox allows each guest to choose her favorite!

I find tea always seem to taste so much better out of a china cup and saucer!

And, for the finale, my Dreamy Hawaiian Cupcakes frosted with buttercream twirled into a rose formation.

These festively decorated chocolate-dipped strawberries will be a real hit!

And, a glass of sparkling  wine to accompany the cupcakes and strawberries.

All set for a relaxing afternoon.

Happy Valentine’s Day!

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Valentine's Afternoon Tea
Valentine’s Afternoon Tea

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea – Petit Fours and Tulips

Is there anything more genteel than afternoon tea!  And, is there anything more perfect for a tea event than petit fours.  They are so dainty covered in poured fondant; it’s like each one is a tiny parcel waiting to be unwrapped to see what lies inside.  For these, I used a simple white cake sandwiched together with rich strawberry jam.

Petit Fours
Petit Fours

Today’s tea is more on the sweet side.  A selection of some of my favorite squares, melting moments, divinity fudge, and macarons.

Tea Table Fancies
Tea Table Fancies

The addition of a lovely fruit scone never goes wrong, particularly when spread with delectable homemade strawberry jam.

Fruit Scone with Strawberry Jam
Fruit Scone with Strawberry Jam

What would Valentine’s be without chocolate-dipped strawberries.  In keeping with the pink theme and the delicate pink dishes, I have dipped the strawberries in pink chocolate.

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Chocolate Dipped Strawberries

These dishes with their dainty pink rose design are perfect for a Valentine’s tea.

These hand-decorated cookies are sure to be a conversation piece.

This four-tier server is perfect for small tea tables since it doesn’t take up much space yet accommodates the different courses of the tea.

While roses are the most commonly associated flower with Valentine’s, there are other flowers that are equally as beautiful.  Today, I have chosen delicate pink tulips from the greenhouses of Vanco Farms in Mount Albion, PEI.  I do, on occasion, buy the tulips at our local Superstore but, when I want to be sure of a perfect match for my color scheme, I do drive out to the greenhouses….it’s a good excuse to be amidst such beautiful tulips!

Tulips are said to symbolize perfect love and the different colors of tulips have different meanings.  Pink tulips symbolize affection and caring.

Can you tell the color theme was pink!

These scones, fresh from the oven, and lightly dusted with confectioner’s sugar, melt in the mouth and are a perfect prelude to the next course of sweets!

I like this antique silver teapot.  It lends elegance to the table.

Even Cupid drops in for a visit!

There is something cozy about a winter afternoon tea by the fireside.

I love this pink and white tea set.

The tiny flowers on the cookies and petit fours are made from fondant.

I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my Valentine’s Tea.  Today I will be joining Sandi at Rose Chintz Cottage for her Hearts and Flowers Tea.

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“Sweetheart and Roses” Valentine Tea

So, it’s Valentine’s Day – the day of all things sweet.  This year, I decided to host an afternoon tea to commemorate the special day.  As I soon discovered after just a wee bit of research, there is more than one kind of afternoon tea.  There are Cream Teas where tea, scones, jam, and cream are served.  There are Light Teas where you are likely to find sweets served along with tea and scones.  Then, there are Savory Teas where you might find such tasty temptations as tiny sandwiches (crusts removed, of course), small quiches, or appetizers on the menu….and you get the idea.  Teas can be relatively simplistic or they can be lavishly elaborate.

To my knowledge, on PEI in winter, we don’t have any hotels or restaurants that offer a traditional full-scale formal afternoon tea.  In the summer season, the Dalvay-By-The-Sea Hotel on PEI’s North Shore, Mrs. Profitt’s Tea Room in the Orient Hotel in Victoria-By-The-Sea on the Island’s South Shore, and the Blue Winds Tea Room in Clinton, near New London, offer tea service.  I’m not sure why this niche has largely escaped the Island but, from my afternoon tea experiences elsewhere while travelling – most notably at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia, at different hotels in London, England, and on several cruise ships, it’s a very charming and relaxing way to while away an afternoon.

For my “Sweetheart and Roses Valentine’s Tea”, I chose a pink theme (still a little tired of all the red from Christmas!) and I sort of crossed a Light Tea with a Savory Tea.  The appointed hour was 4:30pm.

Valentine’s Afternoon Tea

On the Menu:  Currant scones and tea biscuits with raspberry jam, small quiches followed by a selection of dainty sweets that included French macaroons, melting moments, shortbread, squares, decorated sugar cookies, and Linzer cookies.  For dessert, I served a vanilla layer cake covered in buttercream icing swirled in a rose design.  For my tea selection, I chose Stash English Breakfast.  While that may sound odd to have a “breakfast” tea in the afternoon, it is my favourite kind of tea so that’s what I went with.  I set the table with a white Irish linen tablecloth and my finest China (including lots of tiered and pedestal plates) and we were off to enjoy our Valentine’s Day Afternoon Tea.

“Sweetheart and Roses Valentine’s Tea”

Valentine’s Day is all about spending time with the people who mean the most to you.  It’s less important the big bouquets of red roses, the Valentine-themed boxes of chocolates, or teddy bears carrying hearts or any of a myriad of other commercial and material gifts than it is spending time together.  So, whatever your Valentine’s Day carries for you, I wish you the time well spent and enjoyed with your favourite people.  Happy Valentine’s Day everyone!