One of my absolute favorite ways to celebrate the holidays is with a festive afternoon tea. It’s a relaxed way to entertain whether it’s one guest or several. The best part of entertaining with afternoon tea is that much of the preparation can be done in advance before guests arrive.
Today, my afternoon tea setting is for two in front of the warm and cozy fireplace and beside the Christmas tree. It’s a reason to stop, pause, and relax during the busy Christmas preparations.
I have been fortunate in finding some pieces of Christmas China over the years that just beg for an afternoon tea experience. The teapot and teacups are made by Sadler.
The tea is being served on a tea trolley. I like the versatility of trolleys as they can be used solely as a serving unit beside a larger table or even, depending on their size, as a miniature self-serve buffet. Or, either one or both of the trolley extensions can be lifted, turning the unit into a tea table as I have done today. This tea trolley is the larger of the two I own.
A few years ago, I found the delightful Christmas table square in the photo above. With its poinsettias and candles, it became the canvas and theme for today’s tea.
I like the miniature poinsettias like the one in the photo above. I use them on tea tables, in placesettings, and on bed trays because they are just the perfect size and add a touch of Christmas wherever they are used.
I have been searching for some time now for a small set of sugar tongs. I found the antique tongs in a local second-hand shop recently. The tea plates in the photo below are Royal Adderly “Poinsettia” pattern.
I love tiered servers and, while there are many pretty floral ones available, my preference is for the plain white because the food really stands out against the white background. I can mix and match my teapots and cups and saucers much easier with a white server than with a floral.
I have followed the traditional order of placement on a three-tier server: sandwiches on the bottom plate, scones on the middle, and sweets on the top tier.
The green spinach tortillas with the dots of dried cranberries add color to the sandwich plate and the fresh raspberries add a splash of red against the white bread.
The cranberry scones in the photo above are from a recipe in the “Best of Bridge Holiday Classics” cookbook that was just released in 2014.
An easy way to get a taste of cherry cheesecake when you only want a couple of servings is to make them individually in tiny glasses.
Of course, a traditional tea tray would include fruitcake. This is my own recipe which I developed and shared earlier and you can find it by clicking here.
Here is the menu for the tea.
~ Eggnog with a sprinkle of Nutmeg ~
~ Selection of Tea Sandwiches ~
Sliced Turkey with Cranberry Mayonnaise
Cucumber with Herbed Cream Cheese
Pinwheel Spinach Wraps with Cream Cheese, Fig Goat Cheese, Sliced Turkey, Green Onions and Dried Cranberries
~ Scones ~
– Cranberry Scones served with Butter and Homemade Strawberry Jam ~
~ Sweets ~
My Island Bistro Kitchen’s Dark Fruitcake
Miniature Cherry Cheesecake
Brown Sugar Fudge
~ Tea Selection ~
Kenyan Tinderet (David’s Tea)
I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my 2014 Christmas afternoon tea.
My best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Christmas season.
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