Welcome to my Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea! If you are a regular follower of my food blog, you know I adore afternoon tea events. The Christmas season provides an excellent opportunity for a special holiday afternoon tea complete with seasonal china pieces and, naturally, all kinds of Christmas goodies.
This afternoon tea was inspired by my Royal Albert “December” teacups in the “Christmas Rose” pattern. These cups are from Royal Albert’s “Flower of the Month” series and the December pattern is aptly named “Christmas Rose”. Because the cups feature roses and holly, I have named this afternoon tea the Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea.
The two cups on the table are not exactly identical in the pattern’s motif.
While they have the same elements (the Rose and the Holly motif along with the green border and the word “December” printed on the rear interior of each cup), the patterns vary slightly in their juxtaposition and coloring. Both are treasured pieces in my holiday china collection.
Tea, today, was poured from my white Churchill Buckingham teapot. A plain white teapot is always a good investment as it matches almost everything. I have a number of Christmas teapots but they all have significant red on them and the pattern on these teacups leans more toward cranberry and pink shades.
Tea table accoutrements as well as fare are in teatime-sized proportions. This tea table is set for two and, because the table is small and there are a number of items to be included on it, it is important to keep items as small as possible. For my table centerpiece, I have chosen a small bouquet of miniature blush roses complemented by fresh holly from the holly bushes on my property.
The blush colors of the roses pair particularly well with the bright red holly berries and green leaves.
In keeping with the season, the napkin fold I have chosen is the Christmas Tree, a fairly simple fold.
I do not have recipes published for every food item seen in the photos in this posting but, for those that I do, I will put the hotlinks into the text for easy access to the recipes available on my website.
We started off with a glass of Strawberry Rhubarb Cordial mixed with some clear soda. Prosecco is also lovely mixed with this Cordial. I freeze a lot of this Cordial when the fresh rhubarb and strawberries are in season and I saved a couple of bottles for enjoyment over the Christmas period. The crimson color adds a lovely brightness to the table.
Let’s have a look at the fare I included on my three-tier server. You just know, when you see a tall three-tier server, an afternoon tea is about to happen and I do love my tiered servers!
Tea fare, today, is served in the traditional sequential manner starting first with the Savory Course (bottom plate), followed by the Scones Course (middle plate), and finishing with the Dessert Course (top plate). The Savory Course is always the first to be served and consumed as, if there are hot or warm items, as I have on this server, they need to be enjoyed while they are still, at least, warm.
The first course, the Savory Course, in my afternoon tea consisted of miniature potato martinis, tiny quiches, and two kinds of finger sandwiches. When I am hosting an afternoon tea event in the colder months of the year, I like to include one or two hot or warm items in the Savory Course. Today, one of the hot items included was our starter, miniature Potato Martinis topped with red pepper, onion, grated cheddar cheese, and garnished with a sprig of fresh Rosemary, still surviving in my backyard garden.
Living where I do, in PEI, it would be natural that I would include something made with potatoes on my menu and these are the ideal teatime-sized portions.
Appetizer-sized quiches followed the starter.
I have included two kinds of traditional finger sandwiches on the Savory plate, both completely crustless, of course. Egg Salad sandwiches almost always appear at my afternoon tea events because they are simply so popular.
My choice of filling for the second sandwich was thinly sliced roast turkey with cranberry mayonnaise.
When I am planning a menu for a teatime event, I think of not only flavors to blend well together, but colors, too.
I typically snuggle the warm scones into a napkin on my tiered server to keep them warm. Ideally, scones are served fresh and still warm from the oven. Today, Cranberry Scones could be found on the server, cozied into a white napkin.
I like to place the small bowls of scone toppings on a tray for ease of passing between teatime guests. It also reduces the risk of spillage that could easily occur if the small bowls were individually passed around the table.
Colorful and seasonal, these light and fluffy Cranberry Scones with layers of buttery flakiness are inviting for the Scones Course of today’s festive afternoon tea!
Still have room? The Dessert Course is next!
It was a good thing that teapot was kept filled for the afternoon!
Some fun little decorated sugar cubes to match the floral bouquet.
I hope you have enjoyed a little glimpse into our festive holiday afternoon tea of savory and sweet treats!
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