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. Continue reading Holly and Roses Holiday Afternoon Tea→
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.
Toothsome cranberry scones in the photo above were enjoyed for the scones course.
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 Christmas afternoon tea.
My best wishes to you and yours for a wonderful Christmas season.
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The warmth and glow from the fireplace and tree lights sets a beautiful soft mood for a quiet and peaceful late afternoon tea on a cold winter’s day as the snow falls gently outside the window. Want to take a peek?
I like this red plaid tablecloth – it looks so Christmasy and matches my Christmas tea china perfectly.
I was fortunate enough to find this Sadler teapot and matching cups and saucers a few years ago. I like to find occasions to use them over the holidays.
This delightful little teabox (seen behind the teacup in the photo above) is perfectly sized for small tea tables. I have a larger teabox but there is no room for it on my round tea table.
So, what was on this afternoon’s tea menu presented on a traditional 3-tier server?
Let’s start with the sandwich plate – I served one of my all-time favorite sandwiches – egg salad on white, oatbran, and multigrain breads.
Fruit-filled scones with homemade strawberry jam and crabapple jelly rounded out the next course.
And, of course, what afternoon tea would be complete without the sweet tray! Mincemeat tarts, checkerboard sugar cookies, peanut butter balls, Scotch cookies, and the quintessential fruit cake all found their way on to the sweet tray. All seasonal favorites in our house.
And, for the sweet finish-off, these candy cane meringues that dissolve on the tongue.
Beverages included Sparkling Cranberry Apple Juice from Verger Belliveau Orchard in Memramcook, New Brunswick. I love how it sparkles in the cut glass.
Today’s tea selection was Bentley’s Pomegranate.
My choice of centerpiece was very simple – a rose bowl with a sprig of holly from just outside my front door and a floating tea light. My tea table is not large so space is at a premium so any accent centerpiece has to be small.
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I hope you have enjoyed a glimpse into my Red Plaid Christmas Afternoon Tea. May the peace and joy that Christmas brings find its way into your homes this Christmas season.
One of the most relaxing ways to spend an afternoon over the Christmas holiday season is with an afternoon tea. As someone who loves to bake, I always seem to “over-do” it on the baking front at Christmas!
Living on an Island on Canada’s East Coast, we have ready access to lobster. I maintain there is no comparison to our fine quality lobster that comes out of the cold Atlantic waters. Lobster at Christmas is one of our traditions. This year, the prices have been particularly good for consumers (CD$4.99/lb, uncooked; $5.99/lb, cooked) but not so much for the lobster fishers. Naturally, I chose lobster sandwiches for my holiday tea!
The filling for the lobster sandwiches was nothing more than the lobster, finely chopped celery, mayonnaise, a squirt or two of lemon juice, and a bit of Dijon mustard. I don’t like to add any ingredients that will detract from the fresh taste of the lobster itself.
I served locally-made Eggnog from Charlottetown’s Purity Dairy. With a sprinkle of nutmeg, this seasonal beverage was very tasty! And, of course, freshly brewed tea served in my newly-acquired Sadler Christmas teapot and matching cups and saucers, rounded out the beverage menu.
I also included my new miniature teaspoons adorned with little teapots.
In addition to my fruit cake, I always try to ensure my Christmas baking includes a mix of squares, cookies, balls, and shortbread. I also try to ensure a mix of colors and textures on my sweet trays. Yes, I know that the traditional way to serve is to have the sandwiches on the bottom tier and the sweet treats on the top tier. However, as you can see, I had lots of different varieties of sweets so needed the bigger plate for them given my tea table was small and had limited room for additional trays! Therefore, I reversed what is served on the two trays of the server.
I shaped the macaroons into miniature tree shapes and presented them on their own separate tray.
My tea table is not large so I chose a small floral centerpiece of red and white miniature carnations mixed with seasonal greenery and accented with frothy baby’s breath.
I love winter afternoon teas by the fireplace!
These tea plates are new this year, too.
Must eat these up before they melt by the fire!
I hope you take some well-earned relaxation time over this holiday season and that a nice cuppa tea with some delectable sweet treats are part of your celebration.
Best wishes for a wonderful new year!
I will be sharing this posting with Sandi at her Tea Time Tuesday event at Rose Chintz Cottage.
(Mostly) PEI and Maritime Food – Good Food for a Good Life!