Category Archives: Christmas

The Christmas Poinsettia 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.

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 ~

Egg Salad

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

Melting Moments

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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Christmas Afternoon Tea
Christmas Poincettia Afternoon Tea

Red Plaid Christmas Afternoon Tea

We have been inundated with snow in December on Prince Edward Island, three major snow storms in the past week alone.  I think, barring some strange weather phenomenon, we are all but guaranteed a white Christmas on the Island.  It also means lots of snow to shovel – that’s the bah humbug part!

This weather inspires me to have afternoon tea beside the fireplace and Christmas tree.  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 last year.  I like to find occasions to use them over the holidays.

I found the delightful little teabox (seen behind the teacup in the photo above) recently and it 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 and a floating tea light.  My tea table is not large so space is at a premium so any access centerpiece has to be small.

Time for tea!

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.

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Holiday Afternoon Tea

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!

Holiday Afternoon Tea Setting

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!

Lobster Sandwiches

 

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.

 

Sadler Christmas Teapot

 

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.

Christmas Sweets!

 

 

 

I shaped the macaroons into miniature tree shapes and presented them on their own separate tray.

Macaroon Trees

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.

The Tea Table

 

 

I love winter afternoon teas by the fireplace!

 

 

These tea plates are new this year, too.

Place Setting

 

Fireside Tea

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!

Barbara

I will be sharing this posting with Sandi at her Tea Time Tuesday event at Rose Chintz Cottage.