Here's a fun way to celebrate Mother's Day this weekend: Host a Mother-Daughter tea party! CafeMom's tea expert, Tealadyd, shows us how...
Tealadyd—or Tea Lady Darla, as her friends know her—is an expert on all things tea. She used to sell tea and tea party foods, and now throws tea parties for her friends and families. Darla was so sweet to give us the following tips on hosting a tea party for Mother's Day.
Why have a tea party for Mother's Day?
Tea parties are a great way to get women together at any time of year. A Mother's Day Tea Party is a lovely way to honor motherhood with other women of like-mindedness. My friends come together to show off their mothers and their daughters, and to share stories about being a mother, or having a mother...or a mother-in-law. This great thing called motherhood is something we all have in common. And so the time we spend together is very rich, and a way for all of us to relate to one another.
What is your favorite theme for a Mother's Day tea party?
For Mother's Day, my favorite theme is simply a Mother-Daughter Tea Party. I let my friends bring their mothers or daughters. We have a great group of gals aged 8-80, and it always works well. Little girls love to be at the tea table with other women. I happen to think that our culture doesn't do enough to encourage relationships between young people and older ones. But the tea party makes this possible. We all sit together and share wonderful stories.
How do you get people talking at a tea party?
I try to have a conversation starter ready to go for everyone to participate in. When everyone has been seated, I ask them to think about the question I'm about to pose and be prepared to share their response at some point during the party. The question might be to tell a story about the most embarrassing thing your mother has ever done to you. Or to share the most important thing your mom ever taught you. They will immediately start thinking about the question and chatting around the table will begin.
I will serve the first round of tea, and let my friends serve themselves from the edibles at the table. When I am finally able to seat myself, I'll ask who would like to be the first to answer the question. The answers are always so delightful: Daughters telling on their mothers; mothers sharing wisdom from their own mothers. We laugh, and we may even cry. But through all this, we learn more about one another. I try and guide the conversation as I go, encouraging everyone to participate.
What are some ideas for decor at a Mother's Day tea party?
- I use a white tablecloth because it goes with anything.
- I snip some Black-Eyed Susans from my garden and place them in an extra teapot or watering can for a centerpiece. (If you don't have a garden, just pick up a cheap bouquet at the grocery store and use it).
- I do love to use some bright colored place mats. I have white cloth napkins I use with napkin holders. But pretty colored paper napkins will work fine as well.
- I set the table with dessert dishes, teacups, and saucers at each place setting. If you do not have enough tea cups and saucers, just borrow some! Or take a trip down to the thrift store and pick out some mismatched pieces. They are always so adorable at the table. And they become a conversation piece in themselves.
- I may sprinkle some bright confetti around the table, or some pretty glass pebbles, or perhaps some pastel foam flowers, or Hershey Kisses. This just adds a festive touch.
- I do have a three-tiered server, naturally, because I host a lot of tea parties. It's a great piece to have around. But if you don't have one, use the serving pieces you do have: Cake plates on pedestals. Glass, silver, or floral trays. Trifle dishes, etc. Whatever you have available. You may even add some paper doilies to plain dishes to dress them up a bit.
Read more at Darla's blog, Tea on Tuesday. And, stay tuned for Part 2 of our conversation with Tea Lady Darla. Tomorrow she tells us about food, etiquette, and, of course, her favorite tea to serve at a tea party!