First thing’s first - set the date. Everyone needs something to look forward to at the moment, so instead of just dropping a text to your guests, why not take the time to create something a little more memorable?
Perhaps you could print out an invitation template and post them out to whoever you’d like to join your tea party. Or, if you don’t fancy trudging to the nearest post box, simply download a virtual evite, which you can customise and send to your guests. These simple little touches will help to make your event more of an occasion.
Next up, how about a dress code? I think we all need an excuse to get out of our loungewear, so why not suggest that your guests dress up a little? We’re not necessarily suggesting Sunday best and lace gloves. But, colour coordinating is a fun way to get everyone involved (all-white for instance, or a bright shade to lift everyone’s spirits). Or, you could even arrange a fancy dress competition based around a particular theme.
To help everyone at your virtual tea party feel like they’re really together, why not curate your own playlist and share with everyone beforehand. Just hit play at the same time (which could be a fun challenge in itself!) and enjoy synchronized background music throughout.
Ordering your afternoon tea couldn’t be easier. If you all live close enough to each other, simply search local bakeries with an afternoon tea delivery service and place your orders in advance. Plus, you’ll be supporting local businesses. Win-win.
Our afternoon tea is a perfect option as we also offer a vegetarian alternative. Just make sure that you’re aware of all your guests’ dietary requirements if you’re ordering on their behalf.
Every afternoon tea varies a little, but the best versions - in our opinion - are the ones that combine scrummy savouries with indulgent sweet treats. And the beauty of ordering from the same bakery is that everyone can enjoy the same dishes together at the same time.
In addition to your afternoon tea hamper, make your virtual tea party a little more collaborative (and competitive!) by hosting a biscuit decorating competition. If you’re the real chef in the family or amongst your group of friends, try hosting a live bake-a-long. Simply include a list of ingredients along with your party invite, so everyone knows what they’ll need on the day.
Or, take some inspiration from Bake Off and have a theme for your tea party. Encourage your guests to turn their hand to precise patisseries, keep it sweet with a dessert theme, or step up the savouries with a bread or pastry bake-off!
For those who can’t tell the difference between their sieve and their sifter, point them in the direction of some handmade baked goods. Hey, they’ve been made by someone, right?!
And of course, the most important part of your tea party is the tea! For a really thoughtful touch, send everyone a tea sample or sampler pack, so you can all try and enjoy the same teas together. If you’re feeling creative, you could even make your own tea bags! Simply buy some compostable drawstring tea bags, fill with your choice of loose leaf tea and pull the strings tight. Your guests will just need to pop the teabag in their mug, leave to infuse and remove.
Perhaps you could prepare prizes for the quiz winner. But rather than something that’d be a pain to post, pick a virtual prezzie like a food delivery gift card or clothes brand voucher that the lucky winner can redeem online instead.
Another way to liven up your virtual tea party is to host a masterclass like tea (or wine!) tasting. For our list of foods to pair with your favourite tea blends, check out our post on the best afternoon tea ideas. Of course, if you’re somewhat of a master baker, you could always host your very own baking class.
These options are last on our list because we think it’d be somewhat tricky to master baking a cake or sip sophisticatedly on your tea with your mobile phone in your other hand. However, there are handy phone stands available to make life a little easier. Be aware that everyone in your party would need an Apple device to use FaceTime.
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