3.25.2011

Picnic Tea Party (Williamsburg 3 of 3)

It was such fun to host a tea party with a twist for the MOMYS group last week at Williamsburg. Since all of us were vacationing, it would have been a big load for the organizers, Tina & Skip Jenkins, to host a tea party for 65 with all the paraphernalia of tea pots, cups, and china.

So, Miranda and I came up with the idea of Picnic Tea Party! Yes, it wasn't quite 17th-18th century to use plastic disposables, but it was grand to have no clean up work afterwards. Much of the prep work was completed before we left for Williamsburg.

Here is how we managed to throw a beautiful tea party 500 miles away from home:
Picnic Tea Menu:

Tea Sandwiches (Cucumber and Chicken Salad)
Scones (Chocolate & Poppy Seed) w/clotted cream & raspberry jam
Macarons (Pink & Green) with Chocolate Ganache
Sugar Cookie with Colored Sugar
Shortbread with sprinkles
Strawberry dipped in white and dark chocolate
Chocolate Mint Patty

Our condo living room was transformed to a prep kitchen. Since bread is bulky and too delicate to transport, we purchased the bread at Williamsburg and cut the bread rounds with cookie/biscuit cutters.

Fresh strawberries dipped in white chocolate, then drizzled with dark chocolate.

Natalie was so helpful! She decorated the shortbread with chocolate and sprinkles.

We had two clear deli boxes for each attendee: one filled with savory treats, the other with sweets.

Since we had so many children attending the tea party, we served raspberry lemonade. The beautiful logo on the glass was designed by the young and talented Katie Jenkins. All the wonderful decorations were done by Jennie Hebert. Great work ladies!


We all had an absolutely delightful time!


Make-Ahead Tips:

*If you are planning this long distance, order the baskets, plastic disposables, mugs and have them shipped directly to the site as we did.

Here are some helpful ideas but depending on your menu, preparations will vary.

Up to 10 days ahead:
Make the following and freeze
Sugar cookie dough,
Scones dough (cut in wedges)
Bake Macarons shells
Shortbread, bake, cut and freeze in layers
Cut bread rounds or squares for tea sandwiches
De-bone rotissiery chicken and finely chop the meat only, store in freezer bag

2-3 days ahead:
Purchase all fresh produce
Make aioli or boursin cheese for cucumber sandwiches
Make raspberry lemonade and freeze in cubes

1 day ahead:
Thaw chicken meat and make chicken salad

Up to 6 hours ahead:
Whip heavy cream stiffly, add sugar to taste
Put raspberry jam and whipped cream in a 2 oz portion cups & refrigerate
(don't forget to buy lids)
Make lemonade and refrigerate
Bake scones
Bake Sugar cookies, when cooled, brush with beaten egg whites & sprinkle with colored granulated sugar
Make chocolate ganache
Assemble macarons
Melt chocolates (dark & white) and dip strawberries,
ensure berries are dried well with paper towels
Dip shortbread in melted chocolate (also can be drizzled using a pastry bag or ziplock baggie with cut corner), shake colorful sprinkles on to adhere

2 hours ahead:
Assemble cucumber & chicken salad sandwiches (cover with plastic wrap to avoid bread drying out)
1 hour ahead:
Assemble the boxes, we lined ours with 6" doilies
Fill mugs with frozen lemonade cubes, put fresh or frozen raspberries for color
and add lemonade to fill, secure with a lid.
Add decorative napkins and put in the baskets


Baskets purchased from Oriental Trading Company
Clear Deli Tray (can be purchase from local chemical supply store or online)

These photos were edited by my incredibly gifted niece. Thank you, Christine!

Thank you Ms. Humble for your macaron recipe!

31 comments:

  1. So you are pretty much amazing for putting this all together! I am so jealous I wasn't there because the food looks adorable and delicious! :)
    Next time you go to Williamsburg, please invite me! LOL.

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  2. Kay - The macarons are absolutely lovely! I'm so glad they turned out well. Everything for the tea party looks wonderful. And I'm still in disbelief that you sewed those outfits yourself. You are super mom! I wish you were closer so you could show me how to make macarons and sew. :)

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  3. What an awesome picnic!

    1. I love oriental trading company
    2. Your macarons! Yay.
    3. That's a lot of dessert for each person, but I'd probably eat it all.

    Beautiful job :)

    julie

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  4. Ms. Kay this looks wonderfully sublime! I wish I had your timing and prep-skills. My step dad is the same way, planning things down to the minute even, but this is something I have yet to master. haha

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  5. I am totally overwhelmed by this ...
    what great planning and how yummy it all looks!
    Now I have to go re-check that macarons recipe you were able to freeze....

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  6. yay! congratulations on getting success with the macarons! looks like a really fun picnic party...i'm so inspired by how you pulled it off away from home!

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  7. Kay - you amaze me! I am so impressed at the result - it's a tea party I would have loved to attend at any age!

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  8. @ Julie, yes way too much sweets! Esp for me who do not enjoy it as much as savory, but the girls loved it.

    @ Megan, keep your dad near by as you are planning your big wedding! ;)

    @ Jessica, it would be great fun to do Thai picnic party, wouldn't it?

    Thanks so much friends!

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  9. Wow Kay., everything looks amazing. Congrats on getting those macaroons looking so fabulous too..., everything looks amazing :)

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  10. Wow Kay, your tea party treats look simply amazing!!

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  11. Can I sign up please, what special care was taken with all those fabulous treats.

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  12. wow what an amazing tea party spread and fun place to have it love this

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  13. Beautiful job Kay and Miranda! I'm going to enjoy this site!

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  14. That really is impressive! I want to be your friend!!! So neat to see the love and care that went in to planning this.

    Karen (the Mrs.)

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  15. @Jennie, Thank you for your hard work!
    @Mrs. Riggenback, I thought we were already friends! :)

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  16. Again, I'm constantly amazed at your creativity and talent! What a wonderful tea party and to have such a historic setting must have been awesome. Delicious food!!

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  17. A lot of love and care went into the planning of this. What a fabulous job. I hope you have a great day. Blessings...Mary

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  18. Oh I wish I was one of the lucky ladies who received one of those goodie baskets!

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  19. You are so great at organizing the logsitics of a party! The macarons are perfect and the girls look like they are having a lot of fun!

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  20. So much creativity and imagination went into this event, wonderful, inspiring to see the children immersing themselves in all these activities and having a great time!

    The 18th century is a favorite century for me--the Enlightenment, beautiful music, dress, and of course the birth of the USA founded on ideals of freedom and fraternity...

    Thanks for sharing, Kay!

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  21. P.S. such gorgeous strawberries!!

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  22. Kay - you are sweet! :-)

    Karen (the Mrs.)

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  23. Hello,
    Can I have permission to show your tea party dessert picture? It turned out wayyyy better then mine.

    Please let me know,
    Amanda Friedl

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  24. @ Amanda, please feel free to use the photos from the tea, just link my photo to my site please. :)
    Thank you!

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  25. What a wonderful tea party! Everything looks amazing and so pretty! I love this!

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  26. You always have such wonderful picnic/packed lunch ideas!

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  27. I love the jars of raspberry lemonade- they are darling

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  28. Everything looks great, but I'm curious. What did you do with the leftover bread?

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  29. @Wendy, in the condo where we stayed, there was a huge flock of geese and ducks who loved the leftover bread! At home, I make fresh bread crumbs with it. :)

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  30. Your macarons look stunning, and thanks for all the tips!

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