Monday, May 14, 2012

Afternoon Tea Party

Longing to escape to a sunny garden with a breathtaking landscape of flowers and plants!

I dreamed to go to a beautiful and quiet countryside to loosen up and unwind and breath the fresh air from the mountain and wild flowers.

Since going somewhere is quite impossible, I just want to take a day break from work maybe and spend life alone and enjoy a cup of tea in the afternoon. 

Fourteen years ago, I thought I could find and live a kind of life I was dreaming of in the city but I was wrong. It was terrible, the battle of survival and the struggle to find a room for myself buried me more in the basement of frustrations and disappointments. So deep that contentment is no where to be found.

Now, I want to go back to an environment where harmony and peace of mind are abundant. I am more interested in settling with home life in the countryside than taking a tremendous career in the city because life there is more relax and calm. I want to live a quiet, simple life in a green environment. But right now, I have no enough savings to start a new life in a different place so I will have to endure the struggles and heartaches first.

While waiting for my destiny to take me to wherever God wants me to be, I am trying hard to dart my mind away from despair and annoyance by doing something that amuses me like---researching more about monarchy and entrepreneurship.

I am  also researching stylish country living to keep myself busy...then I thought of changing my eating pattern so I turned on finding more about this very elegant and delicate traditional English habit -- Afternoon Tea Party.

When I get married (hope it will be soon ^____^), I want an Afternoon Tea Garden Party reception in a Springtime theme, I don't mind if my guests will not like it, hahaha! (CLICK HERE TO READ MORE)

So what's this Afternoon Tea Party thing?

Well, this tradition is very British and started during the Victorian Era in England. Lady Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, one of the Ladies-in-Waiting of Queen Victoria created the idea of the first Afternoon Tea Party. According to the amazing-green-tea site:

"Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from "a sinking feeling" at about four o'clock in the afternoon. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs into her dressing room.
Later, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o'clock in her rooms. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and, of course, tea.
The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses, including Queen Victoria".
Well, today, this tradition continues in England and Queen Elizabeth II annually hosted an Afternoon Tea Garden Party in Buckingham Palace during the months of June and July.
An afternoon tea Party is a great way to socialize with friends and relatives while enjoying the food and beverages. 
But don't feel inferior or intimidated by the thought of attending a tea party, in fact you don't need to be very formal or cautious as it is only held in the garden.

There are only proper etiquette to be observed at this party.
So how would you behave in an Afternoon  Tea Party?
According to amazing-green-tea.com, there are proper etiquette to be observed when attending an afternoon tea party:
  • Sip tea slowly instead of gulping like softdrinks or water.
  • Lift the saucer of the tea cup when going around the garden.
  • Don't stir the tea in a circular motion vigorously, it is highly improper, instead, place your spoon in the 6:00 o'clock position then add the milk and gently fold it in by gently moving the spoon towards the 12:00 o'clock position, after stirring, place the spoon on the right side of the saucer.
  • Place the jam and cream on your plate first before spreading it in the scones.
So here's some suggestions in organizing a perfect Afternoon Tea party in the Garden and feel the lifestyle of aristocrats:
Foods:
Cucumber Tea Sandwich - This traditional recipe is composed of paper-thin slices of cucumber placed between two thin slices of crustless, lightly buttered white bread. Cucumber sandwiches contain little protein and so are generally not considered sustaining enough to take a place at a full meal.
Toasted Tea cake - A light, sweet, yeast-based bun containing dried fruits such as currants, sultanas or peel.
Scone - A small quick bread made of wheat, barley or oatmeal, usually with baking powder as a leavening agent. There are different kinds of scones: Apple biscuit scones, Lemon buttermilk scones, Frosted cream cheese scones, etc.
Canapes - Delicious pastries cut quarterly with additional attractive toppings and decorations.
Asparagaus Boursin Tea Sandwich - Crustless bread stuffed with cooked asparagus and boursin cheese.
Beverages:
Don't ever think that because this is a tea party, you will never see other beverages in the party other than "tea"! This kind of party also serves fruit juice or punch.
Springtime Punch - Mixed a wine of your choice (make sure it is 5% or below ABV to avoid a drunken guest incident) with any fresh fruit juice of your choice then garnish it with slices of apples or oranges.
Honeydew Juice - The green colour of honeydew reflects freshness and vitality and it perfectly matches the beautiful earthly environment of the garden.
Green Tea - Tea is always great!Choose the green tea variety because it is more healthy than other teas. Allow your guests to make a choice of mix either milk or honey.
 Ok, now, my stomach is rumbling in hunger and I want to go home now and prepare my own Cucumber tea sandwich!
This is what we call a real taste of class and elegance, I cannot wait to organize my own Afternoon Tea Garden Party! ^_____^

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