Family · Gluten-Free · In the Kitchen · Parties · Random Everyday · Tea

Autumn Afternoon Tea Party

My sister-in-law, Abigail and I put together an Autumn Afternoon Tea Party a couple weeks back. Planning it was so much fun and it was really fascinating to do all the research about tea parties and the proper etiquette when planning or hosting such an event. Did you know that calling a tea party, “High tea” is incorrect? Here is the quote from the webpage where I discovered the info.

“High tea was what servants of a large house ate at around 6pm, after the upstairs had been given their (afternoon) tea. On the menu were things like large joints of meat (often a roasted ham), slices of thick bread, potted shrimps, a big cake to share, and ale.
It was eaten at a proper table, rather than a lower, coffee table, and so it became known in the servants’ hall as ‘high tea’.”

Here is the rest of the article if you’re interested. I found it quite intriguing to read!

Anyways, we went with an Autumn décor theme of course and tried to keep it simple. All of the food was made by my sister-in-law and myself and it was really fun coming up with the menu. We had a couple ladies attending that are gluten intolerant so we tried to have a variety of food they could enjoy as well. I think we did pretty good if I do say so myself. 😉

Clockwise from top left: Chocolate Pumpkin Petit Fours (GF), Smoked salmon and Spinach Artichoke mock Crostini (GF), Wrapped Au jus steak filled with Jalapeño Dip (GF), Smoked Salmon and Spinach Artichoke Crostini, New York Style Cheesecake bars.
Clockwise from top: British-Style Currant Scones, Mini Mushroom Artichoke & Swiss Quiche, Crustless-Mini Mushroom Artichoke Swiss Quiche (GF), Mini Apple Cinnamon Cobblers (GF),  Mini Apple Cinnamon Galettes.


The Tea Cart. Abigail set up a selection of different teas, including Red Rose Black tea, Stash Peppermint and some herbal teas.
Our local town has a community Rose garden and even in November the selection was still lovely. I was able to pick enough for 4 arrangements (I also picked up some flowers from Costco to supplement) and my lovely sister was kind enough to put them together for me. I also painted some mini pumpkin and squash with Metallic Rose Gold spray paint and those with some white mini pumpkins and some lovely shimmery gold fabric for the tablecloth’s (donated by Abigail) completed the décor.
Not included above, Bottom left corner: Mini Pumpkin Tartlets (GF)


After everyone had had a chance to get their food and tea, we played a Trivia Game with questions all related to tea. Here is the link to the game we played. It was actually really fun and we gave prizes to the ladies that won. (If you plan a game for a party, you might need an extra gift if there is a tie, just an fyi! 😉 ) I did change some of the questions to make them multiple choice since some of them were not the easiest questions. It worked really well.

All in all the event came off lovely and everything was delicious. Sure there were a couple things I will change next time, mostly just planning another couple of hours to complete preparations but other than that, it was really nice to be able to get together with family and friends and catch up over hot cups of tea and scrumptious goodies. Maybe we’ll even make it an annual event. 😉

I’ve included links to some of the recipes we used and notes next to each one to tell you a little more about them.

Best Ever Chocolate Cake  – I’ve made this Gluten Free Chocolate cake before and it was delicious. So I knew that it would be a winner and sure enough it was. It calls for grated pumpkin which I admit is unusual but I used a Pie pumpkin and it worked wonderfully. It’s definitely a dark chocolate cake but I paired it with a Light chocolate Buttercream and it was the perfect balance. Here is the recipe I used for the Buttercream, It is a little time consuming but I’ve never had it fail to turn out delicious and it’s really healthy too! I used Maple syrup so it had a subtle maple flavor which I loved with the dark chocolate cake. You could definitely use just honey though. Enjoy! 🙂

British-Style Currant Scones – These were lovely! We ate them plain but it would be more correct to serve with clotted cream and jam, or just butter and jam. Ah well! Next year we’ll have to track down clotted cream.

New York Cheesecake – I based my Cheesecake bars off this recipe but made a couple changes. I used all honey instead of sugar and then changed the crust recipe to one I already had. If you do honey just remember to sweeten to taste. I usually do 1/3 of honey for the amount of sugar it calls for. I also doubled the recipe and made the cheesecake in a 9×13″ pan instead and baked it at 350degrees for a lot less time. Starting with 35 minutes and checking it after that frequently, until it was done. Remember to run a knife around the edges of the pan after removing it from the oven to reduce the chance of it cracking. Definitely a recipe I’ll be adding to my collection.

Mini Artichoke Mushroom Swiss Quiche – This is a Pioneer Woman’s recipe and I adapted it to work for mini quiche. I used a recipe from one of my sisters for the crust and made them in muffin tins. I also omitted the bacon, (for no reason other than I ran out of time 🙂 ) I did a combo of Swiss cheese and Jarlsburg cheese that I picked up from Costco. I thought it was a nice combination and these were one of the first items to disappear. For the Gluten Free option I simply omitted the crust and baked just the quiche filling in greased muffin tins. So, mini Frittatas I guess. 🙂

For the Gluten-Free version of the Crostini, we simply used two kinds of dip and spread some on regular bread and then the others we sliced russet potatoes and roasted them on a cookie sheet, let cool and then treated them the same as the bread. Worked beautifully I think and still really tasty.

Unfortunately I don’t have recipes for some of the food because it was done by Abigail but I might be able to track them down and update this post later if anyone is interested…

Also, many, many thanks to Abigail for helping me host the party! Without her I’m sure it wouldn’t have come together and her skills in planning, baking and organizing were invaluable. Thanks again, Abigail for agreeing to host with me! 🙂

And that wraps up my post about the Tea Party! Sorry it’s a little late but you know, life happened and we all managed to get sick. Anyways, hope you enjoyed and if you have any questions, feel free to ask. 🙂






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