The fifth annual royal tea party, from your host, the Duchess of Cambridge!
My friends and I each have assigned royal identities and name tags - I host as Kate Middleton! It is so fun to dress up fancy and have our tea party. I started this tea party tradition in 2013 to celebrate the birth of Prince George, and since then we have been able to celebrate not only his birthday, but also those of Princess Charlotte and Prince Louis, and the wedding of Meghan Markle and Prince Harry!
My friends who attend my tea party and I have been friends since junior high school, and we have had many fun adventures together. As we get older and my friends and I are moving and going to school in different places, it is hard to all get together, but it’s so fun when most of us are able to meet up for this fun tradition! If you want to see some fun throwbacks to the first four tea parties, scroll to the bottom!
I draw inspiration from English afternoon tea foods, but like to put my own twist on things, so my menu is certainly not a traditional tea! Here is the menu from this tea party, which was in the summer of 2018.
I change up the menu slightly every year, but a few dishes have been tea party staples since the beginning, such as this berry shortcake. It looks so fancy, but secretly it’s the easiest item to make! I just get an angel food cake from the grocery store, slice in half horizontally, spread whipped cream and arrange berries on the bottom half, then add the top slice and add more whipped cream and berries. I made the whipped cream myself, but you could use store bought, however, I think that canned whipped cream would be too light and would collapse in between the cake. To make homemade whipped cream, whip heavy whipping cream, gradually adding granulated sugar while whipping until it holds peaks (the ratio is approximately 2 tbsp sugar to 1 cup whipping cream).
It is so fun to decorate the shortcake and it adds an elegant touch to the table! I usually prepare this right before the party so the whipped cream doesn’t sink or melt, especially if it is a hot summer day. I also had a Key Lime Pie this time for another summery dessert, which I topped with whipped cream, kiwi, blackberries, and lemon zest.
Tea sandwiches are another staple! I find it easier (and more photogenic haha) to make them open-faced rather than with bread on top, because you don’t have to worry about the sandwiches falling apart or being too full. I sliced a baguette and toasted the slices, then added the toppings.
I kept the sandwiches refrigerated while preparing the rest of the meal. One of my friends is vegetarian, so I made sure to have good vegetarian options.
I also made a Rainbow Cauliflower and Citrus Salad, which I made with roasted Trader Joe’s Rainbow Cauliflower (tossed with olive oil, salt, pepper, and rosemary and cooked at 425 F until soft and slightly crispy, about 25-30 minutes), a mix of wild rice and quinoa, slices of blood orange, orange, and apple, and pomegranate seeds. I mixed lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste for a refreshing and summery dressing.
This tea party was the first one I hosted after starting this blog, so it was extra fun to make the menu! Since I didn’t have a ton of time to put it all together and was organizing by myself, I used store bought cake and key lime pie (the pie was from Trader Joe’s) and added to them, but wanted to bake at least one dessert item from scratch!
And what is a tea party without scones (I think the Queen would faint), so I made chocolate coffee scones! The recipe was inspired by Oh She Glows, which is a great vegan food blog I love. The recipe can easily be made vegan by using maple syrup and a non-dairy milk. I used honey as a sweetener because my family keeps bees, and I love using our homegrown honey!
Chocolate Coffee Scones
1.75 cups whole wheat flour
1.5 tsp baking powder
3/4 tsp baking soda
about 1 tsp salt
Dash of cinnamon
Dash of nutmeg (optional)
1 tbsp coconut sugar or cane sugar
1 tsp vanilla
1/4 cup melted coconut oil
1/4 cup honey (maple syrup if vegan)
1/3 cup strong coffee
1 tbsp milk
Some lemon juice (I used a few spoonfuls; it doesn’t have to be an exact measurement)
1/2 cup chopped dark chocolate - I used dark chocolate with almonds in it for extra crunch!
1. Preheat oven to 375 F and line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Put the milk in a bowl and add a small amount of lemon juice until it curdles, which should happen pretty quickly.
3. Mix the dry ingredients and wet ingredients in separate bowls then mix together.
4. To form the scones, I recommend packing the batter into a 1/3 cup measuring cup, then tapping it into your hand to release it. Roll the dough a bit into a scone shape, and space the scones out about 3 inches apart.
5. Bake for 10-12 minutes, let cool, and enjoy!
And of course, if you’re going to have a tea party, you MUST have tea! I went to England in 2012 on a Girl Scout trip, and my family still has some authentic English Afternoon tea that I got on this trip (at Harrod’s - very British!). I now save this tea to serve at my tea parties! I am running low however, so I guess that means I will have to go to England soon to get more (I wish!).
Here are pictures of the first four tea parties, in order! When it rains we eat inside, but I prefer outside because I love enjoying the outdoors in the summer!
Clink some teacups today! Cheerio!
- Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge (aka me once a year)