Guest: How to Host a Vegan Tea Party

Ashley Woodward

Please meet our next Guest: Ashley Woodward
She is a nutritionist, fitness buff and the founder of VeganCookbook.com 

Her goal is to help as many people as possible learn about the benefits of eating vegan and to share her passion with other people who also have a love for cooking and trying new recipes. And if there’s something you want to see or ask, don’t hesitate to reach out, she’ll be happy to help!

Hosting a vegan tea party might sound complicated, but it’s anything but. By adopting an attitude that veganism is about what you CAN have, not what you can’t, you’ll be amazed how creative and delicious options exist to bring your tea party to the next level.

My parties are a hit with my vegan and meat-eating friends alike, and I wanted to share some of my tips for success here. But first, let’s learn more about the origins of high tea in the first place.

History of Tea Parties

The tradition of afternoon socials surrounding tea drinking began in England in the 1800s. Legend has it that the Duchess of Bedford grew tired of sitting hungry between lunch and dinner, so she started inviting friends over to enjoy buttered bread and tea in the middle of the day.

The event soon took off with middle-class women, and an array of sandwiches and sweet treats were quickly invented to decorate the table, too.

tea party

Today, tea parties are still considered posh events where people bring out their fanciest dresses and table settings. If you want an excuse to get glammed up and enjoy Grandma’s china, hosting a vegan tea party is the best way to spend an afternoon.

How to Set Up the Perfect Vegan Tea Party

Hosting a vegan tea party is easier than you think! So long as you consider the following steps, your party is sure to be a success.

Send out Invitations

Select a date well in advance for your tea party so that your friends can clear their schedules. While a simple email can work, it’s much more fun to send out formal invitations instead. You can design your invitations online and print them out at home to save on costs.

Make sure to clarify in the invitation that this will be a VEGAN tea party, and explain that some apparel items aren’t appropriate (anything containing silk, wool, pearls, and of course, leather) and encourage guests to be creative in coming up with cruelty-free outfits instead.

If a guest chooses to bring a dish to share, make sure to mention that it must be free of eggs, milk, meat, and other animal products.

Setting the Table

A few days before the event, you should plan out your table settings by finding cute plates, bowls, cutlery, and centerpieces to display.

A matching set is classy, but mixing and matching different patterns is always fun. Feel free to go thrifting for some eclectic pieces, or invite your guests to bring their own.

How you set the table for your tea party will make all the difference for the atmosphere you create. Make sure you start with a clean tablecloth (white is the classic color) and set your teapot in the center.

Small sugar and creamer containers can be scattered across the table, making them easy to access for every guest.

Each individual place setting should include a teacup and saucer, teaspoon, small snack plate napkin, and whatever utensils are needed to eat with. If you provide multiple spoons or forks per guest, make sure you arrange them so that the largest is closest to the plate!

If you can find one, make sure to incorporate a three-tiered cake stand loaded with vegan treats into your display. A large serving plate propped up on an upside-down wine glass can work in a pinch, too.

Choosing Your Tea

The quality of tea makes the event, so make sure you offer a wide selection to please your tea party guests. An assortment of loose leaf teas and tea bags are good to have on the table, as well as a selection of vegan-friendly creamers, sugar, and lemon slices.

Making your own vegan creamers is easier than you think. Nut milk is the key to making thick and rich vegan creamers, and my personal favorite method involves using almonds and dates for a little extra sweetness.

desserts

How you brew and serve your tea is also important. Earl Grey or English Breakfast teas are the classic tea party option, but it’s a good idea to have other flavors available like peppermint, chamomile or herbal.

Be mindful that black teas turn bitter if over-brewed, so it’s best to allow each guest to brew their own to their preferred strength by simply providing tea bags and boiling water on the table.

Herbal teas are less finicky, meaning that you can provide them pre-brewed in teapots on the table.

Iced tea can be a great option as well, especially if you dress it up by serving fruit-infused ice cubes in each glass. For the non-tea drinkers, you can also provide coffee.

My Favorite Vegan Tea Party Treats

The tea might be the excuse for getting together, but everyone knows that the real draw of a tea party comes from the treats.

You can wow your vegan and non-vegan friends alike with these three winning recipes that are as pretty on the tea table as they are cruelty-free.

Vegan Scones with Clotted Cream

Scones are the classic sweet to serve with high tea, and this take on the traditional recipe gives you all the decadence without any of the animal products. You can also make a coconut- based vegan “cream” to go with them.

Vegan Sugar Cookies

These sugar cookies are simple to make and sweet to eat, making them a winning addition to any tea party. Their cheery frosting adds the finishing touch, making them as much of a treat for the eyes, too.

Cucumber Tea Sandwich

Serve these refreshing sandwiches to offset all the sugar at your tea party, and your guests will be happy to nibble on them daintily. To save time on the big day, you can make them ahead of time and store them under wax paper in the refrigerator.

Wrapping it all up

Having a vegan tea party is a social event your friends won’t soon forget, and you might even entice them to try the lifestyle out for themselves.

By following these tips, you’re sure to make your party a success, and you might find yourself making them a regular event!

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6 thoughts on “Guest: How to Host a Vegan Tea Party

  1. I was brought up by a mother who took tea properly every afternoon. As children we had to eat bread and butter before being allowed to take cake, scones or biscuits. We drank milk until we were old enough to try tea. The tea was made in a very careful way …. warming the pot, pouring boiling (not boiled) onto the leaves and in fact the tea was grown by my Uncle who had plantations in what is now Bangladesh. We used to get a huge tea-chest once a year and the tea was measured into containers with a special shovel and distributed throughout the family. It came by sea which I always found very romantic. So for me there is no substitute for afternoon tea but this is SO useful – to be able to host a party that is entirely inclusive of all is wonderful. I will be bookmarking this lovely post and referring to it often, I am sure.

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