Be our guest, be our guest, put our service to the test …
That iconic song from Disney’s “Beauty and the Beast” was the perfect soundtrack for a fun tea party we held with a local children’s bookstore last month. It was a public event, and princesses and princes from all over the land (our city) came in their most elegant finery to sip on tea, nibble on cookies and do their most majestic coloring.
It was a splendid (and adorable) affair.
Whether you’re planning a large Royal Tea Party like ours or a smaller one at home, here are some tips to help you plan a most stately soiree.
Royal Tea Party Invites
When inviting royal guests to your party, make it special with palatial phrasing that matches the theme and intent of the event. Here’s a sample from our tea party event:
Hear ye! Hear ye! You are cordially invited to the Beauty and the Beast Royal Tea Party to be held at Bangor Mall Cinemas 10 this Saturday from 11am to 1pm. Dress in your royal finery and join other princes and princesses to sip tea, enter our coloring contest and have your portrait take by our royal photographer. Boys and girls from throughout the kingdom are welcome before the matinee shows.
An elegant good time doesn’t require dozens of dishes or a complex assortment of foods. Instead, keep your tea party feast simpler by making your recipes work for you. For our tea party, I made two batches of one cookie recipe (both were Cut-Out Strawberry Sugar Cookies, but the second batch was an all-vanilla version). To change it up, and make it feel like there was greater variety, I used cookie cutters of varying sizes and shapes. An array of decorating styles helped as well. Some had just sugar. Others were frosted. And some had both frosting and sugar. It was just one recipe, but looked like a royal spread. And, as an accent, I also added a candy dish filled with pastel colored M&Ms.
Due to the young guests we hosted, we skipped the hot tea and instead served lemonade and iced tea from the teapots. Both were enjoyed, but the lemonade was a little more popular.
When planning for our table decorations, I wanted to keep it simple so that the teapots would really stand out — it was a tea party after all. I used a white tablecloth and mostly white serving dishes. One flowered cake stand rounded out the serving dishes for the cookies. But the centerpiece of the table decorations was a big golden tray that held the tea pots.
We accented the table with gold cups and napkins, in keeping with the theme. The princesses and princes at our party loved the golden cups the most.
Did I mention coloring? Coloring pages and crayons can provide creative enjoyment. For our tea party, a local artist who works at the children’s bookstore drew a rose coloring sheet and it was magical to see how many different versions of that one coloring sheet our guests came up with. But you don’t need a custom coloring sheet for tea party fun. There are many free printable coloring sheets available online that will work wonderfully.
We’re fortunate to have a number of excellent photographers that we call friends. One dressed up to capture photos of the princes, princesses and fun. We set up an area for photos, using floral curtains as the backdrop and a Beauty and the Beast-inspired table holding a candelabra, a single rose and a teapot that reminded us of Mrs. Potts.
The royal portraits captured the grand cuteness of the day, and made the event extra special.
Best wishes for a wonderful Royal Tea Party, and may it brighten your provincial life.
A special thanks to The Briar Patch bookstore in Downtown Bangor for partnering with Sarah’s Cucina Bella for this fun event.
Sarah Walker Caron is a cookbook author, freelance writer and founder of Sarah’s Cucina Bella. She is the author of several cookbooks including The Super Easy 5-Ingredient Cookbook and One-Pot Pasta, both from Rockridge Press. A single mother to two kids in middle school, Sarah loves nightly family dinners, juicy tomatoes plucked fresh from the vine and lazy days on the beach. She also adores reading and traveling.