Various Victorian Tea Themes


Pretty Rose Tea.

One of the most beautiful "rose" teas can be given if one has a rose garden. Hundreds of dozens of roses, white for the drawing-room, led for the hall and library, yellow for the music room and pink for the dining room can be used. The roses are placed in immense Oriental bowls on polished table tops. The tea table has an immense basket of pink and white roses in rare varieties and the surface of the table is covered with a smilax mat bordered with pink roses and tiny electric light bulbs looking like glow worms. The ice cream is in the shape of a pink cup with green handles filled with fruit the whole being of ice cream and very delicious. With this is served little pink cakes and candy roses and chocolate with whipped cream.

Omber Shades of Rose.

A beautiful color effect can be secured for a tea by placing on a long table a series of French baskets of roses shading from American beauty to white. The basket at the lower end of the table is in the American beauty shade, the next basket of roses of a lighter shade, the third a deep pink, the fourth a pale pink and the fifth basket bride roses. Tied to these baskets are ribbons in the omber shades of rose. The candles between the baskets are the same shades as the different roses and the electric lights of the chandelier are hooded in rose like shades of varying hues.

A "Book-Title" Tea.

1.The latest novelty in afternoon entertainments in England is what is called a "book-title" tea. Of course, this would be just as amusing in the evening, and any refreshments may be served that the hostess prefers.

The guests are all expected to devise and wear some particular badge or ornament which indicates, more or less clearly, the title of some book, preferably works which are well known.

The "badges" worn may be very clever and most tastefully executed. "Dodo" may be impersonated by showing a bar of music containing the two representative notes of the tonic sol-fa method. "Little Men" is represented by a badge bearing the names of little great men, such as Napoleon, Lord Roberts, etc.

A lady may wear around her neck fragments of china tied by a ribbon. This represents "The BreakUp of China," Lord Charles Beresford's book. Another lady, whose name is Alice, may wear a necklace of little mirrors, and this represents "Alice Through A Looking Glass." An ingenious design consists of a nickel coin, a photo of a donkey, another nickel coin, and a little bee, meaning "Nickolas Nickleby." A daisy stuck into a tiny miller's hat stands for "Daisy Miller," and the letters of the word olive twisted on a wire for "Oliver Twist."

Two little gates, made of paste board and a jar, represents "Gates Ajar," and a string of little dolls dressed as men, "All Sorts and Conditions of Men." There are many other interesting and ingenious designs.

A Book Title Tea. 2.

This is an original entertainment for a few friends. Have amusing pen and ink sketches handed around together with a small note book and pencil for each guest. Explain that each sketch is supposed to represent some well-known book and each guest is given an opportunity to put on his or her thinking cap and name the volume in his note book and pass the sketch on. This novel game affords no end of mirth and enjoyment and at a given time the hostess looks over the books and corrects them.

The House of Seven Gables is very simple and easy to guess, it being simply a rough sketch of a house with seven gables.

An Old-Fashioned Girl is represented by a girl of ye olden time in simple and quaint costume with a school bag on her arm.

A small snow covered house is enough to suggest "Snow Bound" to many of the guests.

The Lady and the Tiger ought not to puzzle anyone, it is a simple sketch of a lady-s head in one corner and a tiger in the other.

On one card appears 15th of March, which seems more baffling than all the others. It proves to be "Middlemarch."

A large letter A in vivid red of course represents "A Scarlet Letter."

"Helen's Babies" is a sketch of two chubby boys in night robes.

"Heavenly Twins" is represented by twin stars in the heavens.

"Darkest Africa" needs nothing but the face of a darkey boy with mouth stretched from ear to ear.

One of the sketches is a moonlight scene with ships going in opposite directions and is easily guessed to represent "Ships that Pass in the Night."

Anyone with originality can devise many other amusing and more difficult sketches. Prizes might be given to the one who guesses the largest number correctly.

Patriotic Tea.

"While other constellations sink and fade,
And Orient planets cool with dying fires,
Columbia's brilliant star can not be stayed,
And, heaven-drawn, towards higher arcs aspires;
A Star of Destiny whose searching rays
Light all the firmament's remotest ways."

"That force which is largely responsible for the greatness and grandeur of the Republic is the woman behind the man behind the gun."

Booklets with small silk flags mounted on the covers and bearing these quotations with tiny red, white and blue pencils attached make suitable favors for the guests at a high tea. For one contest give twenty minutes in which to write a list of words ending in "nation" as, carnation, condemnation, etc. For this prize give a red, white and blue streamer on which tiny flags of all nations are fastened. For a second contest allow a given length of time in which to write correctly the words of the Nation's anthem. A book containing a description of national music would make a suitable prize for this contest. Decorate the dining room with silk flags and red, white and blue bunting and in the center of the table have a blue vase filled with red and white hyacinths or carnations or roses.

Debut Tea.

The leading color in the refreshment room is yellow. The table has a beautiful lace cover and in the center is a large basket of yellow roses. Around the center are candles with yellow silk shades and a silver compote holding green glace grapes tied with yellow ribbon. The mantel is filled with ferns and a mass of yellow roses in the center. The electric lights at either side of the mantel have yellow silk shades. Instead of ice cream and cake, the menu for the afternoon tea is a delicious meringue filled with whipped cream and wine jelly, coffee and glace grapes.

Yellow Tea.

Yellow is a pretty color for a bridal tea given in June. Use scores of yellow candles in crystal candlesticks and candelabra and yellow roses in vases, baskets and wall pockets on window and book ledges, plate rails, book cases and hung in the doorways by yellow ribbons. An immense basket of yellow roses and ferns with a white cupid in the center is pretty in the center of the tea-table. Outside this basket have a border of individual crystal candlesticks with yellow tapers and small golden hearts attached to the tapers. The bonbons are yellow hearts and all the refreshments are yellow and heart shaped.

A Candlelight Tea.

Illuminate the rooms with candles in different colors with shades to correspond, green and white in the parlor, setting a row of candles in a straight line across the mantel and banking them with masses of feathery green. Use pink in the dining or supper room. Have a round table lighted by pink candles and pink shades in flower forms, placing the candles either in a pyramid in the center or in a wreath with Christmas green tied with broad pink ribbon, in the center. At each plate put a tiny Dresden candle stick (such as come in desk sets) with pink candles for favors. Serve hot bouillon, oyster and mushroom patties, tiny pickles, creamed chicken in green peppers, cauliflower au gratin, hot rolls, spiced cherries, asparagus salad, grated Parmesan cheese, wafers, ice cream in form of pink candles with lighted tapers, Christmas cakes.

An Exchange Tea.

This style of party is intensely amusing, and will keep a large company interested for several hours of an evening or afternoon, as it is one continued round of mirth-provoking "sells," in which everybody is "sold." It is not so much in vogue for small affairs, where only a few guests are invited, but where a large crowd is to be entertained it is just the thing to furnish enjoyment and fun.

This is how it is arranged. When requested to attend an exchange tea, each person, male and female, picks out from his belongings, personal or otherwise, such an article as he or she does not want, and after wrapping it well, takes it to the party. Of course, everybody desires to get rid of his parcel, and the exchange business waxes warm and furious as it progresses, for usually not one individual obtains anything which he wishes to keep, as a "pig in a poke" is scarcely ever a bargain.

Constant exchanging is not compulsory, so that if by any lucky chance you have gotten rid of your own bundle, and become the proud possessor of another whose hidden treasures happen to suit you, then you are privileged to stop and hold on to your prize. Generally speaking, however, the contents of the mysterious parcels are hardly ever desirable, which creates all the more excitement and enthusiastic bargaining, and in the end each one will be left with something ridiculous or utterly useless, upon his hands.

And that's just where the fun comes in.

Serve this menu:
Cold Sliced Chicken, garnished with tiny Radishes and Hard-boiled Eggs
Olives Nut Sandwiches
Orange and Pineapple Salad
Sweet Wafers
Strawberry Ice Cream
Iced Tea

A Watermelon Tea.

Ask a congenial party, being sure that all are fond of watermelon. Have the fruit on ice at least twenty-four hours before serving, and above all things give this affair when the temperature is up in the nineties if you want it fully appreciated. Have a sharp knife and cut the melons at the table (for it is such a decorative fruit), and use only white dishes and flowers. Let each guest count the seeds in the piece or pieces and give a souvenir to the one having the largest number. A pretty prize and appropriate is to procure a very small and symmetrical melon, cut off the end, hollow out and line with oiled paper, fill with bonbons and tie the end on with broad pink satin ribbon. Grape juice is a good drink to serve this party. Have the tumblers half filled with finely cracked ice.

Unique Ideas for Tea.

A Chocolatiere.

A chocolatiere is a pretty affair. The decoration is an immense mound of bride roses in the center of the dining room table. The refreshments are baskets of chocolate ice cream filled with whipped cream. The cakes are chocolate squares. The candies are all chocolate and cream, and hot chocolate is served. Chocolatieres are very popular entertainments for young girls and for matrons. They are given in the morning or afternoon. As nearly every woman loves chocolate, they are pretty certain to please the guests.

Novelties in Tea Serving.

If you wish to vary the serving of your tea add three cloves to the lemon and sugar. Or a thin slice of apple added with sugar is delicious. In Sweden a piece of stick cinnamon is added by some to tea while it is steeping.

A Kaffee Klatch.

The kaffee klatsch is an afternoon affair where ladies meet and chat as they sew and are served a luncheon of German dishes -- cold meats, salads, coffee-cake, pickles, coffee, etc. Each guest is given a bit of needle-work, button-holes to work, or a small doily to embroider and a prize is given for the best work.

Have a number of tea towels, cheesecloth dusters, Canton flannel bags for brooms, silverware towels, etc., cut and ready to hem. When the ladies assemble, let them hem these as a gift for the bride (for whom the kaffee klatsch is given) to take home with her. Ask each to tell some of her first experiences in housekeeping, and at the close of the afternoon take a vote on the funniest experience, the cleverest in emergency go Breakfasts and Teas and the best told. To do this successfully, you will have to lead the conversation and not let the ladies know they are talking purposely. Another way is to assign topics as for a conversation party, giving such topics as: "My first attempt at making bread," "My first housecleaning," "Unexpected guests," "My first pie," etc. Or, ask each guest to write her first housekeeping experience (some funny incident) and bring it. Have the papers read aloud, but not the names. Let the guests guess whose the experiences are. Use this contest.

What stitch is:

Hard to live with? (Cross stitch.)
A part of a cough? (Hemstitch.)
A part of a window? (Blindstitch.)
Is found on a fowl? (Featherstitch.)
Is a fish and something everyone has? (Herringbone.)
Is made of many links? (Chainstitch.)
Is not forward? (Backstitch.)
Is useless without a key? (Lockstitch.)
Repeats itself? (Over and over stitch.)
For a prize for the best answers give a little leather sewing case fitted with needles and thread.

A "Rushing" Tea for Sorority.

Generally speaking, one will use their sorority colors in flowers and ribbons and their insignia cut from pasteboard and covered with tissue paper of the desired color. A gigantic insignia would make a suitable wall decoration. Hang pennants of the colors everywhere, and if it is a musical sorority, work in the staff and notes in the decorations. These can be painted on cheap white muslin or paper and tacked about the walls. If one cares to learn a little musical yell, do so as a surprise. If the "rushing" is for new members, one can easily plan a series of funny tableaux picturing the new member in various incidents: Leaving home, or Breaking Home Ties"; Arriving at College; Crossing the Campus; Meeting the President; Meeting Her Roommate; Unpacking, etc. Insist upon the new members' answering each question to the tune of some college song, or else coach the old members to answer all questions by new members in this manner. Have a sorority of dolls dressed in the colors, each doll holding a pennant, in the center of the table. Paint the staff and notes on the muslin tablecloth and make little paper drums to hold the salted nuts and bonbons. Serve grape juice, a salad of mixed fruits, sweet wafers and chocolate.


Breakfasts and Teas; Novel Suggestions for Social Occasions. Compiled by Paul Pierce