Valentine’s Day might be a day for couples, but it is also a great opportunity to share and celebrate your love and warm feelings of friendship with your girlfriends. There are after all also many women (and men) out there who dread February 14th because they are single and feel left out or extra lonely that day. A high tea with friends not only nurtures your friendships, but also includes all your friends, committed in a relationship or single, without making distinctions. With only 5 more days till V-day, it might seem a big undertaking to organize, but actually, it’s not if you follow these 5 simple steps. You will have a memorable high tea planned and set up in just a few hours.
Impress your girlfriends with a special invitation that is personal and original. To make my invitations I used white note cards, a calligraphy pen, and heart-shaped confetti. To accompany the invitation I filled mini-jars with honey from the local bee-keeper as a small gift. Instead of party I spelled it ‘partea’ to play with the theme and add some humor.
2. Dress the table with flowers
Valentine’s Day wouldn’t be complete without flowers. Once you have decided on the colour scheme (e.g. red and white, or pink and red, or different hues of pink) and the style (wild field bouquet, romantic, classic, modern, whimsical), select the best quality flowers available from your local florist. The floral arrangement really sets the tone of the table and has the most impact as the center piece. I like it when you have four or five types of flowers in harmonious or complementary colours, so I chose pinks, lilac and salmon hues, and chose for a romantic, English garden style bouquet. Make sure you buy them a few days before the event so they will be blooming on the day itself.
3. Throw in some savoury finger foods
We all love the sweet stuff, but try to build up the afternoon by starting with a few savoury finger foods. Keep it simple with a small salad with goat cheese, pumpkin and raisins, and rocket salad. Make some cold wraps with cream cheese, salmon and sun dried tomatoes. And add some spicy mini chicken skewers with sweet soy sauce. Then gradually move to the sweet food with a vanilla yoghurt with red fuit and syrup and a crunch of granola on the bottom.
4. No high tea without chocolate, macarons and pastries
A high tea wouldn’t be a party without chocolate, macarons and pastries. And the rule of thumb is that these have to be qualitative, and fresh, otherwise they’ll be too sweet. Prepackaged, mass-produced chocolates, macarons and pastries are just not the real thing and loaded with sugar. To really enjoy your high tea opt for sweet delicacies from a pastry shop, or make it yourself.
5. Make a cheerful music playlist
Find those relaxing and easy tunes you usually hear at Starbucks and make a 4-hour playlist to have continuous background music. Steer away from the overt love songs. Instead, opt for classics from Amy Winehouse, Diana Krall, Norah Jones, Jamie Cullum, Josh Groban, Michael Bublé, Madeleine Peyroux (for the Paris feeling), Tony Bennett, and Rod Stewart.