After the excitement of the holiday season, the arrival of the New Year brings with it a need to unwind and relax in moments of quiet reflection. In our home we welcome Winter in all her frozen glory by sipping tea together in our family room while our bunnies play and lounge nearby. A bit of an homage to the era of Beatrix Potter, pausing to have tea with loved ones just feels like such a special way to treat oneself, engage in meaningful conversations, and savor the cozy comforts one seeks within the coldest season of the year. It is a conscious choice to set aside the hustle-and-bustle of daily activities to spend precious time with someone you care about, and this blog shares ideas how to make these moments even more memorable.
When someone says, “Let’s have tea!”, a delicious treat such as a lovely cake comes to mind, and the examples below are inspiring ideas for stunning showstoppers for your next teatime!
An alternate and less-involved sweet treat idea for tea are individualized cupcakes that resemble adorable bunnies…
…or rabbit-shaped homemade petit fours crafted from small metal cookie cutters and embellished with delicious icing.
Another fun idea is to enhance store-bought macarons with cute rabbit facial features and attached cookie ears. Just have fun and be creative without fussing too much over perfect details. The treats will be adorable and yummy to eat and will have everyone smiling and enjoying time spent together!
Teatime also includes classic finger sandwiches which can be adapted to taste preferences. Cookie cutters are perfect for this task too, as they come in an array of shapes and sizes. Be creative and try different flavors and decorations for the tiny sandwiches, such as the cucumber one shown below.
For a proper Teatime you must have freshly brewed tea! It is fun to collect different flavors of teas from around the world. Each tea creates its own subtle hues and aromas that are essential to the sensory experience. Make sure to obtain different teas with varying caffeine levels so that each person has an option to choose her tea. Tea bags are simple and easy to use, or you can try loose tea in a tea diffuser. Tea diffusers come in the traditional metal ball shape or in fun novelty ones, such as the fun relaxed rabbit one shown below!
You can really enhance the overall Teatime experience by boiling your water on the stovetop in a kettle, then transferring it to a pretty teapot for serving, being careful not to burn yourself or crack a fragile vintage teapot. It is fun to use mix-matched classic teacups and saucers too. Adding crisp white linens, a vase of fresh flowers and cute bunny figurine accents can contribute to a happy and elegant occasion that you and your guests will remember fondly.
Hosting a Tea Party is an excellent venue for adult and child book lovers alike, and the event can be centered and decorated around any literary theme focused upon by a Book Club. A fun parting gift for this occasion would be to pair a handmade bookmark with a teabag for each guest!
Teapots themselves make lovely centerpieces and can be found in all price points from bespoke antique shops to quaint small business vintage boutiques to local second-hand thrift stores. Re-using a china teapot gives new life to a classic functional culinary tool and lends a bit of patina to a table scape. They come in hundreds of patterns and many have hand-painted golden accents that shimmer in candlelight. Some teapots are even bunny-shaped, such as the adorable ones pictured below!
If you are hosting tea for children, try to find a miniature tea set for a more playful decorative table scape, such as the vintage Alice in Wonderland tea set and picnic hamper shown below.
An additional tactile element that contributes to the overall sensory experience of Teatime would be to use vintage linens. Many table linens from the past have hand-embroidery or appliques of flowers and sometimes bunnies. You can also purchase vintage linens and add your own special touch!
What could be more cute than tiny bunnies hopping around a table linen!
You can also purchase printed napkins if you prefer an easier or more modern table setting for your Teatime, such as the adorable Anita Jeram commercially available printed napkins illustrated below.
If you are having tea with a child, it is fun to set an extra place for that child’s “friend” and present her with a beautiful bunny doll as a gift to take home. This inclusion creates opportunities for joyful conversations during your Teatime and for continued imaginative play afterwards. What a beautiful way to create lovely memories of a happy event!
Please remember that these are all just suggestions for enhancing your Teatime. The real point of intentionally having tea is to take a break and savor time, even if you are just having a basic teacup and some animal crackers. Teatime is simply another form of self-care and wellness. It does not have to be overly fancy to be refreshing, special and meaningful.
And…if you happen to have real house rabbit members, remember to share an appropriate treat on a pretty dish and a cup of fresh water with them too, so that everyone can participate in a Rabbit-inspired Winter Teatime!