While studying for midterms, I find myself quite isolated. I spend long hours in the library with barely any time left even to grab dinner with friends. This tea party is a nice excuse to gather with your group during midterms or finals, to be social without partying so hard you threaten your grades. You can use it as a chance to study all together! Even if you and your friends end up gossiping more than working, the party will be a relaxed, low-key afternoon diversion before heading back to the library.
What: Tea Time Study Break
For: A small group (4-6) of your close friends.
When: In the afternoon, a Sunday may be the best option in order not to conflict with anyone’s classes.
What to Eat: Since you are probably busy with midterms, keep the food simple yet elegant–think English tea time. Try preparing the Summertime Tomato Sandwich, the Avacado-wich, or Crunchy Chicken Salad Sandwiches. Also experiment with making classic and simple tea time sandwiches such as cucumber and cream cheese, egg salad, watercress and goat cheese, and prosciutto and fig butter. Regular white sandwich bread tastes good with any of these combinations, but you can experiment with other sandwich breads such as rye, whole wheat, or sourdough. To make tea sandwiches, make regular sized sandwiches and cut them into bite-sized quarters or into triangle shapes. For variation, use a cookie cutter for a circular shape. To complement the savory sandwiches, make a batch of petite scones. Remember to shape your scones to be the same size as the tea sandwiches. Serve the scones with softened butter, flavored butter, jam, and honey. You may also want to serve dessert such as store bought petit-fours, or bite-sized cookies or cakes.
What to Drink: To keep your party like traditional English teatime, serve a couple different varieties of black tea such as Earl Grey and English Breakfast. The higher caffeine content in black tea will also help you focus on your studying! Serve tea with sugar cubes, lemon slices, and cream.
How to Set the Scene: Set the assortment of sandwiches, cookies, and scones, and tea in the middle of the table. If you have only one teapot, boil the water and let the guests choose their own tea. If you have more than one teapot, brew the different teas in the teapots. Make sure to have a cup, saucer, spoon, fork, and napkin at each place setting. Decorate the table with flowers and doilies. Make sure there is enough room for your guests to study at the table. Have a jar of pens, pencils, and highlighters and some extra paper for studying.
Attire: Keep it casual with no dress code. Put on your British best–trenchcoats, tweed, or cute round collared shirts–if you want to get in the mood.
RSVP to Small Kitchen College in the comments with your ideas for and stories from great on-campus parties!