The Modern Take on Afternoon Tea

This post was written by guest contributor Jenny McCoy, an authority on baking and pastry who has created dessert menus for Tom Colicchio’s Craft in New York City and Emeril Lagasse’s New Orleans restaurants. 
(Babell Tiered Serving Tray courtesy of Gretel)Hosting a garden tea party is a civilized way to spend a spring afternoon with the ladies. But it doesn’t have to be an over-the-top, old-fashioned affair. Skip the doilies and silver platters and decorate your table with splashes of color instead. To get the look, use geometric patterned tea towels and a colorful petit four stand, then add a little whimsy. This Drip Tease setting makes an excellent conversation piece and lends an Alice-in-Wonderland vibe to any outdoor fete.

(Drip Tease teapot, mug, Lip Tease mug, milk jug, and cups and saucers courtesy of Reiko Kaneko)

(Net and Knife's Edge Tea Towels courtesy of Ktaadn)
Cucumber sandwiches, macaroons, and a selection of tea maker Steven Smith’s latest steeps are all you need to get the tea party started. [Editor's Note: pick up McCoy's cookbook, Jenny McCoy’s Desserts for Every Season for inspiring recipes and more ideas on what to serve.]

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