Lovely selection of delicious treats
Lovely selection of delicious treats

CHEAP EATS: Make a delicious, simple high tea

IF THE idea of paying $40 a head deters you from going to a high tea, why not organise one with your girlfriends?

You can do it on a budget quite easily and they are also a great treat for a birthday or celebratory event. Having a theme helps the whole process and makes for some gorgeous pictures. Pick a colour or two, a specific year, era or style and stick to it.

One way to keep to budget is to ask people to bring a plate of food. You can send out the menu and let your friends choose what they would like to make. See Nicky's tips for teacups and pots.

Bubbly with a marinated strawberry can make all the difference. Sprinkle halved strawberries with a bit of sugar and add a small amount of Cointreau or brandy, marinate for one hour and slide onto the top of the glass.

Cucumber sandwiches are simple, delicious and cheap, together with salmon croutons. Mini cupcakes look great and taste great, too.

The secret is to do as much preparation in the morning or the day before.

Menu ideas:

  • Bubbly with strawberries
  • Salmon canapes
  • Cucumber sandwiches
  • Gorgonzola tarts
  • Baby scones, jam and cream
  • Mini Toblerone/choc mousse in a shot/sherry/ port glass
  • Lemon curd tarts
  • Mini cupcakes - dust with icing sugar (packet mix is easy)
  • Tea

Plan your day:

Day before:

  • Make mini Toblerone or chocolate mousse.
  • Dress the table.
  • Make pastry cases for quiches and tartlets, store in airtight container at room temperature.
  • Make curd and refrigerate in airtight container.
  • Combine quiche mix and place in refrigerator.

Up to four hours before guests arrive:

  • Cook mini quiches and keep covered in pans.
  • Make and bake cheese and poppy seed biscuits and salmon topping.

Up to 2 hours before guests arrive:

  • Make cucumber sandwiches. Place on platter and cover with plastic wrap. Refrigerate.
  • Make baby scones, cover on tray.
  • Garnish mousse with flaked chocolate.

Up to one hour before guests arrive:

  • Complete mini quiches.
  • Cut and dress scones.
  • Top salmon canapes.
  • Complete tartlets.
  • Place savoury and sweet items on separate plates or tiered plates.

Take a big breath, relax!

Have you put together a high tea at home? Share your tips and experiences with us by clicking the red "ADD COMMMENT" button below.


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