“KEEP CALM and CARRY ON” – Seriously, could this expression be any more perfect for a Guest of Honor who is betwixt and between anxiety and anticipation about moving on to the next phase of their life!? Or how about for a few single ladies at Valentine’s Day?
A Tea Party for Mother’s of High School Seniors? A Bridal Shower or an expectant Mother’s baby shower? A Birthday party for a girlfriend turning 30, 40 or 50 years old? Adding the tea party aspect to the event just goes hand-in-hand with this theme’s perfectly practical British origin!
Miss Party happened to be out and about recently and passed by the 1939 WWII British poster, “Keep Calm and Carry On”. Suddenly, she thought how optimistic, yet pragmatic this saying’s advice is to someone who is about to take a ‘leap of faith’. She also thought how simply – but subliminally effective – the bold red background was in making someone stop for a split second to read the words. Then, she thought how fabulous this retro theme would be for an English-style ‘Low Tea’ Party or Luncheon done with a slightly humorous and contemporary twist! Wow, that was a lot of thinking for one day – but it was SO worth it!
Ever since that day, Miss Party has been possessed with bringing the “KEEP CALM and CARRY ON” themed Tea Party to her loyal subjects! Unlike the British government, who never used the original poster 70 years ago, Miss Party is compelled to bring it to the light of day for Hostesses everywhere (who could probably use it’s ‘stiff upper lip’ message themselves!).
Red and white are the obvious colors for this theme, but play with your proportions of red to white. Add whimsical polka dots the way Miss Party did, or go the other direction and choose a more serious pattern; use other white textures or white-on-white patterns. Use the ‘Keep Calm…’ rubber stamp available at “The Paper Source” or “Michael’s Crafts”, stamped with white ink and embossed with white embossing powder, to make all sorts of small signs, cards, tags, invitations, etc. Search online for lots of ‘Keep Calm…’ items like pencils, mugs, a tin teapot, water bottles, journals, poster prints (frames and unframed), gift bags, and rubber stamps. “The Paper Source” has a good selection, in particular.
Miss Party’s vision is to combine the practical retro styling of the English message and play that against the quintessential English Tea. The key twist is to take the fussiness out of the typical English Tea Party and do a white only mix and match tea service. It’s just a bit Mad Tea Party in that all the cups, saucers, plates and teapots are mismatched, but they are ONLY all-white china patterns. Doing all-white china will add a ton of modern texture and pattern-on-pattern interest to your tea tables! Also, practically speaking, it’s realistic to collect white china for a luncheon (from your own collection and borrowed), as just about everyone has an all-white dish set.
As your guests arrive, it would be nice to offer a cold, non-alcoholic beverage as you wait for everyone and before the tea party portion of the event actually begins. A lovely option would be French Lemonade which is a sparkling pink lemonade with lots of beautiful red raspberries and lemon slices floating on the surface.
Include a gorgeous red and white dessert like a fresh Strawberry or Raspberry Shortcake with Whipped Cream which would look amazing on your dessert table. Or do a Mixed Berry English Trifle dessert for a real showstopper!
If you need some assistance understanding the difference between Low Tea and High Tea, please see “Low Tea (Cream Tea) vs. High Tea (Meat Tea” – Which is it!?” for a British tea history lesson. Good luck, keep calm and party on!!