Victorian Tea Party Etiquette

by Madhu
(Delhi)

Question: I am hostessing a Victorian tea party for a 60th birthday. It is only for ladies, and I am looking for information on: decor, games and etiquette.

Answer:

What a special party! I hope that when I am 60, someone will hostess a tea for me!

As for decor, I would recommend lots of flowers! Victorians loved their flowers, and if they didn't have some from their gardens, they got some from a 'hot house'! They even had them on their wallpaper, wall hangings, window coverings and upholstery!

I would also recommend lace either in the form of a tablecloth, doilies, or a table runner.

As to games, I would first ask the person that is the guest of honor if she likes to play games. Lots do not, so don't be offended if she says no.

A great way to involve everyone is to have a mystery game, or something similar, where everyone can participate. These end up being so much fun, and it is enjoyable to see how everyone ends up acting out their part. Victorians were very fond of intimate plays put on by friends and family!

Another game that is enjoyable and is right out of the Victorian Era is whist. Every good Victorian knew how to play and a game of whist after dinner was almost a sure thing unless they had dancing or a play, or maybe all three!

As to etiquette, it involves much more than I can delve into here. Just make sure you use the proper way to set the tea table, and use your best manners and etiquette.

If you are interested in learning more about Victorian Etiquette, you might find some books to read, just be careful in what you choose as some are meant to be humorous, not factual.

Sheila
Your Tea Party Guide

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