What is it about tea parties that make us feel so elegant? With delicate silverware, tiny pastries, cute little sandwiches and the clink of a tea cup on a saucer, there are few ways to feel more royal than high tea with friends.
A new Vancouver business is banking on our love of tea parties. SocieTea Events is a mobile boutique high tea company that brings the concept of luxury high tea to the customer, anywhere, any time.
Suitable for girls’ night in, office parties, store launches, bridal parties, or kids birthdays, SocieTea Events offers customers a choice of full catering, baked treats, sandwiches, confections, champagne, and so on, and will deliver it to any venue.
Depending on the package, the company will deliver the items and set it all up to create the entire tea party experience. Then they will pick it up within 24 hours with no hassle or cleanup for you.
While the experience is fit for royalty, the prices are pocket-friendly.
The “Petit Trianon” package begins at $8.00 per person and includes the tea service items only (tea cup, saucer and dessert plate).
The Versailles is $18.50 a person and is considered an “enhanced service” that combines a tea service and light treats.
For the crème de la crème experience, the Marie-Antoinette offers the ultimate in refinement and luxury, including a tea set, savoury treats, scones or squares, a confection and signature SocieTea tea, all for $35.00 a person.
Their other services include a sweet treats table, high tea for children and a Bridal Brunch.
“Often times when brides are getting ready they don’t eat, and they go to the wedding and are drinking on an empty stomach,” says founder of SocieTea, Candace Asconi, who wants to help the big day go down smoothly.
While loved ones are bustling around getting ready, the Bridal Brunch package equips the room with an assortment of croissants and pastries (butter croissant, chocolate croissant and brioche), fresh fruit salad, assorted scones and macarons, assorted French jams (raspberry, strawberry, blueberry, marmalade), orange juice, tea and coffee, all for $23.50 per guest.
Traditionally British, the art of high tea has gained traction all over the world. Born and raised in Montreal, Asconi wanted to infuse some French flair into the business, which she began in March 2015.
“A couple of years ago I got a baking cookbook and I was reading through it like a story, not as a recipe book,” says Asconi.
Flipping through page after page of baked goods and flakey pastries, she realized the joy the cookbook brought her. In that moment, she was reminded of the elegance of high tea with her grandmothers – the daintiness, the luxury, the laughs.
As someone who took great pleasure in hosting events in the comfort of her own home, suddenly something clicked into place for Asconi. Why not combine the effortlessness of entertaining at home with the elegance of high tea?
“We had all these tea cups at home and I decided to do something with it,” she explains.
As a new business owner, Asconi attended the Bridal Swap at the Croatian Cultural Center over the weekend to help promote SocieTea.
As the largest bridal swap in North America, hundreds of bride-to-be’s and those recently married attended the event to buy or sell gently used wedding décor and dresses.
“The vendors at the show were really great, they had lots of ideas and connections for everyone in attendance,” says Asconi. “It’s a great opportunity to network with other vendors and chat with brides and their bridesmaids! We make it really easy for them to host a beautiful and elegant event with minimal effort.”
Thinking of trying high tea for the first time? Asconi shares some etiquette to get you prepped and feeling proper:
Dress the part
Ladies, this is the perfect time to get decked out. Dress up and enjoy the time spent with your friends, the more glamorous the better.
Pinkies… up or down?
It was once believed that pinkies up helped keep the teacup balanced. There’s no need to keep them up, just be sure to hold the handle gracefully. Remember they are delicate cups!
Napkins…where do they go?
A truly formal table offers only one correct placement for a napkin, they are found to the left side of the place setting. If you need to excuse yourself from the table, your napkin should always be placed to your left and never on your chair.
What goes where on the tiered stand?
Top tier: scones
Middle tier: sweets
Bottom tier: savouries and sandwiches
Best place for a high tea?
Anywhere you can gather a group of friends! Make each party unique and memorable…and remember to enjoy.