Thanks to World Market for sponsoring today’s post. Don’t forget to check out the two contests that World Market is sponsoring at the end of the post.
You guys, I’m in a total funk because this tea party means the end of Downton Abbey is near. I discovered Downton Abbey in between the first and second season, and I’ve been hooked since episode 1. I don’t know what I’m going to do when the final episode is over. Planning this tea party has helped distract me from the inevitable! As soon as we saw the new Downton Abbey Christmas Shop at World Market we knew what we were going to do. It was like the whole thing came together in a dream! Obviously a tea party means a ladies’ afternoon, and that meant delicious food and a fun, but simple craft.
The best part about World Market is that the Downton Abbey tea party practically threw itself. We wanted to make one delicious recipe (a tea infused Scottish shortbread), but everything else was ready to serve. There really was no slaving over a hot stove (just a hot glue gun for the craft), and because we invited dear friends, there wasn’t even stress about whether they saw dust on the studio floor. It was just a relaxing afternoon visiting and lamenting the end of en era!
For the beverages we served a selection of The Republic of Tea’s Downton Abbey Collection.
For the shortbread, we took a traditional Scottish shortbread recipe and added some of the tea flakes and a couple of tablespoons of tea. Then we made a glaze using tea and powdered sugar. To top it all off we infused some white sugar with the tea leaves (just place the tea leaves in an airtight container with some sugar) and dusted the cookies. The flavor isn’t overpowering, it’s just a delicious hint.
Tea Infused Shortbread:
- 1 1/4 c. flour
- 4 Tbsp. powdered sugar
- 1/2 c. butter, cut into pieces
- 2 Tbsp. brewed tea
- 1 tsp tea leaves
- Combine flour, sugar and tea leaves.
- In a food processor add butter and tea to flour mixture and mix until dough forms.
- Roll the dough into an 8″ circle and crimp the edges with your fingers (like you would with a pie crust).
- Use a fork to poke holes in the circle.
- Bake in a 325º oven for 25 minutes.
- While the shortbread is baking you can make an optional glaze my adding 2 Tbsp of tea to enough powdered sugar to make a pouring consistency (1/4 c. usually works for me). I then sprinkled the glaze with a mixture of white sugar and tea flakes.
Helpful Hints for Throwing a Tea Party:
- Buy a larger table cloth than you need so that you can have luxurious draping.
- Another key to a luxurious looking table is layering. We added a piece of lace fabric to the top of the table cloth which adds another dimension.
- We used the canopy to create the same kind of feeling that they had at the Downton Abbey outdoor parties.
- If you don’t have time to make your own shortbread, just use the Walker’s Tin and top it with the tea infused glaze and sugar.
- You don’t need to go buy all special items. Candice already had all of the Union Jack stuff. If you don’t happen to keep flag bunting lying around (!), you could always make a beautiful bunting out of paper doilies.
To make the fascinators we gave all the ladies a plastic hairband ( a clip also works) and had them go to town. You are only limited by your imagination! We laid out the supply table with feathers, strips of tulle, beads and sequins. you could also use costume jewelry, buttons, bows, etc… Then all you need to do is use your trusty glue gun to attach everything to the hair band or clip.
World Market Supplies:
- Baguette Crisps
- Artichoke Brushcetta Spread
- Downton Abbey Stem Ginger Fruit Cake
- Downton Abbey Scones
- Downton Abbey Christmas Preserves
- Downton Abbey Lemon Curd
- Downton Abbey 2 Tiered Stand
- Downton Abbey Teapot
- Downton Abbey Plates
- Downton Abbey Cups and Saucers
- Marble and Wood Pedestal
- Ivory Hotel Linen Table Cloth
- Downton Abbey Luxury Assorted Shortbread Tin
- Gauze Canopy
We hope today’s post inspires you to have your own Downton Abbey Tea Party when the show starts up again next month. Don’t forget to enter the contests. I would love it if one of our readers won the trip to England (you don’t have to take me as your guest, but you can!).
Win a dream trip to England
You could win the grand prize package: Trip for 2 to London, England (airfare & accommodations), Private Chauffeured Tour (filming locations & Highclere Castle), Downton Abbey Script (signed by the full cast) and a $1,000 World Market gift card.
· Plus, three first prizes: $500 World Market gift card
Enter here: www.worldmarketsweepstakes.com