In the month of March, many English-speaking countries celebrate St. Patrick’s Day. While St. Patrick’s Day is a nationally celebrated holiday in Ireland, it’s become an unofficial holiday to celebrate throughout the world, especially in areas where there are large Irish populations.
Tea and Ireland are practically synonymous. In fact, in Ireland more tea is consumed per capita than in any other country in the world. Tea is the favored drink of the Irish people, challenged only by Guinness (a stout Irish beer).
For a St. Patrick’s Day celebration, an Irish tea party is a charming idea and a fun chance to try some new Irish teas, foods, and listen to some of the lovely music of Ireland.
Things You’ll Need
Invitations/ Tea trays/ Teapots/ Teacups/ Saucers/ Lemon forks/ Milk Jug/ Table/ Decorations/ Irish music
– Making a list of friends and family who would enjoy an Irish celebration is a good idea.
– For an intimate tea party, three or four friends (plus oneself) is a good number.
– For a large event, a buffet or potluck might be more appropriate and easier to handle.
– For a light afternoon tea, 2:00 or 3:00 is a good starting time.
– A larger full meal could be served from 4:00 to 6:00.
– Create a list of teas to serve at your Irish party. Include the strong black tea blend of Irish Breakfast Tea or traditional Indian Assam tea blends. Consider the tastes of your guests. Provide a variety of selections, including Earl Grey, Chamomile, or organic herbal teas. Write your choices down on a sheet of paper to start your party shopping list.
– If special costuming (such as St. Paddy’s colors like green and white) is desired, include this information on the invitations.
– Select decorations, utensils or napkins that are green or feature traditional Irish symbols, like shamrocks. Add more novelty decorations, like shamrock-shaped serving bowls, green sectional trays and an Irish Flag table cover.
The Day of Your Irish Tea Party
Bake any Irish tea cookies or pastries early in the morning. Allow them to cool in clean, dry containers. Wash any utensils and tea service pieces and take care to dry them so they sparkle. Pick up any fresh foods and last-minute items from the store.
Set the table. An Irish tea tray includes teacups and saucers, sugar bowls, milk jugs and a slop basin to discard used tea leaves. Provide lemon tongs, forks and lemon slices (instead of lemon wedges). As an Irish courtesy, supply cups with larger handles for male guests or for those who prefer them.
Thank your guests for coming when they arrive and help them to find a seat. Tell each guest about the choices in desserts, finger foods and teas. Give a traditional Irish tea party welcome to help the guests feel comfortable.
Play traditional and modern Irish music, including traditional Celtic music, Irish lullabies or bagpipe music. Ask guests if they like the volume of the music. Play traditional Irish party games, like the Pot of Gold Toss, Irish Hot Potato or the Shamrock Relay.
Thank guests for coming to your Irish tea party. End the party with a traditional Irish song or Irish blessing.
Aren’t you lucky? Enjoy, and the Gaelic say, Cuppan Tae!