When I was given the task of throwing a bridal shower for my best friend, I knew exactly what to do: a Jane Austen party! I want to share photos of all the hard work that went into this special day, and show you how to host a Jane Austen tea party, an elegant and fun event for ladies of all ages!
If you’ve been reading my blog, you’re probably a little surprised by this post. Jane Austen and zombies don’t really mush together (unless you’re reading Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, which was a piece of garbage). Well, what can I say? There is a part of me that loves the prim and proper world of the Victorian era. Yes, the inequality and repression goes against everything I believe in as a feminist, and there is definitely a lack of blood and gore. But the dancing! The prose! The unrequited love! Pretty dresses and tea cups! Yup, there is a cheesy, romantic side to my dark and hungry soul, and Jane Austen fulfills that part.
Also, I’m half British so tea parties are pretty much engrained in my genes.
My BFF and I have been Jane Austen fans since we were teenagers, and every year during the Christmas holidays we order in our favourite take out and marathon the A&E Pride and Prejudice miniseries.
Colin Firth in a water soaked white shirt never gets old *sigh*.
I couldn’t think of a better way to show my love for my oldest and dearest friend by giving her the ultimate Victorian tea party. I was so pleased with how everything turned out!
For decorations we covered the chairs with white seat covers and wrapped them with light pink bows along with a matching table cloth. We also rented a white pillar to showcase one of the many white and pink flower arrangements. My friend’s sister found these pretty love quote wall stickers that we displayed above the fireplace as a final touch. We also set up a few card tables, a popular hobby for Victorian ladies!
For the table centrepiece, I assembled a special Jane Austen picnic basket filled with: tea sandwiches wrapped in wax paper, silverware, poundcake, grapes, a bottle of sherry and some baby’s breath.
Music is key for any party and I take great pride in creating the perfect playlist. For this tea party I put together a mix of classical music and Jane Austen movie soundtracks and played the music quietly in the background.
Finally, the most important element for a Victorian tea party, are the tea cups! My friend’s mother had a lovely selection to choose from, I’m very envious of her collection!
Onwards to my favourite part of hosting any party: the food! Martha Stewart’s Baking Handbook was my bible and I spent a day churning out scones, poundcake and my masterpiece: Petits Fours. We also labeled the food with elegant, printed labels.
This was our menu:
Sense and Sensibility Scones: Fennel & Golden Raisin scones with herb butter
Sense and Sensibility Scones: Oat and Apricot scones with devon cream and jam
Mr. Darcy’s Stuffed Mushrooms – because he is so full of himself!
Persuasion Petits Fours – a classic high tea treat. Soft almond cakes coated with white chocolate and topped with a pretty white chocolate cut out! The creative possibilities are endless.
Emma’s Cheese Tray – the selection included Royal Canadian Cheddar, Apple Smoked Cheddar, Peppercorn Goat Cheese and Triple Cream Brie. Basically, all my faves!
Pride & Prejudice Lemon Poppyseed Poundcake
Mansfield Park Tea Sandwiches:
-Smoked salmon w/capers on pumpernickel
-Cucumber, watercress and creamed cheese
Elizabeth Bennett’s Shortbread Heart Shaped Cookies – in honour of our favourite character who never gave up on love.
Victorian dried cherries & raspberries
A Jane Austen tea selection: Earl Grey tea, Lady Grey tea, orange peakoe, English breakfast, chamomile, lemon
And of course we had to have a bridal shower cake! My friend’s sister had this beautiful cake made for the occasion.
For games we had a Jane Austen quiz and also did a matchmaker game. Everyone has a sticker on their back, listing one half of a celebrity couple. Then everyone mingles to find their famous mate by only asking “yes” or “no” questions to figure out who they are. I love this easy game because it’s a great ice breaker. For prizes we handed out tea cups and Jane Austen novels wrapped with pretty ribbons.
My friend loved her shower, and we loved planning it for her! Can we have Jane Austen tea parties all the time?