How to do a high tea


If you thought throwing a high tea was just another regular affair, think again. We give you a dummy's guide on how to host the perfect high tea

Every second soiree or intimate gathering in the city is themed on a high tea. And although hosts call it high tea, more often than not they end up serving the regular Hyderabadi fare — chai, biscuits and crisp samosas. Like every party, the high tea too calls for certain dos and don'ts. Socialite Vinita Pittie, who is known for throwing some of the best high teas in the P3 circuit, gives you a lowdown on the basic high tea etiquette.

To begin with, the correct timings for a high tea is between 5 pm to 7 pm, anytime before or after that is considered a low tea. Also, it's not elegant to call someone home for a high tea and serve them regular chai with just 'two' biscuits on the plate. If that's what you plan on serving, then don't call it a high tea. Just say a tea and cracker session.

One common mistake which everyone tends to make during a high tea is serving dishes that are appropriate for dinner. Many hosts like to serve chola bhatura and samosas for high tea. While there is no rule that this doesn't fit in the menu, but it would make sense to keep the portions bite-sized. Some of them even tend to have live cooking sessions. This is a terrible idea. Nobody likes waiting for food, so by the time you fry your hot vada or even make a quick bhel puri, guests are tired of waiting and simply skip it.

Ladies usually focus on serving a lavish spread. The general misconception is 'more, the merrier'. But this is where they tend to overdo it. You don't need 20 items with contrasting flavours on the menu. Instead, keep the menu simple with half the items that compliment each other. For example, don't serve a Lebanese spread with jelabis for dessert or an English spread with Italian pasta. Some people like having fruits in the evening, so it's good to keep a bowl of fresh fruits for them.

The best platter of refreshments would be two or three varieties of finger foods (spicy chips, cutlets, nachos, cookies), two varieties of light but filling savoury snacks (sandwiches, pakoras) and a sweet (cupcakes, kalakand, barfis). Heavier fare like pulav, curd-rice and rasmalai are a strict no-no. Salads and tea are not a good pairing.

Never-ever serve fizzy drinks as a welcome drink, unless someone requests for one. Apart from the regular tea, one should include at least three varieties of teas — green, oolong and fruit. Remember, not everyone likes hot drinks, and hence, it's always a good idea to stock up on cold drinks like sherbets and squashes. You can even serve a fancy sorbet with fruity flavours.

The hostess should not invite more than she can chew. Every invitee should know at least two people in the group. Dainty china is the best crockery. Serve food on tiny, delicate dessert plates. Light music, aroma candles and fresh flowers add to a perfect ambiance.

If you are a guest, don't slurp your tea or sip your tea from a spoon. Swallow your food before you sip your tea. Never swirl the tea around in the cup as if it were a wine glass. Don't use your napkin to blow your nose. Finally, it's all about good food, good people and good conversations. The success depends on how good a time you've had.



thanks:http://timesofindia.indiatimes.com/

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