It’s time for tea!

fotolia_93619820In the world of takeout coffee, being invited to a tea party is a special occasion. Although most people associate tea parties with Great Britain, the roots of the tea tradition date back to ancient China and the 2nd century BC. Other cultures in which rituals starring this herbal beverage occupy a prominent place include Korea, Japan, Russia, India, Thailand, and Turkey.

Despite popular belief, tea rituals are not exclusively an aristocratic habit: in fact, tea parties offer an excellent alternative to formal dinners and fancy banquets. To throw a tea party, you will need basic knowledge of tea table arrangements and the necessary supplies including a teapot/kettle, tea cozy, cups and saucers, tea strainer, pitchers, silverware, and napkins.

Classic Tea Set and Fabric Design

Setting the table
Depending on the number of guests, set the table either as a full-scale buffet or place the tea set in the center of the table. For a sophisticated tablescape, use quality home decor fabric, such as stylish tablecloths and elegant napkins to create a perfect party backdrop.

The tea set (kettle, trays with sugar, lemon, honey, and water and milk pitchers) should be placed toward the head of the table where you will serve tea. The rest of the table can be laid with dessert plates laden customary food, such as tea sandwiches, cakes, cupcakes, scones, and fruit.

Picking the right tea set
There is no shortage of refined tea utensils on the market: you can use all-white ceramics, mismatched cups and chipped saucers, cast iron teapots, delftware, gilded sets, or modernist tea infusers and designer sets.

Think of your tea table as the canvas onto which you will paint the colors of bonhomie: you can place a carnation or rose at every seat, or you can pare the look down to a vase with a tasteful bouquet or a single flower at the center.

Classy tea sets make an excellent conversation starter, and an elaborately decorated teapot can also double as a table centerpiece instead of candles or flower arrangements.

Alessi Tea Set

As for the tea service, you can find fine examples of contemporary tea craft at renowned Italian design brand Alessi. The brand’s latest kettle design draws on the blueprints of the best-selling 9093 kettle, but it replaces the iconic bird-shaped whistle perched atop the kettle spout with a dragon created by late designer Michael Graves in honor of the 30th anniversary of the Alessi teakettle.

HORNE tea set

Another noteworthy tea service that will make a lasting impression on your guests, HORNE tea sets boast a range of hybrid, minimalist and lavish gold-streaked designs executed in stainless steel, brass, and porcelain, blending recognizable Scandinavian, French and Asian elements.

Emmo Home Tea Set

Or, if you prefer a modernist look to conventional tea sets, try Emmo Home: a combination of minimalist elegance and unexpected visual twists (think stainless steel tea sticks, holey citrus baskets and tea bag-shaped infusers), this brand is a go-to for creative spirits and postmodern tea lovers.

Tea gadgetry galore
A carefully selected tea gadget can turn around the party mood and add visual interest to a plain tablescape. Over the past few years, we have seen many imaginative takes on the tea infuser design, tiered glass cake platters, asymmetric saucer and teacup renditions and designer tea sets.

Tiered platters are a must-have for tea lovers, and they are an extremely useful extra to have in your cupboard for family gatherings, birthday parties and festive get-togethers.

Whichever tea party accessory you opt for, make sure you strike a balance between appeal and function: after all, a tea party is a social gathering, not an extravaganza show.

Afternoon tea is an excellent excuse to invite your friends over for chit-chat, and the quaint feel of a proper tea party will make you fall in love with the ritual. Polish your silverware, bring out your finest table linens and platters with dainty bites, and put the kettle to boil – it is time for tea!

------written by Sophie Andersen, Contributing Writer

Ideas for preparing your kid’s birthday

If your child is about to celebrate his or her birthday, a great way to celebrate their love for animals is to plan an animal-themed birthday party.  The bond between children and animals is somewhat difficult to explain. Children seem to react quite instinctively and positively to animals they are introduced to. No matter if those animals are parrots, dogs, cats or even some wild animals in the zoo, kids usually expose a high level of adoration and attraction to animals.  The following ideas are for kids from 3 to 6 years of age.

Fairy tale animals come true

Once you have decided that your child's birthday is going to be a thematic one and that the theme is going to be the animal world, it would be quite handy to engage some fairy tale characters into the whole story. That can be done by dressing up yourself and your spouse as Winnie the Pooh, Bagheera or Baloo from The Jungle Book, or some more up-to-date characters, such as Shrek or Donkey. In addition to that, you can make children dress up as fairy tale animal characters.

Plants and animals hand in hand

photo by Dave Swift

Dressing up as fictional characters can be quite a demanding task for your fellow parents and their children. Maybe it would be wise that you extend the range of fairy tale characters to plants, as well. While girls like to be princesses and boys most often pirates, they can find inspiration in fairy tales. They can also make up their own flower or plant that could be from a fairy tale. It is most probable that girls will be more into making a flower costume. To avoid social differences popping up, you can write on the invitation card that every costume is welcome. That way some kids whose parents cannot afford making a real costume can still dress up as a flower simply by wearing a flower girls' dress and making a flowery crown for the head.

A fairy-tale cake

What would a fairy-tale birthday be without a proper and genuine fairy-tale cake? If you are skillful and like making cakes yourself, there are many recipes for incredible cakes all over the Internet. For instance, some people have already made cakes inspired by the wonderful Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria, Notre-Dame Cathedral in Paris and many other fairy tale-like edifices. Apart from that, children at that age still love when you read them stories, so, why not making a cake in the shape of a fairy-tale book. If the party is the animal-themed one, the cake can also be an character from a fairy tale.

All the above mentioned steps related to the process of organizing your kid's birthday may not be easy, but it will be fun.  Create a budget and sort out your ideas to make the party a roaring success.  If your budget is substantial, you can just hire birthday party animators and professional organizers to prepare everything. Your ultimate goal is to make sure your child feel special and loved on their special day.

 

Written by Sophie Anderson

Amusing Photobooth for the Event of Your Choice

Has the time of photo-booths just easily passed us by? Today everyone, their friends and their moms has gone up the modern technology ladder and they are using mobile phones that have cameras for taking pictures and internet connections for sharing them with friends and anonymous people over social networks. I personally think that people need the feeling of having their picture taken in a plush looking photo-booth and delivered to them by mail is back.

Photo Booth accessories

That's why photo booths are the best solution for your wedding, engagement party, graduation or just the celebration of your daughter's first birthday. You just step in, alone or with as many friends as the booth can fit.  For more fun, make a face, make bunny ears behind someone else's head, click and voila. high quality prints done instantly in high resolution, on high quality paper. Wide angle lenses in soft portrait lighting systems snap pictures of up to eight adult people.  It can be placed anywhere you want it, big rooms, small rooms, lobbies, halls, backyards, stairways, even elevator lifts. You will be crazy about the look of the high quality prints created instantly in our modern booths exceptionally, hosted by our professionally trained hosts, all night long.

Now you can show these pictures to your family and friends and even your distant cousin in Australia. Just hang them in your home, at work, post them on Instagram or other social networks. Beautiful colorful memories ready to be shared with the world.

You can even choose the background color now, black & white or colorful imagery, one or all of the frame sizes and even the color of the curtains.

Cool photo booth

Now with no distorted head shots, no harsh flashes, passport style imagery with blurry colors and smudges on the lens leaving the focus of the picture of the whole gang looking terribly out of place. Anyone who cares about the quality of your memories kept on a piece of paper and anyone who wants beautiful moments from their lovely days kept safely in a book to look at when time passed on by and you have little to remember them by, knows how important this is.

Photobooth

Also, no mechanics or any other type of our employees will be in your way for the whole evening you have rented the booth for, except for the on-site hosts, who are included in every hire, who make every guest feel like home, who service the photo-booth guest books, explaining them how anything and everything about the service we are selling works, who even will clean the smudges of the lens and keep the whole machine clean and working for the time being.

You pay no lay time and any venue will be served with the best photography experience possible. From the day you order, to the day you receive the pictures in the mail, the main focus is to keep you satisfied with the professionalism and experience our impeccable workers have to offer.