Pitzhanger Manor & Gallery was the country retreat of Sir John Soane, one of the most influential architects in British history. Pitzhanger reopened in 2019, following a three-year £12M, award-winning conservation project to restore it to Soane’s original designs. Set in the picturesque grounds of Walpole Park, the Manor offers the feel of a countryside escape in central London, a short 8 minute walk from Ealing Broadway Underground station. Offering an exquisite range of styles for hire, from neo-classical suites to Georgian rooms with garden views to contemporary gallery and restaurant spaces, Pitzhanger is perfect for weddings, events, photography and filming. Civil ceremonies are licensed across varied spaces within the Manor and our adjacent Soane's Kitchen restaurant space can accommodate drinks and dancing to follow, ensuring that your perfect wedding day can start and end at Pitzhanger. We make filming and photography easy, offering a range of historic features, beautiful gardens and clean modern spaces. We work with first class partners who will help to deliver a memorable experience. Our approved suppliers can shape and customise events - from uplighting and floristry through to creating fully hybrid events to welcome guests joining from home or abroad.
Whether you are planning a conference, special celebration, wedding, or corporate away day, the Horniman Museum has the ideal space for you. The Horniman offers a totally unique venue for hire in London, just a short train journey from London Bridge, but set in idyllic 16 acres of landscaped gardens in Forest Hill. Choose from an elegant Grade II listed Victorian Conservatory, or sleek and contemporary Pavilion or intimate Bandstand, all boasting stunning views of the London skyline.
??It’s hard to find anything that’s more quintessentially British than a tea party. They’ve grown in popularity over recent years, and Mary Berry has certainly gotten everyone trying out their own recipes at home. A tea party is a great alternative event that can be used to celebrate birthdays, a christening, or even as a fundraising event. There are a few things that you need to consider when planning one, but once you’ve found the right venue and decided who’s doing all of the baking, you’re already on the right track.
Step 1: Choose the Ideal Date and Time
The first thing that you need to do when planning a tea party is to decide on when you want to have it. You will need to choose a date far enough in advance that the majority of those invited will be able to make it. You’ll also need to think about the season, as this can change the type of food that you serve and the whole atmosphere of the event. Finally, you’ll need to pick a suitable time. Tea is generally served at any time from 12noon to 4pm, but it can be later if necessary.
Step 2: Choose Your Venue
Choosing where to host your tea party is the next step. While you can of course have it in your own home, you are then dedicating yourself to doing all of the cooking and preparation yourself. If you are inviting only a small group of people, then this will be absolutely achievable. However, if you are hosting for a large group, be it a corporate day or a charity event, it’s best to look for a suitable venue to hire. One option is a country house for hire in London. There are lots of these houses, and some will even bring with them the option to host your tea party outside, weather permitting. Truly elegant, they definitely give off the tea party vibe that you’re looking for.
Step 3: Choose Your Tea
It’s not enough to just put a teabag in a pot. Tea should be taken seriously. One idea is to have a menu of teas given to your guests, so that they can choose their favourites from the list. The tea should all be loose leaf as well, with tea strainers either inside the pot or on the table for use. This way, there will be sufficient variety to be had as there are many people who much prefer caffeine-free herbal tea. It will also be a chance for those attending to try something new and will add a bit of surprise, not to mention sophistication, to proceedings.
Step 4: Choose Your Food
Next comes the food. The traditional high tea is served on a three-tiered tray which consists of sandwiches, scones with cream and jam, and a variety of sweet treats such as pastry tarts and buns. While the sandwiches and scones are seen as musts, you can tweak the menu of the sweet treats to suit what you think your guests will like. Variety here is key. Normally there is far too much on a tray, even shared, to eat, so provide boxes for your guests to be able to take any extras away with them. If you aren’t catering yourself, you’ll have to discuss the menu very carefully with your caterers. Make sure you sample all that is on offer before deciding. Above all, listen to their advice on what to serve. They will have done this before and know what goes down well.
Step 5: Choose Your Décor
One of the most important aspects of any tea party is the décor. Tables should be set traditionally, and in the right way. Luckily, if you have caterers, they’ll know exactly how it should be. You should consider the pattern you are having on the teacups, whether they are all going to match or if you are going for a more Alice in Wonderland feel. Other things to think about décor-wise is the colour of the tablecloths and the napkins. Everything should come together to produce an elegant feeling. For other decoration, you can have bunting up or floral centrepieces. If it is autumn or winter pine cones or even Christmas trees will work.
Step 6: Choose Your Dress Code
When you send your invites out, you need to let people know what the dress code is. You can’t really have an elegant outdoor tea party if people don’t know what’s expected of them. A lot of the time, women wear a summer dress or equivalent. The dress code is generally seen as smart casual, but guests should also dress for the weather. If it’s happening outside and on grass, it’s best to warn against any high heels as they will only sink!
Step 7: Choose Some Party Games
In order to keep the mood of the tea party light and carefree, it’s a great idea to organise some easy party games for people to play at their tables. Particularly if some of the groups don’t know each other, this makes for the perfect icebreaker to introduce everyone. Keep to your theme and keep all the games related to tea or the different cakes on the menu. Your guests are sure to start to relax into the moment and enjoy themselves before the main feature arrives – the tea itself.
Nothing is nicer than a tea party surrounded by friends. It’s an excuse to stuff yourself with cake, and it makes a difference form meeting up at in the pub. It’s a chance to get everyone together and actually have a good old-fashioned chat. The only thing you need concern yourself with, is running out of tea!