On Downton Abbey, afternoon tea is served in the library, with china tea cups. If you feel like your own swing into a country estate lifestyle, serve an elegant afternoon tea to celebrate Mother’s Day. Sandwiches, scones and dainties on a tiered cake plate (Things $20 - $50) make an easy and memorable event.
The tiered plate is more commonly known as a cake stand but, originally, it served more than just cake and saved many steps otherwise required to bring foods separately to the garden(1). For afternoon tea, lay sandwiches on the bottom tier, scones on the middle and dainties on top. Foods can be readied and loaded beforehand so you never miss a word of conversation when serving.
The raised plate gains attention for the yummy foods on offer. Fill the bottom layer with sandwiches containing your favourite fillings: salmon, cream cheese, or super thin salami from La Grotta. Buy ready-made sandwiches if pressed for time. Hungry- or nibble-sized, Sobey’s can supply sandwiches, too. Scones for the second layer can be mastered easily, even by someone in a hurry. Otherwise, you might try the scones from Pennyloaf Bakery, which are wood-fired, and delicious. If baking is your specialty, bake one of your favourite dessert bars. Recipes for ball cookies, tartlets and thumbprints are plentiful, or buy dainties bought at locals like Lilac Bakery for a classy option.
Make your own tiered cake plate and give it away as a present after the event. The metal posts are sold online, and a YouTube video provides easy instructions. Just choose any combination of china plates (Things starting at$20).
Don't forget accompanying china tea cups or mugs (Things $15 to $20). Make sure you check out the size of the handle hole to allow for larger fingers.
Lastly, set your table with a fancy tablecloth (Things $various).
Come visit Things, and get all you need for an impressive brunch or tea. Done! All proceeds from Things support the Royal Winnipeg Ballet.
1. A tale of afternoon tea. [River tea.com]. Accessed 2016 Feb 8.