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How to Throw an Easy, Breezy Summer Iced Tea Party

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We're here to help you throw the most inspired summer parties yet. We partnered with Pure Leaf Tea House Collection to bring you ideas so that you can entertain more thoughtfully.

There are fewer occasions more charming than a tea party. There’s the towering tiered cake stand filled with swoon-worthy financiers and perfect crustless bites; the vintage porcelain cup and saucer sets often accompanied by a regal, gleaming silver tea service; and perhaps even a jaunty floral arrangement to help set the scene.

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Bring on the tea party.
Bring on the tea party. Photo by Bobbi Lin

Sure, high tea isn’t an everyday affair, but you don’t need a fancy excuse to replicate the tradition at home, with or without the pomp and circumstance. Take advantage of the casual summer season and host your own laid-back, refreshing iced tea party with friends. Here’s how we did it:

Set the table—or don’t

No need for starched and ironed white tablecloths here. Break out your favorite rumpled linen or textured seersucker tablecloth, or skip one altogether to show off your table’s true character.

How to Make Crumpets at Home
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How to Make Crumpets at Home

Skip matchy-matchy

Forget that precious heirloom tea set and head to your neighborhood thrift shop or online vendors like eBay or Etsy for vintage glasses, goblets, and tumblers (the more mismatched the better!) to house those iced beverages. Pinkies down, please.

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Cast Stackable Glasses (Set of 4)

Cast Stackable Glasses (Set of 4)

From $24
Double Line Vintage Italian Crystal Glassware

Double Line Vintage Italian Crystal Glassware

From $84

Make the food more approachable

Keep the crusts on those finger sandwiches and move beyond mini quiches in favor of more flavor-forward options, like Pimento Cheese Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato and Scotch Eggs (perhaps even made with quail eggs to make them easier to eat by hand). Feel free to keep the scones (you need a vehicle for the clotted cream, after all) and liven them up with a savory take with this Cheesy Kale version.

Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with Bacon & Tomato)

Parker & Otis' Pimento Cheese (+ Grilled Sandwiches with ... by Genius Recipes

Avocado Makes This Classic Hors d’Oeuvre Devilishly Good

Avocado Makes This Classic Hors d’Oeuvre Devilishly Good by Josh Cohen

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Cheesy Kale Scones

Cheesy Kale Scones by Posie Harwood

Scotch Eggs

Scotch Eggs by molly yeh

Cool it down

It wouldn’t be a tea party without tea, naturally, but consider reaching for a few chilled varieties for a colder option during these hot summer days. While we’re at it, why not break open a bubbly and serve up a tea-based cocktail alongside?

White & Grey Enamel Drink Dispenser

White & Grey Enamel Drink Dispenser

$90
Seersucker Cloth Napkins, Grey (Set of 4)

Seersucker Cloth Napkins, Grey (Set of 4)

$32

Extra details

The vibe is down-to-earth and friendly, so turn on a playlist with a similar tone. Flowers are, of course, a beautiful detail; but instead of a tightly structured centerpiece, arrange loose wildflowers or an assortment of branches to set a more natural backdrop.

How would you throw a tea party during the summer months? Let us know in the comments.

We partnered with Pure Leaf Tea House Collection to bring you ideas for throwing the most inspired summer dinner parties yet. Try your hand at hosting a summery (iced) tea party—snag Pure Leaf Tea House Collection iced teas here.

Tags: pure leaf tea house collection