Long gone are the days where hand-made popsicle stick jewellery boxes and macaroni necklaces cut the mustard as Mothers’ Day gifts. However, that’s not to say that mum wouldn’t still adore something you’ve gone to the trouble of making yourself. Put some basic culinary skills to work to create a simple yet gorgeous high tea experience for mum this Mothers’ Day.
We all know that there is nothing as lovely or as sumptuous as enjoying an exquisite high tea, which is why this is the perfect treat for mum. For something a little more sophisticated and fun, serve your high tea split into courses instead of all in one go. This way, you can focus on certain elements at a time and pair a tea with each course.
Create as many courses as you want or keep it simple with a selection of Traditional, Savoury, and Sweet.
Traditional: A traditional course should be comprised of the familiar favourites of high tea. Presentation should be petite and elite – the daintier and more bite-sized, the better. Start with precisely cut finger sandwiches. Nothing is ever too pretty when it comes to high tea, so you might even want to use flower or heart shaped cookie cutters for something just a little bit different and a little bit lovely. Sandwich filling variations are endless, experiment with something new and flavoursome or stick with the delectable classics, like:
- Cucumber and cream cheese
- Turkey and cranberry
- Creamy egg salad
- Ham, cheese, and mustard
Smoked salmon blinis with mascarpone also make a yummy little addition to the Traditional high tea course. An elegant, bite-sized classic, this morsel will fit in perfectly with your finger sandwiches.
The perfect pairing: In-keeping with the traditional theme, a traditional tea should complement your first course. Try keeping it on the light side by selecting teas with soft yet fresh flavours that will ease you into a nice long tea/brunch. Consider: Darjeelings, jasmine green teas, and flavoured white teas.
Savoury: While high tea is generally an exercise in sampling and savouring, we don’t want mum to go hungry. So why not offer something a little heartier for the savoury second course.
- Good, ol’ mini quiches will always hit the spot. This is yet another little snack with which ingredients can be experimented, though nothing beats a bite-sized Quiche Lorraine (cheese, bacon, and onion). Ricotta and spinach also makes a tasty and vegetarian-friendly mini quiche filling.
- Savoury muffins, with options like herb and cheese, tomato and corn, or spinach and bacon can be diminutive yet filling.
- Sausage and chutney rolls – not the most delicate morsel but delicious all the same. Try this Chai Green Tea Infused Apple Chutney recipe to incorporate into your rolls.
- Consider something fresh and light like bite-sized bruschettas. A fragrant burst of basil, garlic, and tomato on mini toasts is a great way of balancing out those heavier pastry bites
The perfect pairing: A good medium strength orange pekoe from Ceylon, or one of the more well-known classics will complement the richer, savoury flavours of baked pastries, meat, and cheese. Generally, any tea with a little body that will bring the flavours together will make a refreshing, yet satisfying accompaniment. Consider: Tea Centre Orange Pekoe, Dimbula, Earl Grey Blue Flower, Scottish Breakfast, Australian Breakfast.
Sweet: Of course what would high tea be without the sweet bonne bouche of a dessert course. Perhaps the most exciting element of any high tea, the petit four possibilities are limitless and agonisingly difficult to choose from. Create baby versions of mum’s favourite treats, otherwise some of the usual favourites can include:
- Sweet, delicate, and fancy, macarons are the embodiment of a lush high tea. Highly experimented with, there are perhaps as many macaron flavours as there are colours. Of course, our favourites include maccha green tea or earl grey macarons, or these rooibos infused chocolate ganache macarons.
- Fruit tarts make a vibrant and fresh addition to any platter with combinations of strawberries, blueberries, raspberries, kiwi fruit, and peach making popular toppings.
- Anything chocolate. Enough said.
- You absolutely cannot have a tea without scones; this is just not done. Superb in all their simplicity, scones are made extra special through their accompanying condiments. Try this Turkish Delight tea infused strawberry jam to enliven an old favourite.
The perfect pairing: Nearly any brew will go with dessert. Flavoured teas are always an obvious choice, especially flavoured green teas as they are less savoury than traditional green teas but are a light option to offset the sweetness and richness of dessert. Traditional black teas that take milk and sugar are always a classic option when enjoying scones. Or classic herbal blends like peppermint, chamomile, or ginger based tisanes are excellent for helping digestion and finishing off a meal. Consider: Morning Flower, Stockholm Blend, English Breakfast, Assam Dimakusi, Digestivo, Sweet Dreams, Ginger Kiss.
Serve your well thought out menu on pristine fine bone china and tiered stands for a refined experience. Or make a louder and fun statement by serving high tea with a crazy tea set. Regardless of whether mum is mismatched and colourful, posh and proper, or somewhere in between, she will love sitting down to a high tea especially made by you.