When I think of Christmas, I always imagine England with it's figgy pudding, Charles Dickens, and snow covered moors. Also, the Brits make my favorite Christmas movies: Love, Actually, Bridget Jones, The Holiday (even though only half the movie takes place in the British countryside), a Muppet's Christmas Carol (given the Muppet interpretation isn't British, but the story is). Plus, it's been a huge year for G.B. - the Spice Girls reunited, the Queen's Diamond Jubilee, the London Olympics, and Will and Kate are finally having a baby.
All of these reasons inspired me to make my family's annual Christmas party a British one.
now for the details:
Let me start out with the British menu, with a Southern twist:
Green Tea and Pear Vodka Cocktail (recipe coming soon)
Glühwein (mulled red wine, brewed by my dad)
Assortment of British Cheeses
Fish (w/o chips)
Chicken Pot Pie (recipe coming soon)
Mini Toad in the Hole (recipe coming soon)
Gingerbread "Tea Bag" Cookies (see below for details)
I wanted the decor for the party to be very vintage and have a cosy, snowed-in feeling - stacked books, old clocks, fake snow, postcards, old cookie and tea tins, mini cottages.
Saltine Toffee with gold glitter
I bought old music note books from the thrift store and ripped out all the pages, dyed them in super concentrated hot tea for about 20 minutes and then let them dry. There are all taped together on the back; I worked in clusters and then filled in-between and attached them all together.
I also painted my own union jack bunting- I cut out large triangles of watercolor paper and watered down some acrylic paints to paint the flag by freehand. After they were dry, I taped the backs of them to glittery string.
Everyone dressed up for the occasion and most the women wore fascinators on their head, in the true British fashion. Top hats and tuxedos were also worn. I was pleased to see that people really got into the theme.
Tea Sandwiches with DIY British Flag toothpicks (or cupcakes toppers)
For these "tea bag" gingerbread cookies, I used my recipe for gingerbread and cut out a tea bag shape from the dough (have a few real tea bags by your side for reference). I used a straw to make a hole at the top and baked as normal. After they were cool, I dipped the ends of the cookies in good quality chocolate and let dry. Printed out these beautiful paper tags with teapots on them for the cookies, threaded through some baker's twine through the hole of the cookie, and glued the two lose ends in the paper tag. They were a huge hit.
I think I am going to do a DIY for these teacup stands I made for the party, but they were pretty simple to make, the hardest part is finding all the pieces.
This is how I decorated the dining room, continuing the theme...
You know the British rhyme about blackbirds baked in a pie? Well, I really wanted some faux blackbirds perched on the centerpieces.
Mini Toad in the Hole - recipe coming soon!
Across the mirror in the dining room, I pinned some union jack bunting, old Christmas cards and postcards onto some glittery string with mini clothespins. I was inspired by this image.
Snowflake ornaments hanging off all the lighting...
Parties go by so fast - I didn't even get to photograph all the food and decor, but this was the main gist of it! This was our second year having a photo booth, where we tape some wide wrapping paper to a wall, provide some props and set up the tripod and camera remote. It's a good time and an easy way to make sure you've gotten pictures of everyone.
Check out my Pinterest inspiration board for the party!
Parties of Christmas Past:
Lumberjack Christmas Party
Christmas Cocktail Party
Peppermint Christmas Dessert Party
Black Forest Christmas Party