The Chopping Block: Holiday Tea Party

The hustle and bustle of the holiday season is in full swing. You probably already need a break from the shopping and parties. That’s exactly what tea parties are for!

The history of the tea party began with England’s King Charles II married Catharine of Braganza who was Portuguese and enjoyed tea. She became known as England’s first tea-drinking queen and would regularly serve tea at social events. But the actual drinking of tea in the afternoon became popular with Anne, Duchess of Bedford. She requested that light sandwiches be brought to her in the late afternoon because she had a “sinking feeling” during that time because of the long gap between meals. She invited others to join her and a tradition was launched.

Tea is now known as an afternoon meal including sandwiches, scones, sweets and of course, tea. And there’s etiquette on the order of how this food should be eaten. Scones should be eaten first, while they are hot, then savory dishes and finally on to sweets.

The Drake Hotel in downtown Chicago is a popular place to enjoy Holiday Tea as a break from shopping on the Magnificent Mile. Guests enjoy sips of French tea, English scones, sandwiches and decadent pastry tiers while listening to the festive sounds of carolers and the harpist. Click here for the schedule.

The Chopping Block in Lincoln Square is hosting our own version of Holiday Tea Party this year on Sunday, December 17, and ours has a hands-on twist!

10am-12pm (Register Here

2pm-4pm (Register Here)  

You’ll be greeted with an assortment of tea sandwiches and an approachable DIY tea bar. After you’ve had some time to enjoy the food and beverages, you’ll work in groups to prepare Vol-au-Vent (Puff Pastry Shells Filled with Chocolate Mousse), Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes Filled with Buttercream and Jam and Currant-Ginger Scones. Our chefs will have Mini Quiche Lorraine and Chicken Salad prepared ahead of time to add to the spread at the end of this hands-on class. Sit back and enjoy your tea and noshes before returning to the real world. This is the perfect class to take with friends and/or family, perhaps as an intermission from holiday shopping!

Can’t wait until the class? Make our White Chocolate and Cranberry Scones.

 

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