There is something about the often dreary, bitingly cold nature of mid-winter that begs for moments of extra special merriment to help shake off the doldrums that can accompany January.
One of the quickest, and surely most elegant, ways I know to do just that is to hold a tea party. Such a gathering can be as large or an intimate as you like - it can even be a party of one, just for yourself.
A few beautiful vintage cups and saucers, a freshly ironed table cloth, and a pretty frock are all you really need as your jumping off point for a wintertime tea party - aside from the snacks and beverages of course.
Tea parties are not designed designed to fill guests up to the extent of a buffet or multi-course meal, especially as they commonly take place between lunch and dinnertime. By the same token though, you certainly wouldn't want you friends' stomachs to rumble, so a selection of small, inviting, delicious foods is a must.
Today's vintage recipes are for a grape, pear, and cream cheese salad, as well as for delightfully chic – and splendidly cute! - carrot and cream cheese sandwiches that are rolled up and adorned so as to resemble the shape of lilies (this recipe would be highly fitting for an Easter gathering, too).
In addition to the recipes above, and a lovely array of freshly brewed teas, coffees, and hot cocoa (this is still January after all!), you might want to serve anything from scones with jam and clotted cream to macrons, petit fours, lemon bars, or indicial sized bundt cakes. Offer guests a range of savoury and sweet dishes, to help ensure everyone's tastes are well accommodated for.
Then, sit back and enjoy the company of good friends and lively conversation, as Old Man Winter pounds away outside. You're warm, happy, and snug as a bug in a rug at your beautiful tea party, which can't help but up lift one's spirits and help remind us all that spring's triumphant return is just a few short weeks away.
And if that isn’t worth raising a teacup over, I don’t know what is!