A tea party is probably the simplest and certainly the most inexpensive method of entertaining. It can very from a small cosy tea around the fire, especially enjoyed by the ladies, to a buffet tea held in the garden for a tennis party or summer birthday.

 Afternoon tea is usually served in the lounge, or occasionally the garden.  See that the guests are comfortably seated, and if possible provide occasional tables to take their cups and plates. A tea-trolley is almost indispensable in order that the food can be set out beforehand and wheeled in at the right time. These are the occasions when a silver tea service and good china can be shown off to their best advantage on a dainty embroidered or lace cloth.

 The Happy Home, A Universal Guide to Household Management

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