On these occasions the tea party is a little more formal.  The tea-table is usually laid in the dining room, with a lace or embroidered cloth.  The plates, with a small tea-knife on each, are arranged round the table; it is usual to provide a small tea-napkin for each guest, and this can be placed on or near the plate.  The cups and saucers are usually set out at one end of the table for the hostess to pour out the tea, but if there is a large party, it may be more convenient to have a tea trolley at the side of the table.  The christening or birthday cake (with knife placed in readiness for the ceremony of cutting it) has the place on honour on the table.  If space allows, some little posy bowls of flowers (white if possible, for a christening party) can be arranged on either side of the cake, with any other appropriate decoration.  If you are serving sherry or champagne to drink the baby’s health at a christening party, hand this round just before the cake is cut.

 Good Housekeeping’s The Happy Home

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