As spring approaches and to celebrate the release of Tim Burton’s Alice in Wonderland we’ve been thinking about tea parties a lot. This classy afternoon gathering is perfect for some bonding with your friends, even if you don’t invite the mad hatter. (Note to Johnny Depp: you are always welcome at my home though.) Here are three easy steps to throw the perfect tea party.

EAT. Start with savory and move on to sweet, but make sure everything is finger food. While you don’t have to cook up dozens of options, consider some variety to make for a more interesting spread. For example, if you are making simple sugar cookies, use two different shapes and toppings.

  • crustless sandwiches like cucumber and watercress
  • scones with jam and clotted cream
  • cookies and pastries

DRINK. Tea is a must, and loose leaf can be fun and have more flavor.  For something different than standard Tetley, try a nice Lady Grey tea for a mellow flavor. Have sugar, milk, and lemon ready. Here are just some beverage options:

  • herbal tea
  • black tea
  • green or white tea
  • champagne tea is always fun—a glass of bubbly is sure to lift anyones spirits

PARTY. Little touches make a big difference and turn any gathering into a party. Consider one or more of the following classy touches to take your tea party to the next level:

  • cloth not paper napkins
  • a tiered tray
  • tea pot to brew (not just a kettle)
  • lump sugar