Die-hard tea drinkers know three things about having a "proper English tea" experience: The menu must include savories and sweets, the table setting requires a decorative teapot and teacup and, above all, the tea must not, ever, come from a teabag.
Fear not, tea drinkers, the volunteers who put on the Springtime English Tea have all the bases covered.
The tea will take place at 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2, at the Oak Grove United Methodist Church, 14700 S.E. Rupert Drive, Oak Grove. Registration has begun, and Jackie Shrock, chairman of the event, encourages attendees to register early to be sure to get a spot at a table of their choice.
This marks the 22nd year that the United Methodist Women have staged the Springtime English Tea, Shrock said. It is the group's only fundraiser for the many mission projects they support.
The menu will include sausage rolls; chicken puffs; and cucumber, ham and egg salad, and turkey-cranberry sandwiches on the savory side. Sweets include scones with homemade clotted cream and jam, sticky toffee pudding, hand-dipped strawberries and lemon tarts.
As for the all-important tea, Shrock said her husband specially blends the loose leaves, starting with a base of Red Rose tea, a British brand.
"We go through gallons of tea" at the event, Shrock said.
Before attendees enter the decorated dining area, they are treated to a slide show in the sanctuary, with images from past teas and different activities.
Once the event begins, Shrock welcomes the attendees and tells them how their tickets contribute to scholarships for high school seniors and to fund youth mission trips during the summer, among other projects.
Servers, elegant in black and white outfits, then serve the tea and savories, followed by dessert.
What Schrock most looks forward to is watching people enjoy the food and hearing good conversations.
She encourages women to wear fascinators, tiny little hats sometimes adorned with feathers and veils.
Shrock hopes the community will support the event, adding that it promotes social activity and camaraderie.
The tea also is the perfect Mother's Day gift.
"We have young ladies who have been coming to the tea since they were 6, 7 years old. They look forward to getting waited on," Schrock said.
A proper cup of tea
What: The United Methodist Women present their Springtime English Tea
When: 2 p.m. Saturday, May 2
Where: Oak Grove United Methodist Church, 14700 S.E. Rupert Drive, Oak Grove
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