Victorian Sweet Sixteen

My fifteen year old, who loves Virginia Woolf and Oscar Wilde, has asked for a Victorian sweet sixteen party. She likes to read a lot that airs for sure. I thought it would be fun to put some of the ideas we came up for her Victorian coming out party we came up with down here.

At it we plan to serve English Tea sandwiches, and sweets. The invitation will be shaped like a fan and we are going to invite sixteen girls for an intimate tea.

The format for this party is based on a proper Victorian tea party with lots of angels, fairies and cherubs as themes. If you want this party to have a bit of a dramatic edge you can ask your guests to wear 'Angel's Wings.' It is always interesting to see how creative people can get when it comes to constructing these.

You could ask the girls to wear crowns or tiara. We were thinking big hatsSixteen Invitation as 'Have Tea With The Queen of Sweet Sixteen.' Otherwise you could phrase your Sweet Sixteen invitation like this 'You are invited to My Sweet Sixteen Party. Dress: Big Hats – also Victorian Dresses, White. Gloves.' Another nice touch would be to include a fan in the invitation or you could purchase white fans and hand write the invitation on them.

Also on your Sweet Sixteen invitation you will want to include the Menu, which is modeled after a proper British tea. You will be serving three of the most traditional of British Teas including Earl Grey, Ceylon and Darjeeling.

Victorians were very fond of their herb gardens and many of the recipes here reflect the Victorian fascination with herbs.

Here is our plan for a menu —

Crab Puffs With Herbs
Sage and Cheddar Cheese Wafers
Cheddar and Jam Tea Sandwiches
Lavender Ham Tea Sandwiches
Cucumber Basil Sandwiches
Pear and Stilton Sandwiches
Chicken Salad With Almonds Sandwiches
Egg Salad And Dill Sandwiches
Devonshire Cream
Strawberry Banana Jam
Key Lime Custard Jam
Strawberries in Choclate
Lemon Balm Cake
Orange Mint Cookies
Chocolate Rose Geranium Cake

Using lace tablecloths with pink or floral linens and china can easily infer the stuffy style of the Victorian era. The china can be pure white, but a floral china or silver tea set suits this party perfectly. Drawings of flowers, dragonflies and bees are also symbols of the Victorian era. For each guest, you will need a teacup and saucer, dessert plate, silverware, napkin and placemat (a lace doily would be an elegant touch.)

As this party is going to include a lot of finger foods, we plan to have lots of platters, lazy susans and three tiered platters upon which you will serve your tea sandwiches and little cakes. A serving cart also lends a genteel quality to the scene.

The crowning touch? I am going to make a little crown of roses, daisies and violets for my daughter to wear in her hair!