It was my birthday in December and my DS and DIL took me out to tea here. We had a lovely time and the sandwiches and cakes were delicious. I'd had a tea party at my house for a few friends a couple of months before this and realised that tea parties were fun and a good change from inviting friends to dinner. I find putting on a dinner party very exhausting these days so tea parties will be taking their place at my house. With this in mind my DIL gave me a couple of lovely gifts this Christmas, the cake stand in the picture and a book entitled Afternoon Tea Parties with ideas for themed teas. I wasn't really sure how much food should be offered on these occasions so this book was a big help. Then yesterday morning I got an unexpected phone call from friends saying they would be dropping in to see us that afternoon and immediately saw this as an opportunity to put on an Afternoon Tea!!! Luckily I had some ready prepared finger food that I had bought in 'just in case' I needed it over Christmas and New Year and all I needed to buy was some fresh bread. It was the quickest meal I had ever prepared, I didn't get stressed and worn out rushing around trying to get too much done in a short time. What a pleasure it was to be able to welcome my guests in this way.