“Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!
Up above the world you fly,
Like a tea tray in the sky.
Twinkle, twinkle, little bat!
How I wonder what you’re at!”
- Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (Lewis Carroll)
A Mad Hatters tea party! Held sometime during the summer at my place or yours, with the idea being that all tea etiquette rules go out the window (or through the looking glass). You know like leaving the crusts on the cucumber sandwiches or adding radishes to the scones. Or how far is it to Seattle or by bus ….
So cast your memory back to Alice in Wonderland, when the March Rabbit meets with Alice as he is running late for a tea party. At the beginning of Chapter 7, Alice finds herself at a very long table, yet everyone is crowded at one end of this table. This, of course, is the Mad Hatter’s tea party.
As the story goes, the Mad Hatter has been condemned by the Queen of Hearts for ‘killing time” with his singing. All the clocks and watches say tea time, all the time. And Alice is impolitely treated with riddles that have no answers and silly nonsensical poems.
This has all the makings of a fun event and there are many ways to explore your creative side.
Let’s start with the invitations. Do you want hats to be the theme? Or maybe the theme is Wonderland and all the characters? Create your own silly rhymes to go with the theme. If you want others to dress up, make them aware of that in the invitation. Ask them to wear an outrageous hat. Or better yet, tell them you have a Mad Hatter hat making session planned.
A Mad Hatter tea party is all about non conformity, so enjoy and mix and match your dishes, glasses and silverware. Use different chairs too! Table cloths in pastel colours and tea pots with flowers make a great table setting for this affair. Some paper lanterns or playing cards are great decoration ideas to consider too.
Consider creating a looking glass that every one walks through to enter the party into Wonderland. Find a place for the Cheshire cat or at least his smile to appear. And don’t forget Dormouse, he would be happy to be placed in a teapot on the table.
Now, time to plan the menu. How do Tweedledee and Tweedledum tarts sound? Courisier and courisier tea cocktails? The Mad Hatter did offer Alice some wine! Take a ribbon and a name tag and tie it on the base of each glass. Write “Drink Me” on them. Make cookies that say “Eat Me”.
Everyone could become Mad Hatters, and create their own hats. Or play croquet, card games and silly rhyming games. Play “opposites”. Everything in Wonderland is not as it appears to be. Make rules that everyone is called their name backwards and when responding to a question then should answer the opposite of what they really mean. Ter-riffic!
Best of all fun, a have Party Hatters Mad!