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The Best Tea Party Sets: Like the Boston Tea Party, only less important.

Apr03

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A very nice lady named Sara emailed me to ask, “I’m looking for a tea set to give my niece. I don’t even know where to find something which isn’t plastic and decorated with princesses.”
We all know how I feel about character themed items, so I felt compelled to save Sara. I found a few styles of tea sets which make no attempt to imply that Disney controls the world of tea.
teasetwood.jpgMy daughter is a pretty careful child, she’s never broken her toys or participated in that thing called ‘Rough Housing’. As a 3 year old she invited a friend who is a boy over for a tea party. He threw the ceramic teapot and three of the cups across the room in a fit of joy. My daughter sat, stunned and horrified. This little wooden set is unbreakable, which is important depending on the age and destructiveness of your child. It comes with a small cake, tea bags and even tiny sugar cubes. Sweet!
vintagecottagetea.jpgIf you’re concerned about breakage, but don’t want to spend $45 on a tea set (which, by the way, will get you High Tea at the Waldorf) you could try this set from Schylling instead. This service for four is tin, which though possible to break, is kind of difficult. The green with pink plaid has a very 1940’s feel, which a child may not appreciate but I do.
fifiteaset.jpgJack Rabbit Creations offers this nearly unbreakable enamelware option called The Poodle Party. The set comes with a service for three and a very cute teapot. Plus, everyone knows poodles like to party.
coffee.gifMaybe your child is more of a coffee drinker, there’s a set for that too. It’s plastic but it’s character free. It’s also durable for little people and comes in a handy bucket for storage. My daughter had a set like this and used it as a toy in her wading pool. Though you have to get over the fact that your child is drinking water they’re also sitting in, which is gross but sometimes when faced with gross or having a 2 year old entertained for an hour you’ll go with gross.
classictea.jpgAlex toys has this porcelain option for the older or more careful child. I like this set because it’s classic but also because it comes in a cute wicker case. It also includes 4 polka dot napkins and a polka dot tablecloth, because everyone knows it’s gauche to serve tea without cloth napkins and a tablecloth.
landofnod.jpgThe sets I’ve shared are pretty girl specific and tea parties are for everyone. This less girl-y set is the one my daughter had many years ago, the set which was thrown with jubilation. It comes with pieces in blue, green, orange and yellow and is a little larger than the other sets I’ve shared, this is ideal for the tea connoisseur.
retromoderntea.jpgThe best tea set I’ve found is this porcelain one which is quite similar to Russel Wright’s pottery from the 1950’s. Sara, I’m not sure how much more modern (retro-modern) it gets. In fact I’d like the pitcher for my own kitchen which would be a great idea if I drank tea.

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Melissa Summers

Melissa Summers was a regular contributor writing Melissa's Buzz Off.


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16 Responses to “The Best Tea Party Sets: Like the Boston Tea Party, only less important.”

  1. maggie Apr 03 at 12:23 pm Reply

    We have one of these: http://www.amazon.com/Schylling-Ladybug-Tea-Set-Basket/dp/B000FGIVVY/ – and even though it’s porcelain, it’s pretty sturdy and my 3 year old LOVES it. And then she takes the napkins and tablecloth and wraps her dolls and bears in them, as blankets. So, multipurpose tea set!

  2. andrea from the fishbowl Apr 03 at 1:12 pm Reply

    Tea parties are great. It’s one sure-fire way to keep kiddies entertained. Boys too! Here’s a question… what do you put in the teapot? Real tea? Hot chocolate? Water? The closest we’ve come to real tea is very milky and sweet chai tea. They liked that… but now that the warmer weather is here we might have to switch to iced tea. (Or sweet tea as some people call it.)

  3. melissaS Apr 03 at 1:17 pm Reply

    I do water because I am anally retentive and then I don’t have to care if they spill water all over the table (with an absorbant tablecloth over it!)
    Oh yes, I am big fun as a mommy.

  4. kaleigh Apr 03 at 2:15 pm Reply

    Lemonade at my house, although we’re now too old for tea parties and the kids really do drink tea. Sigh.

  5. Chris in MN Apr 03 at 2:51 pm Reply

    If you have access to an Ikea, they make a very inexpensive white with blue trim china set.

  6. sheila Apr 03 at 3:34 pm Reply

    My daughter has the porcelain set. We used it for tea parties initially (with water), but now she uses them for a variety of things completely unrelated to tea. Its a great set!

  7. chris Apr 03 at 3:41 pm Reply

    I only let my children have water in their tea set too. I am mean like that.
    We have a tea set from IKEA. It is breakable, but cheap. And so far even my rough 2yr old son hasn’t broken any of the set.

  8. Lindyloo Apr 03 at 3:42 pm Reply

    IKEA, cheap and cheerful!!

  9. Shawna Barrington Apr 03 at 5:31 pm Reply

    Fiesta also makes a cute (though expensive) one.
    http://www.dinnerwareusa.com/shop/catalog/handler~event~familySelected~pf_id~834.htm

  10. Virginia Apr 03 at 5:50 pm Reply

    Too old for tea parties? Nonsense. My 17-year-old started out with an unbreakable set when she was 2 and drank very milky tea. Since then she’s collected a variety of china and porcelain miniature or child sets which are displayed in her room. 2 years ago she asked for a real china tea set for Christmas and we bought her a tea set from Royal Dalton china which we use every Sunday for “afternoon tea” with little sandwiches or cookies. Since then we’ve added a sandwich tray and a 3-tiered cake plate. The china pattern is something she plans to add to every year. Tea can be such a sweet tradition no matter your age.

  11. Kerry Apr 03 at 7:12 pm Reply

    We just bought one of our children a real china set from the goodwill. It was practically free, and the child thinks it’s the cat’s meow.

  12. cce Apr 03 at 7:37 pm Reply

    My five year old has shattered her fair share of china teas sets and we’ve just melded together the remains and made a sort of eclectic set that she plays with and throws and stamps upon. With the eclectic mix in mind, I now collect real tea cups for her to have when she’s a mom. It’s a fun way to remember trips with Mom and an introduction to antiquing. In our wanderings, we have acquired fifteen cups and saucers so far. Some of them as nice as Spode and Wedgewood and others just no name cups with fetching patterns. Our collection is on display in the butler’s pantry and on her birthday we pull them down and have tea and crumpets.

  13. Melanie Apr 03 at 10:29 pm Reply

    I love, love, love that modern tea set, it’s adorable!! Maybe I’ll buy one for myself, even though the last thing I need is more cups. (are? Are more cups? Grammar goes out the window when I get sleepy.)

  14. bgirl Apr 04 at 9:33 am Reply

    Greatness! We have “real” tea a few afternoons a week with my grownup tea set, and for some reason it doesn’t bother my son at all that it is extremely girlie. He would baulk at a princess set, though, I’m pretty sure. (I’m not really sure, I’m just saying that to make him seem tougher. You know, because he’s 6 and that’s so important?)

  15. melissaS Apr 04 at 9:40 am Reply

    No he would baulk at the princess set because he reviles the hijacking our child’s imaginations with liscensed characters.
    That’s it. I’m sure.

  16. jackie Apr 04 at 10:02 am Reply

    i LOVE children’s tea sets. fyi, ikea has a great plain white porcelain set for something like 8 dollars. i have given this set to many children and have heard no complaints form them or their mothers. just a cheaper option for y’all…

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