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Host a Literary Tea Party
Spice up your entertaining game with literary tea games and activities.
Written by Victoria Van Vlear
Photography by Bret Gum

If you’ve seen our April/May issue, you’re probably itching to host a literary tea party. Here are a few games and activities to go along with your earl gray, sugar cubes and vintage book decorations.

For more inspiration from this party, see our April/May 2018 issue!
Don’t serve just one type of tea—you’ll encourage guests to drink more if you have 2 or 3 different flavors available.

Tea Drinking Contest

This one is simple—whoever drinks the most tea wins. This game is especially fun if you have a small prize to give away at the end of the party. Alongside each plate (or under it), place a scrap of paper and make sure pens are available to the guests. When you sit down, announce the tea drinking contest. Throughout the party, have guests keep track of how many cups of tea they drink on their paper. Whoever drinks the most by the end of the party wins the prize.

Just make sure there’s a bathroom nearby or your guests might float away!

For your book-page flowers, use pages from an old dictionary or out-of-date encyclopedia so you don’t offend the sensitivities of the bookworms who attend.

Literary Rose Collecting

This game can get competitive! Make a book-page flower for each of your guests (see the print article for step-by-step instructions) and set it at each place. As you sit down, explain that your guests aren’t guaranteed to keep their flowers—they have to earn them. Throughout the party, no one is allowed to cross their legs or ankles. If they do and someone catches them, the culprit has to give up their rose. By the end of the party, you’ll probably have two or three people who will take home enough flowers to start their own bouquet.

Alternatively, you could hot glue the roses to pins, hair bands or stems so your guests can wear them on their shirts, around their wrists or in their hair.

The more diverse scents you can include in the tea sniffing lineup, the better!

Tea Sniffing

Gather 4–5 different types of teas with strong scents, and place them in jam jars or other small containers. Label them with numbers and set them on a table or countertop, along with a larger empty jar, paper and pens. Guests will sniff the tea to determine the flavors in each. They’ll write their guesses on a piece of paper, include their name and drop it the jar. Give them one point for every ingredient they get right—for example, if you have a chocolate caramel tea, there’d be one point for guessing caramel and two for guessing caramel and chocolate. Whoever has the most discerning nose wins.

Make sure you have small prizes you can give away to the game winners—maybe you give away some of the vintage books.

Who Said It?

This is for the true literary buffs of the party—a trivia game to match the titles of famous books with their opening lines. We’ve made it easy for you with this pdf, which you can download and print for your guests. Here’s the answer key.

If you happen to have a highly literary group and there’s a tie for first place, make the tie breaker even more difficult by reading them a first line and having them guess the book’s title.

Literary Opening Lines game

Literary Opening Lines game KEY

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