How precisely ought one host a steampunk high tea? Why, I am glad you asked, Blog.
Like steampunk in general, such a gathering is certainly open to individual interpretation. But I will share with you some tips based upon the manner in which it was executed by our delightful hosts, Paul and Laura. Follow these guidelines and you too can travel back to a romantic time that never really quite existed....
By the way, it's not hard or expensive to contrive your own steampunk costume. I outfitted myself for about $50 out of pocket. A better view of me:
Moonlight Cove. Don't forget steampunk props and jewelry, like the steampunk heart pendant I made from polymer clay. You can achieve a lot by spending a little. I made my hat from supplies I bought at Michael's for under $10.
2. Prepare a romantic, old-fashioned table. Paul and Laura happen to own a variety of antique china perfectly suited to the occasion. Combined with equally splendid goldware, glassware, tablecloth, napkins, and fresh flowers, the look is formal but charming.
4. Observe the traditions of high tea food. Laura informed me that high tea includes three courses: scones, sandwiches, and desserts. Our scone course included two offerings. Our sandwiches were both sweet and savory (strawberry, cucumber, and some wonderful chicken salad on cherry walnut bread).
And the desserts included both raspberry and lemon layer cakes, petit fours, and chocolate truffles from Harrod's.
5. Discuss the wonders of steampunk. Of course the meal can include any sort of discourse that arises, but it's definitely a good opportunity to talk about DIY steampunk projects and past steampunk gatherings like the TeslaCon that takes place in Wisconsin. Here Paul examines some nifty goggles that Henry fabricated out of leather, showerhead parts, etc.
6. Provide appropriate props for your guests to enjoy. Among the props at our party was my little creation Herbert G the stitchpunk doll. It was a thrill to share him with such an auspicious group! Our hosts had a nifty stereoscope on hand and plenty of antique photos for us to view in 3D; here you see Greg trying it out while Chuck awaits a turn.
Paul also brought out the old 3D camera he bought to create his own 3D pictures. Note: two lenses! It uses regular 35 mm film.
7. Don't mind the anachronisms. Paul's iPhone came in handy for steampunk related research. No reason not to take advantage of the tools of the current age. You can always account for the phenomenon by pretending to be time-travelers from the past, visiting the current year.
And that, Blog, is all you need to do to throw your own steampunk high tea. I made wonderful new friends and enjoyed a refreshing mental break from our Wisconsin winter and the trials and tribulations of real life.
Thank you, Paul and Laura! Bravo!