The return of Downton Abbey to the states has sparked a trend for all-things British. While not everyone can visit Highclere Castle, the setting for the ITV/PBS series, holding a high tea is the next best way to bring a little bit of Britain into your home. (If you aren't a fan of the hit drama then keep in mind that January is National Hot Tea Month and there's no better way to celebrate your favorite beverage.)
Adding a green touch to your next tea party is an enterprising idea that even the Dowager would approve of. Here are some ways you can do it:
To party in true Grantham style, be selective about what tea you serve. Look for organic and fair trade labels when choosing a blend. See if there is a tea maker near you or make your own mix.
There are a multitude of other ways to green your tea choices, like buying loose-leaf and composting used tea leaves.
Tea sandwiches don't have to be so last season. Spice up the classic cucumber with local greens that are in season, like arugula, watercress, or dandelion greens. A simple egg-salad can be made with free-range eggs, or for a vegan option, try tofu and Vegenaise.
Make your plate even more special by using gluten-free bread or making it yourself (but don't let Mrs. Patmore know you were in the kitchen).