By Taylor Makakoa

High tea parties and shabby chic tea parties are hot this season and a new way to hold a girlfriends get-together. So, how do you join in the fun? Step number one, scrounge around garage sales to find unique, ornate and (the best part) cheap tea sets. You do not have to break the bank to throw the classiest soiree on the block. Just make sure you score a cute cake stand to serve your treats and quaint lace doilies to complete the look. Trust me; garage sales are the way to go. You can even serve just a few dishes to your guests to keep things simple and have each guest bring something fun that fits in with your chosen theme. I adore high tea parties, but I love the creativity that shabby chic themes offer.

High tea parties are not complete without mint tea and cucumber sandwiches, and do not forget to add the right ambiance! To me that means playing some classical music to set the stage and dressing the part. Fun lace in pastels layered on high collared complementary pastels, enhanced by classic white pearls are the essence of high tea. Complete the total look with cute and easy décor like teapots serving as vases for roses and vintage birdcages overflowing with blossoms; it adds fun and elegance to any tea party.

And if you’re on a tight budget, I’m a big fan of shabby chic. You can create delightful invitations and place cards yourself, using lace, cute fabric and craft paper. The menu at shabby chic also allows room for creativity. You could keep in a pastel theme and offer blue macaroons, raspberry sponge cake and lemon cake. If you are looking for some high-end elegance without the labor, you can always visit the Tea Lounge at the Mandarin Oriental hotel, but I think it’s much more fun to DIY.

Taylor Makakoa is model and performer in Terry Fator: The Voice of Entertainment live at The Mirage.