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Sisters Anne and Laura Cheung have a knack for the creative. Laura dreams up playful, theatrical home décor products for her brand LALA CURIO, whose Sau Wa Fong store is filled with furnishings, decorative objects, cloisonné tiles and wallpaper in decadent, whimsical prints. A short stroll down the lane, Anne’s charming al fresco-style patisserie Jouer serves up deliciously dreamy sweet treats, canapés and cakes (think Malibu-soaked coconut cake with passionfruit curd and mini elderflower apple tartlets). Put the two sisters together and you have a recipe for one delightfully creative high tea - which is exactly what happened when The Style Sheet joined the duo on a summer afternoon to learn how to host a tea party with flair.

Canapés, sweet treats and cakes and tableware courtesy of Jouer, tablecloth from LALA CURIO

Put a spin on the classic Cream Tea…

Anne: ‘You can’t go wrong with a classic “Cream Tea” (an afternoon tea with a pot of well-brewed tea and good scones with jam and cream) but go ahead and put a twist on it. For instance, for a Japanese-inspired Cream Tea, serve a pot of warming genmaicha tea and yuzu scones with homemade Fuji apple jam and mascarpone cream. For a Hong Kong-inspired afternoon tea, try a cup of salted lime ginger tea paired with pineapple-bun crusted scones and homemade pineapple jam.’

Anne (left) wears Dries Van Noten and Laura (right) wears Attico, available at Joyce Boutique Pacific Place. Canapés and tableware from Jouer, home furnishings from LALA CURIO

Make an impact with a fun clash of homewares…

Laura: ‘For a tea party, keep it playful with small arrangements of perfectly assembled bouquets in assorted vases such as glass, cloisonné and ceramics - the more eclectic, the more fabulous. For crockery, I like to mix LALA CURIO’s hand-painted bone china collection with pieces from Jouer’s amazing collection of tiered tea sets and vintage finds. If you’re looking at refreshing your interiors for the summer season, wallpaper is the easiest way to make the most impact. The power of changing your walls literally transforms your interiors with the least amount of work. Matching cushion covers create a total look without having to touch your existing furniture.’

Get creative with the presentation of sweet treats and canapés…

Anne: ‘Come up with a theme first, and then find related items or accessories you could pull together as a coherent “set”. Be creative and opt for unconventional containers and props to serve your small bites and pastries. For example, glass jewellery boxes can be used to serve macarons and mini desserts for a girly-themed tea. Mini floral cupcakes can be attached to lolly sticks and bundled up as a little bouquet in a small vase. Picnic baskets and wooden boards can be used for a country picnic-themed feast. For catering projects for Jouer, I’ve created edible rose on chocolate soil flower pots inspired by the Little Prince for Mont Blanc’s Little Prince campaign, quail egg canapés on crispy pasta “nests” for a LALA CURIO bird-themed party and a top hat and neckpiece made entirely of macarons for a collaboration with Daydream Nation.’

Anne (left) wears Dries Van Noten wrap dress, Laura (right) wears Sacai shirt dress and Viktor & Rolf tulle dress, available at Joyce Boutique. Home furnishings and wallpaper available at LALA CURIO

Have fun with fashion (and don’t be afraid to improvise)…

Laura: ‘My fondest memory of hosting a summer party was when I wore a corset I had made in a theatre costume workshop in Sydney, and these funny frilly shorts and handmade lace knee-high boots. I had fascinators prepared for everyone. We had a fashion stylist and two professional photographers as guests. After a few glasses of champagne, the party turned into a photo shoot, everything was improvised on the spot and the results were phenomenal!’

Go the extra mile and make it personalised...

Laura: ‘Honour your guests by making an effort. I like to try do something personalised and offer a small gift to thank each guest for attending. I like to do personalised agate coasters, with each guest’s name etched into the agate, as a gift each guest can take with them. I also always, always do place cards – it’s your responsibility as a host to ensure that your crowd is mixing harmoniously and everyone is having fun!’

Taking cues from the theatrical and whimsical LALA CURIO store, Anne and Laura Cheung read a passage from the novel Alice's Adventures in Wonderland...