Introduction: Tea Party on a Stick (how to Host a Tea Party in a Tree)

Picture of Tea Party on a Stick (how to Host a Tea Party in a Tree)

We took this opportunity to try out something we've been planning for a while.
We will share how we put not only our favourite consumable, but also our preferred method of consumption, on a stick.

And, not to be out-done, we chose a particularly large stick.

A huge thankyou and congratulations to Ben and Richard, our super-enthusiastic tree-climbing photographers!

Step 1: Gathering Resources

Picture of Gathering Resources

-tea, cups, pot, hot water (thermos/camping stove)
-guests, reasonable fitness

Optional extras:
-hanging stove and windbreak, milk, sugar, scones, butter/jam, hand towel, bags/cases, rope, silly outfits, shoes, picnic blanket, planks, chairs, table, cucumber sandwiches
-photographers, extreme fitness

Step 2: Finding the Perfect Tree

Picture of Finding the Perfect Tree

I had seen some very promising trees at the edge of a park near the city. We circled the park and found this incredible Morton Bay Fig at the other end.

Its vast, dense foliage provided a surprising level of privacy. It was difficult to keep from giggling at the blissfully-unaware passers-by.

Step 3: Set-up

Picture of Set-up

Getting into the tree
There is absolutely no right way to do this. 
The lowest branch was only just within reach.

Getting the equipment into the tree
We brought ropes for this, but we didn't need them.
Luckily the tree had generous dumping-space.

Arranging the equipment
We found a great spot (the only one) to hang our stove, but we were really quite spread-out and  everything had to be passed along one item at a time.

Step 4: The Strongest Cup of Irish Breakfast I Ever Tasted.

Picture of The Strongest Cup of Irish Breakfast I Ever Tasted.

The logistics of serving tea to guests spread across a large tree is really quite a revelation; one begins to fully appreciate the process. It became much more of a tea ceremony.

To simplify things, we brewed loose leaf tea in the one pot and strained the leaves as it was poured.  The person furthest from the stove was obliged to take the first cup (but first he had to change his camera battery).  The second-furthest person was also closest to the tea case, so he had to be served third, after the person between us who was passing me everything.  The last two cups had to be given to me at the same time so i could pour mine after the third had been served.  The milk was in a sealed bottle so it was much easier to juggle.  One sachet of sugar was shared over 3 metres.  

Because the cups were served one-at-a-time, the tea had to go into the pot at the very last minute, and even then, by the time i poured the last cup, it was the fruitiest, most bitter cup of Irish Breakfast I've ever enjoyed.

Step 5: Everything Tastes Better With Company.. in Trees

Picture of Everything Tastes Better With Company.. in Trees

..with jam!
The (dewalt) tea case doubled as a durable serving table.
Always cook more scones than you can eat!
Actually, we decided that wasn't such a good idea.  We stopped at half, wary of climbing around on a full stomach. 

Step 6: Coming Down

Picture of Coming Down

-Make sure you pack up better than the bogans before us.
-Go out and celebrate over some really good sushi.
-Plan the next one.


xallie (author)2011-07-28

Did you make the hanging stove yourself or did you buy it somewhere?

EGiR (author)xallie2011-07-28

nah you can see in step4 it's hacked together: a tiny butane camping stove - i put together a simple aluminium shroud to protect the frame, a wire basket that holds the canister and lets the air up through the bottom, and wires (i use chain now). Getting the centre of balance right with a full saucepan is the most important thing.
In fact, it's surprisingly handy even when you're not in a tree - we once got caught-out by sprinklers and i was able to carry the burning stove to dry ground ;p

skimmo (author)2010-09-04

when it comes to neo-victorianism you guys really commit, this is an awesome idea, i was like how well they boil the kelt and then portable stove!

EGiR (author)skimmo2010-09-05

haha thankyou! we don't like to do things by halves.

The Ideanator (author)2010-08-24

Interesting way of interpreting "on a stick", I like it!

buckminsterfullerene (author)2010-08-18

Amazing pictures! Great quality and awesome photography skills!

Leosmama (author)2010-08-13

I am soooo going to do that this coming summer - yeeehaaa! (it's still winter over here in New Zealand) Thanks for the awesome instructable!!

EGiR (author)Leosmama2010-08-13

We're in Perth WA! This outing was almost a month ago now, in the middle of winter. The morning was freezing, but the midday sun was fantastic. Waistcoats are warm too. You're very welcome - do it! :D

Crabby (author)2010-08-07

I'm so glad that somebody posted an idea like this. I've had lunch in a tree with a few friends, it consisted of just sandwiches and juice but the idea is the same. Everyone thought it was a far-out idea, but we never got together to do it again. That tree is perfect for a picnic, all you need are some nice tea cakes or cookies and you're all set. This is all around win in my book.

EGiR (author)Crabby2010-08-07

Do scones with jam count? they were pretty delicious, and fresh too! Go on, it's not too late to do another. There aren't enough picnics in unusual places. Thanks for stopping by!

PKM (author)2010-07-31

I have a group of friends who enjoy
- tea
- the outdoors
- silliness

in approximately that order.  We have had a picnic on top of the granite boulders on Hay Tor when the moor was at its most windblown and inhospitable, in the interests of adventure.  If I see them at all this summer I am definitely going to suggest this.

EGiR (author)PKM2010-07-31

that is exactly what i like to hear. best of luck to you!

suckrpnch (author)2010-07-29

Ingenious entry to the "on a stick" contest. Good luck!

smeezekitty (author)suckrpnch2010-07-29

Should be invalid.

suckrpnch (author)smeezekitty2010-07-29

Why exactly?

GaryMeow (author)2010-07-28

i'm definitely having one with my bffs :D

caarntedd (author)2010-07-27

This is fantastic. It reminds me of something I invented (or so I thought) in my youth.
'Roof Drinking'.
It doesn't happen much anymore, I don't bounce as good as I used to.
Still, this looks like a great idea.

Where abouts in OZ are you?

EGiR (author)caarntedd2010-07-27

Yes, social meals are better looking down at the world and up at the sky.. Yeah bouncing.. that's what my dad used to say.. but he could never get over his love for extreme adventure, so despite the past injuries, he became insanely focussed on his fitness (maybe a tiny bit of denial in there) so he could go mountain-biking and skiing and climbing without breaking things. He still doesn't bounce like he did, but he's back to his fighting fitness.. It just takes more effort now (good role model ;p) Perth, away from it all haha.. you?

caarntedd (author)EGiR2010-07-27


SinAmos (author)2010-07-27

Silly. Thanks for playing.

EGiR (author)SinAmos2010-07-27


Joe Martin (author)2010-07-27

Brilliant idea and absolutely stunning photography!

EGiR (author)Joe Martin2010-07-27

Thankyou! I agree, i was amazed and delighted when the photos came through!

red-king (author)2010-07-27

reminds me of the part in the hobbit when the dwarves and Bilbo got stuck up a tree because they were being chased by wolves... Don't ask me why it reminds me of that.

EGiR (author)red-king2010-07-27

bahaha ok. We did discuss how effective arboreal adaptation would be against various predators (raptors). We decided it wouldn't be the best situation. Much more pleasant to focus on the tea.

jakebaldwin (author)2010-07-27

Thisisawesomethisisawesomethisissoawesomeican'tpressspacebar... Now all I need is..... enough friends willing to climb for tea....

EGiR (author)jakebaldwin2010-07-27

ask around, i was surprised.

canida (author)2010-07-27

Looks like fun!
And the top hat is clearly required for such an outing.

EGiR (author)canida2010-07-27

Indeed! Can you believe it was his sister's last minute cardboard job! Brilliant.

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