How to plan the perfect afternoon tea party?

Afternoon tea is a British gastronomic custom that involves sitting down for tea, sandwiches, scones, and cake in the afternoon. Many people use the terms "afternoon tea" and "high tea" concurrently because they assume there is no difference. High tea is a British ritual in which tea is consumed while sitting in high-backed chairs at a table laden with plated foods.


When to start the party?

Afternoon tea is generally served between four and five o'clock in the drawing room. Afternoon tea is now offered in restaurants, hotels, and tea rooms across the world beginning usually at 3 in the afternoon. 

Hence, you can consider the guests’ convenience and decide on your ideal time. Though it is not recommended to start before 3 pm, you shouldn’t delay it beyond 5 pm.


How to set the menu?

Traditional afternoon tea must haves:

  • An assortment of crustless petite finger sandwiches that should not be overstuffed to prevent filling from seeping out as you bite into the sandwich. Traditional English afternoon tea finger sandwiches include
  1. ham and mustard
  2. egg salad and cress
  3. cucumber and cream cheese
  4. smoked salmon and lemon butter 
  5. coronation chicken.
  • Scones served with clotted cream and preserves.
  • Small cakes and pastries.
  • Your preferred tea, freshly brewed in elegant teacups and saucers.


Organize your Table Settings

Each person will need at least a small plate, a teacup, and a fork and spoonThe food should be presented on a three-tiered stand, better yet one plate for savories, finger sandwiches, and a two-tiered stand for scones and small cakes. You will require a teapot. For serving the tea, you will require a tea strainer, a separate place to rest the tea strainer, a bowl for sugar, and a milk jug. Champagne flutes, cocktail glasses, and/or water glasses may be required in addition to the teacups in accordance with the other beverages you might be serving. 



Your table’s size is going to play a vital role here. It’s important to have enough space for the cutlery and food.  Unless you’re considering a themed party, minimalism will go a long way.

  • Some lovely serviettes or napkins. 
  • A bouquet or two of flowers, or a small pot of lilacs, daffodils, or something similar. 
  • Maybe a little card with the menu on it.



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