Hello darlings, today I wanted to share my tips for hosting a traditional British afternoon tea. Now I know depending on where you live it may not be possible to host small get togethers because of covid restrictions so make sure to bookmark or pin this post for when gatherings are once again allowed in your area. These photos were actually taken pre-pandemic, when I hosted a few girlfriends for a tea party celebrating my 30th birthday. To be honest, it’s one of many blog posts that I put on hold sharing since the timing never seemed to feel right while in the midst of a pandemic. But now that we are over a year into the covid-19 disaster I’m ready to keep sharing the content I love to create. Anyways, back to afternoon tea…
Afternoon tea is one of my favourite meals to serve for guests. Dainty sandwiches and desserts are so aesthetically pleasing and of course yummy as well. There is something about a cup tea, that makes you want to sit and linger, promoting wonderful conversations around the table. But how do you host an afternoon tea, and what should you serve? I’m breaking it all down in todays post!
How to Host an Afternoon Tea Party
What to Serve at an Afternoon Tea
Traditionally afternoon tea has three courses. The first course consists of savoury elements such as crustless finger sandwiches followed by scones served with clotted cream and jam. The final course features sweet pastries such as small cakes and tarts. While you can use whatever plates and platters you have available, traditionally food for an afternoon tea is displayed on a three tiered caddy. I’ve linked a few pretty ones here!
Afternoon Tea vs High Tea
Afternoon tea is traditionally served on a lower table in the living room while high tea is offered at the dining table. If you are choosing to serve your afternoon tea in your dining room make sure to have comfortable seating to encourage conversation and allow guests to linger comfortably while sipping their tea.
What Type of Tea to Serve
I personally love all the different selections at David’s tea so I decided to serve a few loose leaf teas of different varieties to my guests. When choosing tea, make sure to consider teas that are both caffeinated and caffeine-free as well as a selection of sweeter and more earthy blends. Rather than brewing multiple pots of tea I recommend letting each guest choose their tea then brew it in their own cup.
How to Set the Mood for an Afternoon Tea
Setting the mood for your tea party begins with your invitations. A beautiful e-invitation or handwritten note is a great way to set the tone for the party and get your guests excited about the event. Other considerations when setting the mood include a pretty playlist for background music, a bouquet of flowers for the table and some delicate china to sip your tea from. The china set I used when I hosted my tea party actually belonged to my grandmother who passed away several years back. If you don’t own your own china, try borrowing a set from an older relative. They will likely be delighted to see their treasured tea set being put to good use.