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5 ideas for the perfect afternoon tea

5 ideas for the perfect afternoon tea

Planning an afternoon tea party? 

Whether you’re celebrating a big birthday or another special occasion, sharing great conversation over freshly brewed tea could perfectly complement the occasion. 

No matter your usual style, it’s worth learning how afternoon tea could enhance your next occasion. In this article, we’ve explained how to seamlessly include an afternoon tea in your celebrations.

What is afternoon tea?

This popular British pastime involves indulging in a delightful spread of savoury and sweet treats, typically served alongside hot and cold beverages. In a hotel or restaurant setting, expect three-tiered plates displaying beautiful presentation of your cakes, scones and cookies.

If you’re throwing your own party, it’s worth getting familiar with some of the most popular afternoon tea recipes. You don’t have to be a professional chef to put together a lovely afternoon tea, and you’d be surprised to see just how delightful your kitchen creations could be. 

Getting the prep right is important though, so we’ve covered some key points to help you plan below.

5 top tips for the perfect afternoon tea

  1. Get the right equipment

You can’t serve afternoon tea in just any old porcelain dishes. You’ll need some fancy tableware and a creative eye to make your party feel authentic. 

From fine china to your best crockery, it’s worth trying to show your guests that you truly care about the experience. Make it extra special with stylish lighting, table centres or floral displays with a nod to the time and season.

  1. Make it personal

You don’t need to go overboard on the decorations, but you’ll need to set the scene. For a classic British festive vibe, try dressing your table with a tablecloth and string up some bunting.

If you’re hosting your party in spring or summer, you might choose to host your party outside. Make sure to set up a table and chairs, with some tablecloths or covers to protect your furniture from the elements. On chilly evenings, soft blankets or heat lamps make a useful addition.

  1. Provide some entertainment

You can’t throw a party without a little bit of entertainment. Whether you set up a karaoke machine or play some charades, there are so many ways to keep the tone light-hearted and make sure that everyone has a good time.

It’s worth choosing an activity that you know everyone would love. If you’re looking for some giggles and suspense, you can play bingo at home in real time, streaming the gameplay through a projector or big screen to keep the spirit strong.

  1. Design a menu

Before you prepare any food, it’s worth asking your guests about their preferences and requirements. Where possible, you should try to create a spread that all your guests can indulge in. However, if you have one or two guests with a specific allergy or intolerance, it could be wise to keep their dishes separate. 

Traditionally, an afternoon tea menu includes sandwiches with classic fillings like egg and cress, cucumber and herbs, or smoked salmon and cream cheese. You should also include sweet snacks like scones, served with jam and clotted cream, plus cakes and baked goods.

  1. Go against tradition

Lastly, classic afternoon tea is quintessentially British, but you can challenge the status quo. 

If you’d like to celebrate culinary heritage, for example, why not host an Asian-fusion inspired afternoon tea, or perhaps one with an Italian twist? From maki rolls to cannoli, the smallest substitutions could give your afternoon tea a distinct theme. The world is your teacup.

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