10 Ideas for your Afternoon Tea Party
Whether it is for a special Birthday treat, a Baby Shower or your wedding breakfast, if you are planning an Afternoon Tea Party you'll be looking for quirky ideas to delight your guests and make them feel like a princess for the day.
Here are 10 things you need to think about when planning your event. We have scoured Pinterest to collate our favourite ideas and recipes for you. Follow us on Pinterest to get the latest ideas direct to your home page.
Set the mood with beautiful Vintage China
We can't help being biased, but when it comes to an Afternoon Tea Party there are probably 2 ways to go, quirky for example with an Alice in Wonderland Theme, or Vintage and that adds a wonderfully old fashioned touch of elegance to the event. If you are looking at our sites, you are probably already thinking about having a Vintage Theme.
Pretty China decorated with beautiful flowers, in romantic colours, already adds a touch of interest to your table before you add any food to it. Take a look at our gallery for an idea of the China we have available to hire within the East Midlands.
Add unique place cards
Unless it is an intimate Afternoon Tea Party for a handful of close friends or family who all know each other, place cards showing your guests where to sit are a good idea.
With a bit of forethought they can be something special that your guests will want to take away as a memento of the day. Or, they could be something edible to be enjoyed at the Afternoon Tea Party. Either way we have collated our favourites on our Pinterest Page.
Flowers on the table
While it can be expensive to have specially made arrangements from a florist, there are lots of ways to "do it yourself" when it comes to flowers arrangements. For a Tea Party small and quirky is definitely the way to go, as you don't want anything that gets in the way of passing the cake stand round.
You don't need to have expensive vases, in fact using Jam Jars or Coffee Jars (Douwe Egberts are a great shape for this) with a piece of vintage looking ribbon or lace round the middle, make a fabulous shabby chic flower vase. You can also get creative and use old cups or teapots if you have spares.
Give your guests a choice of Teas
There are so many different types of tea available now you can, if you choose to, have a menu just for different teas! However, personally I think this works best if you have people serving at the event as if people want different types of teas it takes time to organise, and means you miss out on sitting down and joining the party.
Whether you serve a menu of teas or just the one kind, our guide to how to make the perfect cup of tea will ensure what you serve is just right.
Sugar cube art is a real thing, and it is a great way to add pretty little touches to your table. You can either make your own in different colours, flavours and shapes, or if you aren't feeling that creative, you can buy beautifully decorated sugar cubes ready made.
Take a look at our Pinterest page for guides on how to make or where to buy. After all, plain sugar cubes are just so square!
Sandwiches that look too good to eat
The proverbial cucumber sandwich maybe quintessentially English but there is no excuse for boring at your Afternoon Tea. The only rule to sandwiches for a Tea Party are small and delicate - it's a no doorstop zone! Other than that you can get really creative with different shapes cut out with cookie cutters, open sandwiches, pin wheels rolls, edible flowers to make them look pretty. We have collated some of the most delicious looking recipes we can find on Pinterest for you
Traditionally an Afternoon Tea has 3 food courses; Sandwiches, Scones and Cakes. However, you want your event to be special so providing a choice of savouries with your sandwiches can be a great way of providing extra variety for your guests. Again, though, you only want items that are small and delicate, preferably bite sized portions. There are lots of recipes available on blogging sites but try to ensure that you have a variety of dishes for vegetarians and those on special diets too. The great thing about serving savouries alongside your sandwiches is that they can be made the day before whereas your sandwiches must be made just before.
Scones with Jam and Clotted Cream are an essential part of an Afternoon Tea. Don't forget to serve warm with a knife, and plan ahead so that you have bowls of Jam, Cream and Butter ready to put out.
If you are looking for a twist though, or as part of your savoury selection, why not serve a savoury scone?
One of my favourite recipes is from www.dairydiary.co.uk and it never fails to make light, tasty Chorizo and Cheddar scones.
Self-raising flour 225g (8oz)
Butter 50g (2oz)
Cheddar cheese 50g (2oz), grated
Chorizo 40g (1½oz), chopped
Milk 150ml (¼ pint) plus extra to glaze
1 Preheat oven to 230°C(210°fan)/450°F/Gas 8. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
2 Sift flour into a large bowl, then rub in butter until it resembles fine breadcrumbs.
3 Stir cheese and chorizo into flour. Then add milk and mix to a soft but not sticky dough.
4 Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth.
5 Roll out to 2cm (¾in) thick and cut out rounds with a 7.5cm (3in) circular cutter. Repeat until dough is used up.
6 Place on baking sheet and brush tops with milk. Bake for 12-15 minutes until well risen and golden. Cool slightly on a wire rack. Serve warm or cold.
Let them eat Cake!
Let's face it, as much time and thought as goes into the sandwiches, savouries and scones, the cake is the main event at any Afternoon Tea Party. You need to allow at least 3 cakes per person, and I would suggest that you have a cupcake, a sponge cake such as a Victoria Sponge or Lemon Drizzle type, a tart such as a fruit or lemon, and a small sweet treat. Posh hotels do glasses with mousses or jellies which are a refreshing palette cleanser but can be fiddly to make at home. Small treats like chocolate covered fruits work equally as well. We have whole boards on Pinterest dedicated to Cupcakes, Sponge Cakes, and Afternoon Tea treats and we update them regularly so you'll always be able to find the trendiest ideas by following our page.
Pitchers of drinks
Although it's an Afternoon Tea Party, if you are holding it on a hot day, people may want an alternative to cups of tea. With a bit of imagination jugs of drinks can become a work of art, whether they are soft drinks or a little bit naughty (we aren't judgy here at Vintage HQ). Try Raspberry Lemonade but plan ahead and freeze fresh raspberries in the icecubes to give the effect of them floating in the drink while keeping it chiled, or a big jug of Pimms with lots of cucumber, orange and mint.