How To Host an Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea is an old tradition dating back to the early nineteeth century, but these days it's a fabulous excuse for getting everyone together. With dainty finger food to nibble on and plenty of good tea, it's no wonder we all love it so much! If you're planning on hosting an afternoon tea, here are some ideas for how to put it all together.


You'll need a tiered cake stand, or an afternoon tea stand. If you don't already own one, most good homeware shops will sell them as well as Amazon and eBay. You may also need a couple of addition cake stands too depending on how many people you're hosting for. Choose stands that come with a clear domed lid if you're planning on having your afternoon tea in the garden. Some teapots and teacups are also essential, for a cute rustic look you could find mismatched pieces from boot sales and charity shops. 


Sandwiches are an essential part of afternoon tea, but they should be a little more elegant than your regular lunchtime sarnie! Cut of the crusts and cut each sandwich twice creating three thin sandwich 'fingers'. This site reveals that some of the the most popular choices are smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and cream cheese and chicken mayonnaise. Wholemeal, granary and white bread can all be used- and so choose a bread that complements your filling. 


In addition to sandwiches, you could also serve some other savoury snacks too. These could be mini quiches, tarts or vol-au-vents filled with different things. You could really get creative here and go with whatever you wanted, the key is to just keeping it small. Everything should look pretty, and be take just a bite or two to eat. If you're stuck for ideas, you can find plenty of inspiration here.


Small, bitesized cakes are most commonly served with afternoon tea. You can make these yourself, or buy them from a nice supermarket such as Waitrose or Marks and Spencer. It could be mini cupcakes, macarons, little fruit tarts and small pieces of brownie cut into bitesized pieces. You could opt for a tier of mini scones on your stand too- and have some pots of jam, cream and butter on the table for people to help themselves. In addition, you could also bake a couple of larger cakes too depending on how many people you'll be serving.


When you're serving afternoon tea, you of course want plenty of tea available! Fill up a number of teapots and put little bowls of sugar, milk or cream for people to make their own perfect cup. If you're hosting your afternoon tea in the summer time, you could opt for iced tea and jugs of Pimms with plenty of chopped fruit!

Have you ever hosted an afternoon tea?

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