Afternoon tea is a British tradition dating back to the 19th century and is one of the most popular themed parties today. Whether for a bridal shower, birthday party or Sunday afternoon with friends, a high tea party never disappoints. Traditionally, high tea is served from mid to late afternoon and includes an assortment of finger sandwiches, scones, cookies and sweets. It’s the perfect way to celebrate any occasion big or small! Take a look at our favourite high tea recipes and ideas for throwing an epic party!
How to Throw an Epic High Tea Party
1. Offer an Assortment of Teas
Offer an assortment of tea flavours in both looseleaf and tea bag options. Black teas such as English Breakfast and Earl Grey are always popular, but be sure to have caffeine-free, herbal teas available as well. Chamomile and Peppermint are always a hit! Accompany the tea selection with cream, milk, sugar and lemon to ensure all your guests are happy.
2. Create Your Menu
A selection of light bites is just as important as tea for your high tea party! Put together a menu of finger sandwiches, scones, sweets and pretty much anything bite-sized. We’ve rounded up a selection of high tea recipes below to inspire you!
3. Decorate Accordingly
For a high tea party, your table will be the star of the show. Make sure it’s laid out with clean linens and your most special cutlery, plates, glasses and bowls. You’ll want to have your teapot, teacups, saucers and spoons out and set your small bites up on a tiered cake stand. Flowers are a great way to add a touch of elegance to your high tea party.
4. Set the Dress Code
For a truly epic high tea party, set the dress code to “semi-formal” or “garden party”and encourage your guests to dress in bright colours, pretty dresses and florals. And of course, fascinator hats and statement gloves would be a great addition.
5 High Tea Party Essentials to Invest In
1. Stovetop Tea Kettle
This ROCKURWOK Tea Kettle comes in 3 different colours and it’s perfect for an aesthetic high tea party. It’s made with high quality stainless steel and a solid wood handle and lid so you can grab and pour it without worrying about burns. All your guests are sure to love it!
2. Electric Tea Kettle
Another option for boiling your water is an electric kettle. These tend to be taller and can fit more water, so depending on the size of your party, may be more suitable for your needs. The COSORI Kettle boils water in 3 to 7 minutes so you don’t have to wait long for refills.
Once your water is boiled you’ll need a teapot to steep your tea. This “royal” ceramic teapot is ideal for a high tea party! It comes in 6 different colours and was designed with the British royal style in mind. It’s equipped with a deep stainless steel infuser and has good heat preservation to keep your tea warm and enhance the taste.
4. Teacup and Saucer Set
Pretty teacups and saucers are a must for a high tea party. This porcelain floral tea set features gold trim and is perfect for mix and match. The cups and saucers are dishwasher safe so they’re easy to wash post-tea party.
5. Tiered Cake Stand
Along with tea, of course your high tea party will have food. Small bites are typical for high tea, whether it’s finger sandwiches, scones or shortbread cookies. A tiered cake stand is a very royal way to serve your delicious bites. This one features durable porcelain, a glittering gold trim and a pumpkin shaped style design that just screams high tea.
40 High Tea Recipes to Inspire You
1. Cucumber Sandwiches | Spend With Pennies
2. Lemon Glazed Earl Grey Scones | The Food Blog
3. Easy Bacon Cheddar Egg Bites | Kay’s Clean Eats
4. Easy Ham and Cheese Tea Sandwiches | Oh How Civilized
5. The Perfect Cup of British Style Tea | Food
6. Almond Scones with Cinnamon and Vanilla | The Spruce Eats
7. Shortbread Cookies | Preppy Kitchen
8. Mini Lemon Blueberry Cheesecakes | Live Well Bake Often
9. Mini Lemon Meringue Pies | Delicious
10. Smoked Salmon Tea Sandwiches | Momsdish
11. Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches | Oh How Civilized
12. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies | Sugar and Soul
13. Berry Tartlets | Taste of Home
14. Lemon Drizzle Scones with Lemon Curd | Delicious
15. English Tea Sandwiches | Preppy Kitchen
16. Lemon Bars with Shortbread Crust | Sally’s Baking Recipes
17. Mini Cinnamon Rolls | Wood and Spoon
18. Salmon and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches | The Spruce Eats
19. Banana Muffins with Chocolate Chips | Inspired Taste
20. Cucumber Avocado Tea Sandwiches with Dill and Mint | Post Punk Kitchen
21. Earl Grey Shortbread Cookies with Lemon Glaze | Kitchen Konfidence
22. Cucumber and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches | Taste of Home
23. Gluten Free Rose and Pistachio Cake | Delicious
24. Crab Salad Tea Sandwiches | You Betcha Can Make This
25. Glazed Lemon Drop Cookies | Barefeet in the Kitchen
26. Mini Chicken Pot Pies | Sugar Salt Magic
27. Mini Lemon Raspberry Cakes | Taste
28. Mini Pink Lemon Baked Donuts | The Missing Lokness
29. Tuna Salad Tea Sandwiches | Eat Smarter
30. Classic Devilled Eggs | NYT Cooking
31. Smoked Salmon Wraps | All Recipes
32. Lemon Cranberry Scones with Lemon Glaze | Food Network
33. Almond Biscotti | Taste of Home
34. Cheese and Onion Scones | Australia’s Best Recipes
35. French Macarons | Sally’s Baking Recipes
36. Lavender Tea Bread | All Recipes
37. Mini Pecan Pies | Food Network
38. Nutty Chicken Sandwiches | Australia’s Best Recipes
39. Dulce de Leche Caramel Tarts | Rock Recipes
40. Easy London Fog | Oh How Civilized
An afternoon high tea party is such a special and elegant way to celebrate any occasion. Use our ideas and recipes to throw an elegant high tea soirée your guests will love!
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