Worldwide, high tea is associated with England. It was “invented” in the 1840s by Anna Maria Russell, a friend of Queen Victoria.
Known in Britain as afternoon tea, this meal is usually eaten around 4pm or between lunch and dinner time.
Are you hoping to learn how to throw a tea party even the Queen of England would be jealous of? Read on to learn everything that is essential at a high tea party.
1. Don’t Skimp on Cutlery, Plates, and Cake Stands
If you’re fancy, then you’ll have a beautiful tea set all ready to go in your cupboard. However, many of us need to buy one ready for our tea party.
Beautiful porcelain tea sets make a table look stunning and add that extra fancy flair to your tea party.
As well as a tea set, you should also make sure to buy a three-tier cake stand, a larger centerpiece cake stand, and a matching plate set (or you can improvise!)
Plate sets should include larger plates for sandwiches and every person should have their own smaller plate and cutlery.
The beauty of afternoon tea is that almost everything you eat is finger food. But, you should have smalle cake forks, a serving, knife and teaspoons.
2. Decorations Set the Scene
Now, set up your dining room. This may involve stringing up beautiful bunting, setting the table with teacups and saucers as well as laying down doilies and napkins.
You should also have laid the table with a tablecloth and even place names so people know where they should sit.
3. Get the Drinks Right
If you truly want a British tea party then having the right tea is essential. Brits love their English Breakfast and Earl Grey tea so focus on these.
However, having a selection of other teas such as loose leaf and fruit tea is more inclusive.
Keep it simple to avoid running to and from the kettle. Traditionally, this means no hot chocolate or coffee.
If you’re celebrating an occasion (such as an engagement, a bachelorette party or a baby shower), then don’t forget a few glasses of champagne or prosecco.
This works well with the afternoon tea and moves it from kids party to adult occasion.
4. Keep Food Sophisticated and Simple
High tea should be a delicious spread which works as a delightful snack in the afternoon. So, hot food isn’t on the cards (unless you intend on warming up some scones!)
This is great as it means food can be prepared a little in advance, saving you from cooking while your guests are in the house. A list of foods to prepare are:
- Sandwiches – cucumber is a Royal favorite, salmon and crab are also a fancy choice. Having a selection of sandwiches ensures everyone is happy.
- Different types of cakes – you’ve seen the three-tier cake stand, now it’s time to fill it. Buying food in will save you time!
- Scones – these are quick to make and are delicious served warm with clotted cream and jam.
- Fruit – dot around strawberries and raspberries for aesthetics. Everyone will be filling up on cake!
Finally, why not bake a large, homemade Victoria sponge and cover it in cream and strawberries? Place this cake in the middle of the table for beautiful effect.
5. For a High Tea Party Have a Dress Code
Ask everyone to dress up for your tea party to truly get into the spirit of a British afternoon tea.
Think classy summery dresses and linen suits. This isn’t mandatory but, it will take a regular afternoon gathering and turn it into a tea party!
How to Throw a Tea Party? It’s Simple!
Once you’ve thrown your first, you’ll know how to throw a tea party! So long as you have enough tea and cake for everyone, you’ve done well.
The small touches are what make a tea party special. Better yet, such an event at your home can help you save money during special occasions.
Need other money saving tips? Check out our 5 Ways to Cut Wedding Costs.