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I have put together some of my favourite fuss free ways to host your very own afternoon tea party at home.
Decoration & Display
First things first, setting the scene. You’ll want to make sure you have enough space and tableware for all of your guests. If you’re lucky enough to be hosting the party on a sunny day then definitely take it outside, and if you don’t have a garden table large enough, then throwing down a blanket and serving it picnic style is great fun. Below are some of my favourite tableware pieces currently available on the high street.
Time for Tea
I like to have a selection of teas available for guests to choose from, tea, like wine, can compliment your food and there are so many ways you can be creative with this but Earl Grey and English breakfast tea are actually the most complimentary for cakes and sweet treats. However, I think it’s nice to offer some other refreshing teas as well, just to mix it up a bit.
Don’t forget, Champagne or Prosecco are of course, always welcome.
The Menu Afternoon tea does have a traditional menu of sandwiches, scones and cake, however feel free to add or change whatever you like. You could add salad, fruit, biscuits and pastries. There really aren’t any set rules. Below are the recipes that I personally like to use, I have based these around having 5 guests, so 6 people in total, and I would make all of the below for one afternoon tea party.
Sandwiches Tip: When serving sandwiches with your afternoon tea, it is customary to cut off the crusts. You can serve your sandwiches in fingers, triangles or you can even use a cookie cutter to cut out pretty shapes like hearts.
- 6 slices of white bread
- 3 x hard boiled eggs
- 1 tsp finely chopped Chives
- 2 tbsp Mayonnaise (Due to time and money I usually use a store bought version but there are lots of great recipes online for making your own)
Peel the eggs and place in a bowl, using a fork break up the eggs and then mix in the mayonnaise and the chives. You can also season with pepper if you like. Then spread the egg mayonnaise evenly onto one slice of bread, top with the other, cut off the crusts and then cut into your preferred shape. Repeat with the other 4 slices of bread. Place onto a nice plate for serving.
Cucumber & Cream Cheese
- 6 slices of white bread
- 3-4 tbsp cream cheese
- 15 slices of cucumber
Spread a tablespoon/and a half of cream cheese onto one slice of bread, layer cucumber slices on top, then the second slice of bread. Cut off the crusts and then into your preferred shape. Repeat with the other 4 slices of bread. Place onto a nice plate for serving.
As I am vegetarian these are my two favourite recipes to use but some other classic combinations are, Cheese & Chutney, Salmon & Cream Cheese, Coronation Chicken, and Ham & Mustard.
Classic British Scones
- 350g Self-raising flour
- 85g butter (room temperature)
- Pinch of salt
- 3 tbsp caster sugar
- 175ml milk
- 1 tsp vanilla extract
- 1 x egg beaten
- Jam & whipped or clotted cream to serve
- 5cm round cutter
Preheat the oven to 220 ℃. In a large bowl, mix together the flour, salt and butter, using your hands to mix until breadcrumbs form. Then, stir in the sugar, the vanilla extract and slowly add the milk, mixing until you have a soft dough.
Turn onto a lightly floured surface and gently knead, before rolling it out to a depth of about 3cm. Using a 5cm round cutter, cut out the scone shapes until all the dough is used and place onto a baking sheet.
Before placing in the oven, use the beaten egg to glaze the top of the scones. Then, place in the oven for 12-15 minutes, until they have risen and are golden. Place onto a cake stand ready to serve. Not forgetting to place the jam of your choice and clotted cream into bowls ready to serve along side the scones.
I also like to serve biscuits, fruit (usually strawberries) and little tea cakes along side the above. Either handmade or store bought. You can see the recipe for my homemade jammy heart biscuit here and below are my favourite biscuits to buy and serve for special occasions.
There you have it, everything you need to host the perfect afternoon tea party. I hope this has been a helpful guide and that you have lots of fun planning and preparing for your own. Please feel free to share any tips or feedback in the comments below.