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Throwing an Afternoon Tea Party - Ideas & Inspiration

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Whether you’re celebrating a birthday, holding an engagement party, or just relaxing with friends, an afternoon tea party is always welcome. Here are some tips for holding a memorable afternoon tea party!


Start off with some invitations to get your guests ready for a leisurely tea party. The Card Gallery has a great range of vintage and modern designs, available with personalised wording or as ready-to-write cards. Just add your own details. Afternoon Tea Party Invitations Ideas and Inspiration Featured Designs: 'Tea Pot Tea Party Invitation' and 'Watercolour Bird & Teacup Tea Party Invitation'

Setting the Table

To make a truly special afternoon tea party, invest in fine china crockery; you can usually find some in charity and antique shops. You can purchase a matching set if you want a coordinated look, but it’s not a necessity. Mismatched cups, teapots, and saucers in complimenting combinations are very trendy! For a special touch, replace standard spoons and forks with cutlery that has engraving on the handles. Crockery for an Afternoon Tea Party Pair the crockery with napkins and lace doilies on top of a vintage chic table cloth. You could spend more for a proper antique, or choose a modern fabric with a vintage pattern. Florals are a big favourite! If you want a tea party with a contemporary twist, choose a stylishly minimalist pattern. Check out this lace tablecloth by Emma Barclay. Lace Afternoon Tea Party Ideas for Tablecloth by Amazon Finish off with some bunting – this looks especially good if you’re having a garden party and want something to liven up the fence! If you’re holding your party outside, you might want to consider sun parasols for your guests. You can spread confetti on the table if you're holding a party indoors. Afternoon Tea Party Bunting Inspiration Featured Design: 'Hydrangea Afternoon Tea Birthday Bunting'

Food and Drink

Now that you’re ready to receive guests, it’s time to think about the main event – the tea itself! Everyone has different tastes, so it’s a good idea to have a selection of teas, from classic black teas to fruits and herbals. If you’re feeling posh, use tea leaves and strainers rather than bags. A jug of milk and a bowl with brown and white sugar should also be provided. Also, serve cold drinks like fresh fruit juice... or even a drop of Prosecco! Afternoon Tea Party food and drink inspiration Next, it’s time to get baking! Afternoon tea traditionally includes scones with jam and cream, along with a selection of cakes and biscuits. There are plenty of recipes out there, so you can find something to suit your guests’ tastes. Or you can simply buy fresh confectionery from a local bakery. Afternoon tea is usually a lighter occasion than high tea, but you should still serve a few sandwiches along with the sweet treats. Choose classic fillings like cucumber and cheese, or go all out with luxury recipes, like this summer spread from BBC Good Food. Selection of summer sandwiches from BBC Good Food As a final step, don’t forget to thank your guests for coming with a thank you card! Afternoon Tea Party Thank You Card Featured Design: 'Teapots & Roses Thank You Cards'