Afternoon tea is known to be a very high-fashion and classy British affair. People all around the world are still participating in this fabulous tradition. Of course, there are plenty of options to dine out to enjoy high tea, but why not host your own this summer as a fun afternoon activity?! You can enjoy the outdoors by catching up with friends over delicious finger foods and sipping on tea… perhaps iced tea with our hot summers! 😊 Here’s some ideas to get you inspired to throw your very own garden tea party.
The tea is the main attraction, so you definitely want to deliver in this area! If your party is outdoors you may want to consider iced tea as a fun alternative. It’s always nice to have a refreshing drink under the sun. For a showstopper drink, I suggest using the magical Butterfly Pea Flower! This southeast Asia plant produces an all-natural blue hue dye. This flower’s most impressive quality is how its colour responds to acid. For example, adding lemon juice to it causes a colour shift from deep blue to vibrant purple! Here’s an easy recipe to create a delicious speciality tea for your party:
Butterfly Pea Flower Lemon Iced Tea Recipe
- Infuse 4 tablespoons of dried Butterfly Pea Flowers into 2 L of boiling water
- Steep for 5 mins
- Let it cool down
- Pour into a stylish heavy duty glass pitcher with ice cubes
- Let your guests pour their tea into their individual glasses. Add either a squeeze of lime juice or add lemonade to the butterfly pea tea to watch it change colours
- Optional: You can sweeten it even more with agave nectar or raw cane sugar
TIP: Use clear glasses to serve the Butterfly Pea Tea for a stunning visual. Your guest will not want to miss the visual aspect. The best choice for outdoor entertaining is acrylic glasses. These footed glasses worked perfectly.
A traditional English afternoon tea is served in three courses on a three-tiered stand. Each tier holds one course:
- First Course (Bottom Tier) – Sandwiches and Savories
The tea sandwiches, which is also known as finger sandwiches, are usually crustless and no bigger than two to three bites. Popular high tea sandwiches include Cucumber tea sandwiches (made with white bread, cream cheese, butter, and cucumbers) and Tuna sandwiches (made with grainy bread, tuna salad, and dill)
- Second Course (Middle Tier) – Scones, Biscuits, or Seasonal Breads
You will also want to have a couple different jams, clotted cream, and/or butter available on the table to serve with the scones during this second course. The Capri Embossed Melamine Platter is the perfect size for holding all your spreads
- Third Course (Top Tier) – Sweets
If you’re short on time, I would consider buying your sweets ahead of time. Sweets are usually the most time consuming and can be difficult to make at home. They do sit on the top tier, so having eye-catching sweets will really complete your stand!
THE SET UP
Your table setting is where it all comes together and sets the mood for the party!
The most important part of your setup will be the three-tiered stand. This will serve as your centrepiece and also where most of the action will be happening. The Circo 3-Tier Serving Platter is a great choice for hosting. It’s simple and elegant, and will match any table setting.
You’ll then need to set your table with beautiful vintage style plates. Fine china can be expensive and fragile in an outdoor setting, but there are other options to get a similar look. The Capri Collection at Kitchen Stuff Plus has a traditional look and will bring the perfect amount of charm to your table. Layering your plates and adding a placemat underneath will give more texture and dept to your table.
Lastly, flowers are a great way to add feminine charm to your table. If you’re doing a garden themed party, the more green the better! Add some potted plants or mini succulents to mix it up.
High tea is a classic tea event that can be simple or elaborate as you want to make it. There’s really no right or wrong way to do it, so just have fun with it! The possibilities are endless when it comes to hosting a unique afternoon tea party.