How to Host an Afternoon Tea

Giving a tea is one of those simple things
that can seem really intimidating the first time
hosting a tea for family or friends
doesn’t have to be difficult…

Just a little dessert tea or a “light tea.”
There are a few simple things to do to ensure
your tea is a success and that you aren’t
over-stressed the day of the event:


Plan your menu at least a week in advance ~ 
Write a list of any ingredients or foods you’ll need
from the grocery store or farmer’s market
and pick up early.
Remember to have a selection of tea bags on hand
if you plan on each person choosing their own tea
at your tea party.
If you are pairing your menu with your teas
choose loose-leaf tea blends that will compliment
each of your courses.

Ceylon blends are full-bodied black teas that
compliment most menus
especially heartier meats and sandwiches.
Assam blends are also black teas {contain caffeine; also
called a black tea for the way it is processed}
Green teas and white teas go through a different
processing and lighter teas.
Have one tea for the scone course or keep 
the same for your tea sandwiches and
main meal then switch to another type
like peach or perhaps a rose tea
{really not a tea at all but rather a “tisane” ~ a blend of herbs, spices, flowers or fruit}
to go with the dessert course.


Send out invitations a month ahead of the tea party
if you are mailing or handing out invitations.
Ask on the invitations that invitees 
RSVP by a certain date,
usually by a week prior.
Any last minute cancellations should be
called in to the hostess as soon as possible
as a courtesy.
Buy, print off, or make and stamp your 
personalized invitations.
Your invitations can be a real treat for
each recipient and make everyone excited
to be coming to your event!
Plus, invitations can be coordinated
with your…


Decide what you’d like your theme to be
if you are having one.
Choose your table’s colors, the napkins
and dishes and glassware you’d like to share
with your guests.

If this is a children’s tea, then the theme
will be easy to think up.
Birthday teas for children are a lot of fun
with piñatas and storybook character actors
brought in for the event.
Any juices or punch
even lemonade make a wonderful “tea”
for children.

It never matters what is in the cup, it’s the lovely time together that counts.

Barb Chapman 🙂


Take the stress away by doing as much before
the day of the tea as possible:

Set the table a day or two before and spread
a clean sheet overtop to keep dust and
flying particles off your lovely place settings.
Set out glassware the morning of as you
remove the top sheet.

Bake cakes and scones on the weekend before the tea,
let cool, then wrap well in plastic wrap and freeze.
Pull out these baked goods the morning of the event
to warm up to room temperature.
Scones can be reheated for 8-10 minutes
at 325 degrees to warm up just before
company arrives for the first course
{at our teas, we always had scones, clotted cream and jams and
lemon curd as our first course then our sandwiches.  
Traditionally, scones are really a dessert but we considered them
our appetizer ~ totally up to you.}

Cakes frost better when really cold so this 
will be to your advantage. Frost the cake
when it is just out of the freezer.

All photos taken with my iPhone ~ fabric napkins created from fabric found at Hobby Lobby.


Relax and enjoy the process and your company.
By having your desserts precooked, the sandwich fixings
prepared ahead the day before, and your loose-leaf 
tea tins set out on the counter 
{or teabags on a tea cart or set on the buffet near your dining table}
next to your teapot for brewing water,
you will be ready to go the next morning 
knowing there is not much left to do.

Happy tea, Everyone!

Sharing with
Blogging Fifty
Inspire Me Monday ~ Create With Joy
Monday Social ~ My Heart Lives Here
Tuesday Cup of Tea ~ Antiques and Teacups
Talk of the Town ~ Love My Simple Home
Wow Us Wednesday ~ Savvy Southern Style

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