outdoor tea party

How To Throw An English Tea Party


There's something undeniably charming and timeless about an English tea party. Whether you love everything vintage or want to host an elegant and sophisticated gathering, a British tea party can be the perfect solution.

But with so many different elements to consider, from selecting the perfect tea blends to creating an authentic menu, planning and hosting an English tea party can seem daunting.

In this blog post, we'll guide you through the critical steps to throwing an unforgettable English tea party that will impress your guests.

How Do You Host An English Tea Party?

Hosting an English tea party is like embracing the British tea culture's cherished traditions and elegant customs. From the carefully chosen decorations to the adherence to proper tea party etiquette, each element contributes to an unforgettable experience.

Setting The Scene

high tea setup

It is a good idea to start by adorning your space with enchanting English tea party decorations to create an authentic ambiance. Choose floral patterns, vintage-inspired tablecloths, and dainty teacups and saucers. 

This will bring the charm of a traditional English tea to life. These fascinating details will give your guest a touch of elegance and refinement.

Add a touch of elegance with lace doilies, fresh flowers in teapots or vases, and perhaps even a bunting banner in pastel hues. Enhance the atmosphere by playing soft classical music in the background, transporting guests to the refined world of British tea traditions.

Tea Party Etiquette

English Afternoon Tea Set


Tea party etiquette is crucial to hosting a memorable English tea gathering. One of the critical considerations is providing a variety of teas to cater to different preferences. While black tea is a staple in British tea culture, offering a selection of other teas, such as green, herbal, or fruit-infused options, adds a delightful twist to the experience.

Additionally, serving English tea with milk is a cherished tradition that allows guests to personalize their cup of tea to their liking. Whether it's a splash of milk or a generous pour, providing this accompaniment ensures that everyone can enjoy their tea the way they prefer.

To elevate the tea experience, it is essential to brew the tea to perfection. Pay attention to the recommended brewing times for each type of tea, allowing the flavors to develop fully. Using quality loose-leaf tea and infusers or tea bags of good quality will enhance the taste and aroma. 

When serving the tea, opt for elegant teapots that keep the tea hot and add a touch of sophistication to the table. As the host, pour the tea gently and gracefully, allowing each guest to experience the fragrant steam and savor the revitalizing cup.

Embracing the etiquettes of serving a variety of fine teas and ensuring they are brewed and presented with care, you create an atmosphere of appreciation for the tea itself and honor the customs of English tea traditions.

The Art of Tea Time

outdoor afternoon tea set


Proper English tea is an experience steeped in traditional English tea. Encourage your guests to embrace the ritual by serving tea in the correct order with an etiquette tea party.

Start with savory items, such as sandwiches or bite-sized pastries, before progressing to scones served with clotted cream and jam.

Finally, conclude the tea party with delicate sweets like petit fours or cakes. Encourage chats and create an inviting atmosphere that allows everyone to relax, savor their tea, and enjoy the company of each tea lover.

What Are The Types Of English Tea Parties?

cozy tea party

Afternoon tea, often known as "low tea," is a delightful tradition in the afternoon, typically enjoyed at a low table in the living room, similar to a coffee or tea table. 

It follows a set of established afternoon tea etiquette guidelines to create an atmosphere of refinement. While it is generally less formal than high tea, it can still be an occasion of elegance during British tea time.

In contrast to low tea, "high tea" is served at a dining or higher table, offering a more substantial food selection. It provides an opportunity to embrace high tea etiquette, which may include tiny snacks, sandwiches, cakes, and pastries.

High tea is a wonderful option for those seeking a slightly more substantial meal while still enjoying the delightful ambiance of an afternoon tea gathering.

One variation of the afternoon tea experience is a "cream tea," which prominently features scones and clotted cream. This delightful combination is a quintessential aspect of traditional English tea and adds a touch of indulgence to the affair. 

Served alongside a steaming cup of tea, cream tea offers a delectable treat that perfectly complements the relaxed and convivial atmosphere of an afternoon tea party.

For those seeking an extra touch of luxury, adding champagne or sherry to the tea transforms the experience into a "royal tea." This addition lends an air of sophistication and celebration, elevating the gathering to a regal affair. 

Sipping on the effervescence of champagne or the rich sweetness of sherry alongside the aromatic brew of tea adds an element of grandeur to the occasion. This creates a truly memorable and royal tea experience.

Start Your Tea Party Experience

pastel high tea setup

For your upcoming English tea party, start by setting the stage with elegance and sophistication. Enhance the beauty of your tables for a proper English tea by adorning them with round linen tablecloths that exude a sense of refinement.

Pair them with linen napkins folded into intricate designs, to add a touch of class to each place setting. To elevate the overall aesthetic, consider using table overlays that feature delicate lace or shimmering sequins, creating a stunning visual impact. 

Complete the polished look by dressing up your chairs with chair covers that seamlessly coordinate with the color scheme of your tea party. Add a touch of flair with chair sashes tied in graceful bows secured with charming chair sash buckles

With these exquisite details, your tea party will exude an air of sophistication, entertaining your guests with English tea traditions.

We also have a great idea for your Easter Tea Party Brunch!

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