How to Throw The Perfect Tea Party | Hosting Mother’s Day at Home

how to throw an afternoon tea

When I still lived in Philly, my sister and I created a tradition of taking our mom and both of our grandmothers to afternoon tea for Mother’s Day. Each year we would take them to a different hotel in the city that offered afternoon tea, and each year it was something we all looked forward to the most. Afternoon tea seems like a very complicated and posh affair because of the variety of offerings and the delicate china, but it doesn’t have to be. Today, I’m sharing a simple blueprint for how to throw the perfect tea party at home, complete with what to buy, how to serve and what to make for Mother’s day or just an afternoon with your girlfriends.

how to throw a tea party

how to throw a tea party, afternoon tea

mother's day brunch, how to throw a tea party

how to throw a tea party, make afternoon tea at home

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The Dishware

You don’t need fancy china to host a perfect tea party. You can make it work with just a few platters, appetizer plates, tea cups and champagne flutes. You also don’t need to serve individual teapots for each person. Ideally, two people can share one tea pot. I do love my tiered plate stand, which I received as a wedding gift, (currently 15% off with code MOM), but you don’t need it. Plus, there is something romantic  and sweet about having an eclectic dishware collection at a tea party. So if you don’t own a set of tea cups, stop by the local thrift shop and find a few “sister” cups.

The Menu

A good tea party should have a mix of savory and sweet options. When thinking of portions, I like to make sure each guest would be able to try everything twice. I also try to serve bite size goodies, so that knifes and forks are not needed. As I mentioned, you don’t need a tea kettle for each person, but I do like to serve at least two tea varieties, for example a black tea and a fruit, lighter tea. For champagne—currently this Mumm Napa Brut Rose is my favorite—I recommend a bottle per two people, but no judgement if you know you need more!

Blackberry Scones (Made from Trader Joe’s mix) served with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin Butter.

Latke or potato pancakes ( Trader Joe’s ready to serve) topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and garnished with dill

Genoa salami and havarti cheese topped with a sliver of avocado on multi-grain bread

Havarti cheese and genoa salami triangles served with a roma tomato and garnished with dill on multi-grain bread

Cucumber and cream cheese on multi-grain bread topped with a mint leaf

Assortment of miniature sweets ( Trader Joe’s frozen section)

Fresh strawberries

Homemade style chocolate chip cookies with macadamia nuts

I didn’t have to spend the entire day in the kitchen to throw a perfect little tea party to celebrate Mother’s day, or any other event. All it takes is a bit of imagination, a little prep and a whole lot of bubbly. 

Wishing you all a wonderful Mother’s day celebration.





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  • Reply Jennifer Corter May 13, 2017 at 4:24 PM

    What a beautiful spread!

  • Reply Camesha | Mama Motivator May 11, 2017 at 2:14 PM

    I want to be invited to this tea party! Everything looks so pretty and the menu sounds delicious!

  • Reply val May 11, 2017 at 8:41 AM

    SO pretty! And I LOVE sparkling rose! Perfect party in my book 🙂

  • Reply rachel May 10, 2017 at 6:45 PM

    This is the mothers day spread of my dreams!!!

  • Reply Amanda Maxwell May 10, 2017 at 1:34 PM

    Great tips!! As I am heading to Mexico on Mothers Day I will put this away for another occasions but love love love the ideas.

  • Reply Angel May 10, 2017 at 10:44 AM

    This would be perfect for Mother’s Day!

  • Reply Katrina + Every Super Woman May 10, 2017 at 9:18 AM

    This looks so lovely and so fancy. Now I want to have a tea party just because and make my little girl dreams come to fruition.

  • Reply Lacey May 10, 2017 at 6:24 AM

    This is such a beautiful presentation. I honestly don’t know if I have it in me to recreate this– but as a side note, if you’re ever in Indianapolis, you should check out the Cake Bake Shop. It’s this amazing cakery that had the cutest finger foods, cakes, pies, cookies, etc– and coffee (a MUST)– and your pictures reminded me of them. That’s totally a compliment, by the way.

  • Reply Stephanie Cox May 10, 2017 at 5:21 AM

    My bridal shower was a tea party. We had so much fun planning and even more fun enjoying ourselves.

  • Reply Krsyten May 9, 2017 at 8:19 PM

    This is my kind of tea party. I might do this for my friends and me for mother’s day! Especially the fizzy 😉

  • Reply Whitney May 9, 2017 at 6:41 PM

    What a beautiful spread! Such a great idea to use some mixes to lighten the load and be able to enjoy the party more.

  • Reply Corey | The Nostalgia Diaries May 9, 2017 at 3:28 PM

    What a fun idea! I should do this with my daughter on Mother’s Day!

  • Reply Eryn May 9, 2017 at 2:11 PM

    I love this idea! It will be such a fun thing to do with my daughter for her grandmas when she’s a bit older!

  • Reply Meg May 9, 2017 at 12:53 PM

    This looks lovely. I need to live closer to my mom so we could do this. Maybe I need to do one with some mom friends. 🙂

  • Reply Jessica Peresta May 9, 2017 at 11:20 AM

    This looks amazing! What an awesome idea!

  • Reply Casey May 9, 2017 at 9:48 AM

    Great food suggestions and beautiful setup!

  • Reply Jeanette May 9, 2017 at 7:54 AM

    Great post. Blackberry scones…how yum.

  • Reply sofiya makhnovetskaya May 9, 2017 at 6:36 AM

    Oh, such precious memories… One day we have that tradition back again!

  • Reply Jenn May 9, 2017 at 6:35 AM

    Looks Darling! I have a hidden love of finger foods!

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