How to Host The Perfect High Tea Party

Looking for ideas for how to host an afternoon tea party at home? This post breaks down everything you need to host a high tea party for adults or kids with an easy to follow shopping list and serving ideas.

how to throw a tea party, afternoon tea

How to Host Afternoon Tea Party

When I still lived in Philly, my sister and I created a tradition of taking our mom and both of our grandmothers to an 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.

how to throw a tea party

How to Plan a Tea Party for Adults

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.

What you serve at your high tea party or what is the menu for high tea is all up to you.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.

How to Set the Table for Afternoon Tea

how to throw an afternoon tea

To properly host an adult tea party, each person needs a tea cup with a saucer, a small appetizer plate, a champagne flute if you’re serving sparkling wine, a napkin and utensils.

This tea set is beautiful and perfect for afternoon tea.

Even though you are serving finger foods a knife and fork may come in handy for spreading butters or eating delicate desserts, and of course a spoon to stir in sugar or cream.

Every tea attendant also needs their own small tea kettle. You could also have two or three people share a kettle or just have several large tea kettles brewed with a variety of tea options. I love this one with the built in infuser for easy tea service.

If you don’t own a set of tea cups, stop by the thrift shop and find a few complimentary tea cups and saucers or keep it simple with all white china.

I do love serving tea sandwiches and treats on a tiered stand, I think it brings a lot of style and elegance to the table setting.

Menu Ideas for Afternoon Tea Party

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

A good tea party should have a mix of savory and sweet options. 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.

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

When thinking of portions, I like to make sure each guest would be able to try everything twice.

For champagne, I recommend a bottle per two people, but no judgement if you know you need more!

This is also helpful if you’re hosting a tea party for a large group.

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My Easy Menu for this High Tea Party

  • Blackberry Scones —Made from Trader Joe’s mix, se rved with Trader Joe’s Pumpkin butter or Fig butter.
  • Latke or potato pancakes—Trader Joe’s ready to serve topped with smoked salmon, sour cream and garnished with dill.
  • Cheese & Salami Sandwiches—Genoa salami and Havarti cheese topped with a sliver of avocado on multi-grain bread
  • Cheese Sandwiches—Havarti cheese  triangles served with a slice of roma tomato and garnished with dill on multi-grain bread
  • Cucumber Sandwiches—served with cream cheese on multi-grain bread topped with a mint leaf
  • Assortment of miniature sweets —Trader Joe’s frozen section or pick up a few from your local bakery.
  • Fresh strawberries —or other fresh fruit
  • Cookies—chocolate chip or oatmeal or any other tea cookie you may like.
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More High Tea Menu Item Ideas

  • Muffins
  • Quiche
  • Mini pancakes and caviar
  • Macarons
  • Tart
  • Croissants
  • Cupcakes
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Theme Ideas for Hosting an Adult Tea Party

  • The short answer, is anything you want. You could exchange gifts, you could make vision boards you can relax and simply enjoy each other’s company or you can try and read your tea leaves with this little guide.
  • Another great way to have a great time together is to make cocktails. Instead of traditional champagne switch it up with this fun drink!
  • Have everyone dress up with a fascinator for an old school English tea party
  • Host a baby shower or wedding shower event.
  • Have boozy tea party prohibition era style and have everyone dress in 1920s style and share flasks to add bourbon to their teas.
  • Add karaoke to your afternoon tea for a fun day of singing and dancing.