Celebrate a shower or springtime get-together with a charming afternoon tea.
There are three traditional types of afternoon tea: cream tea, light tea, and full tea. We’ve outlined what's included with each and gathered some easy-to-make, yet sure-to-impress recipes to help ensure it's a success. Plus, we’ve included a couple suggestions to help ease preparations—so you can enjoy the party as much as your guests.
Originating from Southwest England, a cream tea is one of the simplest of tea parties. Serve an assortment of teas along with warm scones and your choice of toppings.
We recommend you pick at least three different tea varieties to offer your guests. One option should be a decaf tea. Selecting one or two of your personal favorites is your prerogative, but herbal teas, fruit-flavored teas, green teas, and mint teas are popular. Remember to offer milk, sugar, and honey.
Whether you are serving a Cream Tea, Light Tea, or Full Afternoon Tea, scones are a must-have on the menu. Serve scones with spreadable butter and jam. If you offer more than one type of scone, think about variety. Scones can be savory or sweet. Here are three scone recipes which are sure to delight.
A Light Tea will often pair tea and scones with other sweet delights. Bite-sized cakes and mouthwatering tartlets are appropriate in this setting and always a big hit. They also provide an opportunity to showcase a variety of colors, flavors, and textures.
Cakes should be made available in individual portions. You can either present your cakes as cupcakes or cut them into individual, bite-size portions. Avoid messy cakes, opting instead for light and delicate.
A Full Tea offers the most variety, combining sweet with savory. It usually includes an assortment of teas, scones, pastries, and appetizers. Many tea party hosts will agree that the greater the selection, the more guests will eat. So be sure to make enough for everyone, and then make some extra.
If you decide to use sandwiches with a spread, you can save yourself a lot of stress by preparing your fillings ahead of time. Then refrigerate them in an air tight container for use later. You can mix and match bread with your filling, and we recommend you spread butter on inside of sandwiches to avoid dryness. As an extra touch, we like to use a serrated knife to cut off the bread crust and create individual triangles, squares, or rectangles. You can also serve a delicious quiche. They are simple to prepare and full of flavor.
We hope this helps distinguish the different varieties of tea spreads you could host. If this is your first tea party, you could start simple and let your guests know it will be a cream tea or a light tea party. But whatever you end up doing, we hope it makes memories and is a special time with friends or family.