I finally did it. Do you know how long I’ve been talking about doing this? Since forever. I hosted afternoon tea. And you know what, it was a lot easier than I thought it was going to be. It took 2 shopping trips (because apparently Trader Joe’s doesn’t believe in selling whole vanilla beans) and about 8 hours of kitchen prep spread across two days (which would be way easier in a kitchen with an island, but welcome to the Trinity lifestyle).
Here are some tips and recipes for you to host afternoon tea in your home –
What People Can Bring
I decided that it would be fun to have everybody bring a different kind of tea. At the end of the party I gave everyone a Ziploc bag and they got to fill it with whatever tea they wanted to take home. It was a fun way to get to try multiple teas without having to buy them all myself.
What To Serve
I kept it relatively simple. I made –
- strawberry shortcake (I made 12 biscuits instead of 6)
- mini vanilla bean scones (I recommend baking these in a cool kitchen, or at least one less cool than 80 degrees)
- homemade blueberry muffins
- salmon & cucumber sandwiches (it says to cut each slice of bread in halves, I cut it in quarters), and
- red velvet cupcakes (I waited for this mix to go on sale to buy it).
I heated up a kettle of water and told everybody to go to town. I also made a pot of Indian chai, which was pretty delicious, if I do say so myself.
Tips for Your Party
- Make sure to give everyone small cups so they can try more than one type of tea during the party.
- Make one of each type of pastry per person: one cupcake, one strawberry shortcake, one muffin, one cupcake – and a few tea sandwiches to balance all of the sweet food.
- Make the pastries ahead of time so the oven hasn’t been running all morning before people arrive. It’s really easy to make the cupcakes and frost them later and make the scones and glaze them later. Also, the salmon and cucumber sandwiches can be made 30 minutes to 12 hours in advance. There are plenty of chances to do the prep work ahead of time with an event like this.
What Else You Could Serve
If you wanted to make it fancy, you could serve champagne or chocolate covered strawberries. It might also be fun to buy a few different jams and marmalades for the scones. I also considered adding a few additional tea sandwiches – as well as these strawberry scones.
What else would you have at afternoon tea? I’d love some suggestions of what to add to the menu next time.
PS. It totally occured to me after the fact that I never actually took pictures of tea. Oops?