How to set the table for afternoon tea?

Afternoon tea is a delightful tradition known for its perfect balance of sweet and savoury treats. But when hosting an afternoon tea, attention to detail is key to creating the perfect atmosphere. Setting the table for your guests is one of the most important aspects of any afternoon tea party. Read on to learn some tips on how to set the perfect table for your next afternoon tea gathering!

Tableware & Linens

The type of tableware and linens you choose is essential in setting the mood for your afternoon tea party. If you’re going for a classic look, white china, bone china, or porcelain are all great options. You can also add a touch of colour by selecting patterned plates or cups. For linens, opt for simple white clothes with coordinating napkins to keep it looking elegant and timeless.

Tea & Coffee Setup

When it comes to serving beverages at your afternoon tea party, you want everything organized and easy to access. Place a teapot filled with hot water on each end of the table so that each guest can make their own cup of tea or coffee. Have separate containers filled with assorted loose-leaf teas and ground coffee beans nearby as well as creamers, sugars, honey sticks, stirrers, etc., so each guest can customize their beverage to their liking. To keep things neat, place these items in small trays or wicker baskets so they don’t get lost among other decor elements on the table.

Food Display & Decorations

When it comes to arranging food displays around the table for an afternoon tea party, let your creativity shine through! However you decide to lay out your treats—tiered cake stands filled with scones and pastries; platters overflowing with finger sandwiches; bowls overflowing with fresh fruits—just make sure there’s plenty of space between dishes so that everyone can reach what they want without disturbing other items on the table (especially if you’re using tiered cake stands). As far as decorations go—floral centerpieces are always popular—but feel free to add other elements like candles or even framed photos if you’d like!


A well-set afternoon tea table will create just the right atmosphere for an enjoyable gathering with friends and family! Choose classic white china plates and cups paired with matching linens then organize all your beverage fixings neatly nearby so that everyone can easily access them during their visit. Finally, arrange food displays around the table in whatever way feels right then dress up your look further with floral centerpieces and other decorative touches like candles or framed photos! With these tips in mind, your next afternoon tea party will be picture perfect!

Where did afternoon tea originate?

Many historians believe afternoon tea originated in England. Afternoon tea likely started in the early 1800’s when Anna, seventh Duchess of Bedford, famously complained of a “sinking feeling” as she waited for dinner to be served. In an effort to stave off hunger and keep her spirits up, the duchess asked her servants to prepare a snack in the middle of the day.

Over time, afternoon tea became a widespread and popular tradition throughout England. The meal typically consisted of tea, bread or biscuits, and light desserts like pastries or scones. At first, afternoon tea was only served in elite homes and at expensive hotels. But eventually it grew in popularity, and by the mid-20th century, it was a common social event.

Today, afternoon tea is still enjoyed all around the world. Many people continue to host traditional afternoon teas at home or enjoy them at specialty tea shops or hotels. Whether you are looking for a relaxing way to spend an afternoon with friends or wanting to experience a piece of English culture, afternoon tea is a great choice.

What are the different types of afternoon tea?

There are many different types of afternoon tea, depending on the culture and traditions of the region. Some common varieties include traditional English afternoon tea, which typically consists of a selection of teas along with scones, pastries, finger sandwiches, and sweet treats; Taiwanese afternoon tea, which often features savory dishes like dim sum along with local teas and desserts; and Parisian afternoon tea, which usually features delicate French pastries and other sweet treats

Regardless of the type of afternoon tea you choose, this social event is a great way to relax and unwind while enjoying delicious food and drinks with friends or family. Whether you are looking for an elegant experience at a luxury hotel or a more casual gathering with friends, there are plenty of options for an unforgettable afternoon tea.

How do I serve afternoon tea?

If you are hosting an afternoon tea, there are a few key steps to follow in order to create the perfect experience. First, choose your menu and make sure you have all of the ingredients on hand. Then, set the table with fine china and linens and prepare any food items that can be made beforehand.

Next, brew your tea and allow it to steep for the appropriate amount of time. Once your tea is ready, invite your guests and begin serving the afternoon treats! You can also experiment with different types of teas, flavors, or food pairings to create a unique experience that reflects your personal tastes.

What are some afternoon tea etiquette tips?

There are a few key etiquette tips to keep in mind when serving afternoon tea. First, make sure you are familiar with the various types of teas and know how to properly prepare them. It is also important to be mindful of food allergies or dietary restrictions that your guests may have, and try to accommodate for these as much as possible.

You should also be sensitive to your guests’ needs and preferences, and let them dictate the pace of the tea party. This can include letting people linger at the table or enjoying some quiet time to themselves instead of having a conversation-heavy gathering. Finally, make sure to be gracious and welcoming to your guests, and take care of any last-minute needs or requests during the tea party

Whether you are hosting an afternoon tea at home, in a hotel, or in a specialty tea shop, these tips will help you create the perfect experience for your guests. With these simple guidelines and some practice, you can become a pro at serving afternoon tea and creating memorable moments with your friends and family.