Planning a tea party is one of the most exciting things to do. While hosting a high tea party might initially seem daunting, the results are more than worth it. Plus, we’re here to help!
Depending on the party’s occasion, your menu might be as simple as cream scones or as complex as offering multiple types of tea, finger sandwiches, cakes, and more.
No matter how elaborate your tea party is planning to be, we have some tips on how to set up your menu for success. Let’s get right into it, shall we?
One of the most popular tea party foods is scones. These tiny buns can be sweet or savory, and there are countless recipes online.
Whether you choose buttermilk scones, cheese and herb scones, sweet cinnamon, mustard, or others, you can tailor your scones to your chosen tea perfectly.
If you’re hosting a tea party for a girly girl, consider making raspberry scones with mashed fruit in them. The raspberries will offer the buns a pink color which will make them a fan favorite with the guests.
Lay out appropriate toppings for the scones you’ve chosen, such as clotted cream, jams, lemon curd, or butter. Sweet scones have more topping choices as savory scones often use flavors that speak for themselves.
2. Finger Sandwiches
Finger sandwiches are cute meals that you can enjoy with high tea. They’re otherwise known as ‘tea sandwiches’ and are served at an extravagant tea party.
Classic fillings for finger sandwiches include smoked salmon, egg salad, cucumber and cheese, ham, and chicken salad.
Finger sandwiches are also a great option for a kid’s tea party.
If you’re interested in making your soiree even more lavish, you could also experiment with other fillings like buttered radish and watercress. Just be mindful that your sandwiches should be of similar intensity to the tea that you’re serving.
Other sweet treats are often offered at tea parties because they’re nice palette cleansers from the tea and scones. They’re often tiny in comparison to other cakes, only offering one serving per cake.
This makes them look so adorable and high-brow!
Think sponge cakes, cupcakes, madeleines, and mini trifles. Cakes are often made with unique ingredients to make them even more sophisticated, like lemon and lavender, for example.
Your dessert menu should offer a range of flavors, featuring seasonal fruits or preserves, vanilla, cream, or chocolate.
More subtle cakes like vanilla will work better with smoother teas, while desserts packing a punch will work best with strong, black teas.
4. Other Savory Foods
You can never offer enough food, so here are a few more savory dishes to consider for your menu.
Soups are a great option for a long afternoon tea, as long as you pair the flavor well with the tea. Most soups offer a strong flavor, which works best with dark teas.
Mini quiches and pies are a cute addition, and they will work well with your miniature cakes!
Other savory snacks, think nuts and cheese, are great for your guests to snack on when they don’t want anything too filling. Position these in little bowls around the table so they’re always within reach for your guests to grab at leisure.
Aside from the obvious tea, you should consider offering other drinks in case the tea isn’t up to your guest’s preference. Tea also contains caffeine, which some of your guests could be sensitive to.
As well as the tea, consider offering juice, punch, or iced tea. These are cool drinks that will go well with your extensive menu, especially if it’s a warm day!
You could also offer alcoholic beverages – as long as the guests are adults! Think champagne, a specialty tea cocktail, or mimosas.
6. Don’t Forget The Tea
The tea is no doubt the most important component of your tea party (it’s right there in the name!) so don’t overlook this by focusing too much on the food.
The teas you’re planning on serving will be even more important than the food, so making the right choice is imperative.
The choice is yours, but we would recommend selecting teas with bold flavors for stronger palette foods, or more delicate teas for subtle food pairings.
Choose at least one caffeine-free herbal tea for those not drinking caffeine, and clearly label it so no one gets mixed up.
Milk And Condiments
Now that you have your teapots lined up and planned, you also need to prepare some condiments. Not everyone enjoys black tea, so make sure you have some milk jugs out.
Sugar and lemon can also be set near the teas for extra flavor, or cream.
It’s worth noting that, if you’re sticking with the English high tea theme, England doesn’t put cream in their teas. They also don’t put milk in Earl Gray tea, since it clashes with the bergamot flavor.
You might still want to put these condiments out to make the tea more enjoyable for your guests, but it’s worth noting that they’re not customary in England.
Tips For Making Your Tea Party A Success
If you’re passionate about making your tea party (see also: What To Wear To A Tea Party?)as successful as possible, we have some tips and tricks for you to consider during the planning process.
Consider A Theme
Your party might have a theme – especially if it’s a kid’s tea party. Think about this when you’re planning your food and drink. Is there a specific color that will work best with your theme so that you could pick foods that correspond to it?
Even if you don’t have a theme, choosing one color of food and sticking to it could make your spread all the more appealing.
Use Seasonal Ingredients Whenever Possible
Seasonal ingredients add sophistication to your menu and will make your food even nicer. Fresh fruits, herbs, and flowers will take your tea party from good to great, and all of your guests will appreciate it.
An example of this is hosting a strawberry or raspberry tea party, (see also: How To Host A Tea Party)using fresh fruit within the scones and cakes. You could also make a fresh jam from your chosen fruit and offer it as a party favor.
Take Your Menu For A Test Drive
You’ll want to make sure that your chosen flavors all complement your selected teas. If you’re not certain about pairing flavors together, you could make smaller batches of everything and have a mini-rehearsal party just for yourself and your family.
Make sure you take notes of the tastes and flavors as you go so that you know what to change for the real party.
And there we have it! Some examples of tea party foods that you can serve to your guests alongside a variety of delicious teas.
Tea parties are sophisticated and a great excuse to get together with your friends and family. They’re also fun to throw for your children and their friends.
No matter what the occasion, these foods are bound to be a hit. Just make sure that you’re matching the flavor palettes of the menu with your chosen tea. Strong flavors with strong tea, mellow flavors with gentle teas.
Stick with that advice and your party will be a roaring success!