Host an incredible afternoon tea party with these recipes and ideas

16 superb snack ideas for a great meetingRyan likes

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If there’s one thing we can thank the British for, it’s the delicious tradition of afternoon tea. Started by a foodie duchess one afternoon in 1840, this tradition of nibbling on an elegant spread of tea and sweets became a centuries-old English tradition that is still enjoyed today by people around the world. After all, who wouldn’t enjoy an assortment of small sandwiches, scones and hot tea as a late afternoon pick-me-up?

While our afternoon snacks today may not be as delicate, there is always a time and place for tea, especially when served at a festive tea party for a birthday, a bridal shower or Mother’s Day! There are so many cute and fun tea party ideas to choose from. Get creative and send your guests paper invitations designed to look like tea bags to start the festivities on a good (tea) note. Once the invitations are sent out, it’s time to choose a charming theme! You can channel the classics with an upscale costume-themed high tea or take notes of spring with a floral high tea, complete with floral serving dishes and beautiful floral centerpieces.

Of course, no tea party would be complete without an impressive array of sweet and savory bites to enjoy with an overflowing cup of Earl Gray or chai. Now is the perfect time to make delicious appetizers like curry chicken salad sandwiches, sausage rolls, and crostini! And that’s not to mention all the sweet treats, like mini cakes topped with fragrant and fruity icings. Whatever aesthetic, dress code, or menu you decide to go for, you can’t go wrong with these unique snack ideas!

Organize a floral tea party

If you’re looking for the perfect theme for your tea party, consider sticking to the classics and going for a floral theme! Set your table with floral teapots and teacups and create a bright floral arrangement to serve as a centerpiece. All the delicate and floral details will make your table as beautiful as a spring garden!


teapot of ideas for a snack


Serving mini tea sandwiches

Besides tea, the most crucial elements of a high tea are the mini cakes or biscuits, scones and small sandwiches that line your table. Traditional finger sandwich flavors include cucumber, smoked salmon and curry chicken salad, which will delight your guests. Arrange them on pretty plates or tiered trays and they will also serve as decoration!

Get the recipe for Tea Sandwiches.

tea sandwich snack ideas

Caitlin Bensell

Bake Lemon Bars

A spring or summer snack time calls for bright, delicious flavors, and lemon certainly fits the bill! Bake buttery, tangy lemon bars, top them with a dusting of powdered sugar, and watch them disappear from your dessert platter in seconds.

Get the recipe for Ree’s Lemon Bars.

snack ideas lemon bars

Con Poulos

Serve sweet scones

Scones are a staple of any tea party, and a subtly sweet flavor like orange and vanilla is a safe pairing for most types of tea. These scones are topped with orange glaze and orange zest for a touch of fresh citrus flavor.

Get Ree’s recipe for Orange-Vanilla Scones.

snack ideas for small vanilla and orange scones

Ryan likes

Decorate your table with teacup-shaped candles

Candles are a great way to add ambiance and excitement to any table. These DIY teacup candles are really tea party themed and can be made from mismatched old teacups and candle wax!

Get the tutorial at The Craft Patch.


snack ideas candles in a cup of tea

The handmade patch

Prepare Homemade Chai

Everyone has their personal preferences when it comes to tea, but when choosing a tea that everyone will enjoy, you can’t go wrong with a hot cup of homemade chai. This spicy, sweet, milky tea requires a few essential ingredients, including fresh ginger, cinnamon sticks, cardamom, and whole cloves.

Get the Chai recipe.

chai snack ideas

Bridget Edwards / The Pioneer Woman

Serve the sausage rolls

Puff pastry sausage rolls are a delicious and traditional British bite that makes the perfect appetizer or afternoon snack. This recipe couldn’t be simpler to execute, as it requires pre-prepared puff pastry, so all you need to do is prepare the sausage filling and bake it!

Get the sausage roll recipe.

sausage roll snack ideas

Hector Sanchez

Decorate your table with a floral arrangement

Whether or not you’ve chosen a floral theme for your tea party, any table decoration can benefit from a stunning floral arrangement! When deciding which flowers to add to your arrangement, keep your color palette and the season in mind. For example, a spring snack will go well with brightly colored tulips or pretty pink peonies.

Get the tutorial at Inspired by Charm.

tea party ideas floral arrangement

Inspired by charm

Serve refreshing appetizers

In addition to sandwiches and treats on your tiered main platters, feed your guests by handing out light bites throughout the party. Ree’s Everything Cucumber Smoked Salmon Bites are the perfect appetizers to munch on while mingling with guests and sipping tea!

Get the Cucumber and Smoked Salmon Bites recipe from Ree’s Everything.

snack ideas for bites of smoked salmon with cucumber

Ryan likes

Present your pastries like a king

All these pastries that you are going to make deserve to be presented as the delicacies that they are! Invest in a two- or three-tiered serving tray and delegate each tier to a different type of appetizer, just as you would at a traditional afternoon tea service. Place the tea sandwiches on the bottom, the scones and cream in the middle, and the mini cakes and biscuits on top!


serving tray snack ideas


Serving refined starters

With all the frilly dresses, beautiful decor and delicate appetizers, tea parties are the perfect time to go out with sophisticated flourishes. Given this, the foods you serve should be equally fancy (but still easy), like these Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini that are as good as they are tasty!

Get Ree’s Strawberry and Goat Cheese Crostini recipe.

strawberry and goat cheese crostini tea party ideas

Ryan likes

Send your guests DIY tea bag invitations

Every good tea party starts with a pretty invitation, and these adorable DIY tea bags are perfect for the occasion. These invitations are printed on vellum paper, filled with real tea leaves and assembled just like any tea bag!

Get the tutorial at Oh So Beautiful Paper.

tea party ideas tea bag invitations

Oh, such beautiful paper

Make madeleines

Maybe it’s a cake, maybe it’s a cookie. No matter what madeleines are, there’s one thing we’re sure of: they’re delicious! These little cake-shaped cookies have notes of almond and vanilla and are the perfect accompaniment to tea.

Get the recipe for Madeleines.

madeleine snack ideas

The pioneer woman

Make a batch of sun tea

Brew a batch of sun tea that your guests can sip while sitting in the sun at a garden tea party. To make homemade sun tea, fill a large glass dispenser with water and add eight tea bags per gallon. Let the tea steep in the sun for two to three hours, and once it’s as dark as you like, sweeten it with honey or agave and add a touch of citrus!

Get the sun tea recipe.

sun tea snack ideas

A Spicy Perspective/The Pioneer Woman

Create a DIY Floral Centerpiece

Fresh floral arrangements are a great way to add color and life to a table, but you can still achieve a similar effect by using tissue paper and a little creativity to create a DIY floral centerpiece! This one is made with a mix of tissue paper, crepe paper and cardstock for a stunning mix of textures. Opt for white tissue paper for a uniform look, or go for colors to match the theme of your tea party!

Get the tutorial on The House That Lars Built.


tea party ideas floral centerpiece

The house built by Lars

Bake Mini Bundt Cakes

You can never have enough mini food at a tea party! If you want to treat your guests to something sweet, bake mini cakes and top them with delicious frostings like blackberry, maple whiskey, and dark chocolate sea salt.

Get the recipe for Mini Bundt Cake.

snack ideas mini bundt cakes

Caitlin Bensell

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