How to Decorate An English Afternoon Tea Party

Throw an authentic English Afternoon Tea Party complete with tasty tea sandwiches, scones, shortbread cookies, cream puffs, English Trifle and tarot and palm readings. Get out the good lace, floral china and silver tea set. Be sure the table is decorated with Victorian placards and bouquets fo flowers.

It is important to not confuse High Tea with Afternoon tea. British High Tea was a more substantial meal that usually included a major dish consisting of meat and fish. It was an early dinner well suited the middle and lower classes after a long day at work. An English Afternoon Tea Party would only involve between four and 20 guests at most and be held at about two or three o clock. So to throw a true English Afternoon Tea Party there will not be a great emphasis on heavy dishes or desserts – just a few sandwiches, cookies and scones.

The English afternoon tea party was also not really that formal of an occasion. It simply happened every day and whoever showed up for tea got served. Invitations are really not necessary for an English Afternoon Tea Party. All that is really required is a phone call and a request from you for your friend to join you for tea and a bit of gossip.

Although the purpose of the afternoon tea party is mainly to catch up on gossip, wit and conversation, you could make it a more major event by transforming it into a Tarot reading or palm reading session. In both the French and English courts a game was played with images featuring popular personalities of the day. In this game of 56 cards, participants were often required to come up with a kind of “soap opera” fiction starring the personalities on the cards. These cards later became part of the 72-card Tarot deck. You could hire a professional psychic or palm reader to read at your afternoon tea or you could be much more casual about it and simply have some tools of divination around so that your guests can amuse themselves should they run out of things to talk out.

The traditional English Afternoon Tea Party of:

Freshly baked scones and crumpets served with Devonshire cream and Country preserves

Afternoon tea sandwiches

Bread and Butter Pickles

Assorted Cheeses

Assorted pastries

Traditional English trifle

Tea (and or coffee.)

At your party, it is suggested that you serve –

Orange Pekoe Tea – This is a soothing mellow orange tea that is actually a hybrid of green tea and Assam plants.

Peppermint Tea – Germany makes some of the most delicious peppermint teas in the world. It is also a digestive that does not contain the caffeine of other blends.

Lapsang Souchang – This is a very strong Chinese Black tea that offers tired types a caffeinated pick me up in the middle of the afternoon.

Remember to showcase high quality teas so you can have the best experience possible.