how to host a tea party

October 15, 2010
**Okay, in retrospect, I would just like to apologize for how long this post is. Who knew I had so much to say about tea?
1. Set the date, create a guest list, decide on a time and location, etc etc.

This is the basic part, but of course you can get creative with it. I've always liked the idea of sending out invitations, but more often than not, my tea parties are so last minute that I just invite people in person (or create a facebook event....). You can also kindly request that your guests dress nicely, if you want.

egg salad and arugula on rye
scones with jam & clotted cream
2. Plan the menu! This is one of my favorite parts. As a rule of thumb, my menus usually include...

- Two to three different tea sandwiches. Depending on how many people you're expecting, you can make one item in large amounts and keep to this list. I always always have cucumber sandwiches, but I've also used egg salad, smoked salmon and tuna with bits of apple as well. The most important thing to remember is to use simple bread, cut off the crusts, and cut the sandwiches so they are small and dainty.

- Scones with clotting cream and jam. Ever since finding my favorite scone recipe, I've never turned back. One or two batches of this recipe can go a long way, especially if you cut the dough with little cookie cutters instead of making the larger triangles that the recipe calls for. As for the clotting cream, I have scoured the internet for the perfect recipe but I still haven't found the perfect one. Nothing is like the real thing. But, as soon as I find something close, I'll let you know. In the mean time, I suggest finding an easy recipe online and serving that with your favorite jam.

- An extra sweet dessert or two. This can be anything, but I think it's most fun when you use desserts that are just really pretty. Mini cupcakes? One big beautiful cake? Muffins? Your choice.

we made placecards hahaha
tiers and teapots
pretty antique plates
3. Serve everything on the prettiest dishware you have.

- At my first tea party, I used my mom's antique teacup collection for everyone's teacups. Everyone had their own unique cup and altogether is was adorable. (You don't have to be nerdy like us and make place cards with fake royal titles). Don't worry about whether things match perfectly or not. Mismatching everything just makes it all the more charming.

- Do you have plate-tier-thingy? I don't know what this is actually called, buy my mom uses hers to store plates and in my apartment we use its different levels to hold our fruit. These are perfect for separating sandwiches when you have them out on the table. (I've seen them tons of times at thrift stores, too!)

- Make your own cake stands! I'm sure that these cake stands might be familiar, because they were inspired by Olivia's lovely little cake stands. However, as a student on a budget, I went to thrift stores and found plates and bases to make my own. They aren't as fancy as Olivia's violet plate, but I'm proud of my little guys. Instead of only using candle votives, I also used an upside-down cocktail glass for one of mine. Thanks for the inspiration, Olivia!

4. Enjoy your tea party!
Curl your hair. Wear a pretty dress. Spend the entire afternoon sipping English Breakfast and munching on cucumber sandwiches. And take lots and lots of pictures, because tea parties always come out more beautiful than you could have imagined.


  1. lovely tea party! that first photo is making me super hungry!

  2. I really want to host a tea party now. I have to go find some cute tea cups from the thrift store first! =)

  3. Thank you! I really hope to get around to doing this soon.

  4. My bridal shower was a tea party and boy was it magical. My mom outdid herself and yours looks incredible!!! XO

  5. Thanks for all this tea party loveliness (love myself a good tea party too)! Have a wonderful weekend!

    P.S. Your view is fabulous! :)

  6. I really want to try and throw a little tea party for my friends, it looks like a lot of fun. And thanks for letting me know how to cream butter (and not making fun me) :)

  7. Great tips, I really hope I have to chance to throw a little party like this at some point+I can't believe how pretty the view is from the table. have a great weekend!

  8. this made me hungry... and now i'm craving a cup of tea! i need to host a tea party now, it's been way too long.

  9. great idea!!! so cute!
    quick question: how did you get the page links on the left side of your blog to be pictures rather than just a plain list? i have looked EVERYWHERE to try and get the template or whatever for it.


  10. this makes me want to have a tea party. like tonight. i love it.

  11. this is incredible! i'm so impressed... cannot believe you actually put this together! and your cake stands look ADORABLE! xoxox

  12. Aw thanks for the love you guys!

    @Mary Kathryn- for my side buttons, I made individual photo widgets for each button, uploaded the picture and attached the link for the destination within the widget. Does that make sense? Feel free to send me an email if you need more help :)

  13. haha you are adorable! i would LOVE to have a tea party with you!! xo

  14. Now I want to have a tea party :) Remind me of having tea at The Empress in Victoria, BC!

    And now I am off to make some tea!!

    Thanks for visiting my blog. Yours is great!

  15. your blog is super cute!!! I had my first real tea experience when I visited London a few weeks go - I loved it =)

  16. Ummm, can we all come to your next tea party? I'll bring some amazing green tea I got in Japan and make some banana bread?

    Great tips and this is totally inspiring me now!

    Thanks for stopping by - yes those CB2 vases would look great in a restaurant right?!

  17. Oh wow, looks and sounds absolutely wonderful!

  18. i'm so in the mood for a tea party now! but tonight i might have to just settle for a cucumber sandwich after work!

  19. I just stumbled across your blog and it is gorgeous. I especially love this tea party post - it has inspired me to have my own tea party! Utterly beautiful.

  20. Yay! Now I have tea party fever.