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host an elegant high tea

Plate of rectangular tea cakes

If you're looking to host an elegant high tea or a unique one, look no further. There is something incredibly charming and indulgent about hosting a high tea event. Also known as, Afternoon Tea in some places, the modern day party-style event is a delightful tradition which originated in the Victorian era. High tea is the perfect way to gather friends, enjoy delectable treats and bask in the atmosphere of bygone charm and friendship.

On this page, I have blended elegance and difference for you to consider. You could create a fancy high tea that is reminiscent of one you might find at a posh hotel, or host an event that you might find a little different!

No matter whether you're celebrating a special occasion such as an engagement or birthday party or simply craving a refined afternoon, organising a high tea can be a truly memorable experience.

unveiling unique settings for your high tea

Are you ready to host an elegant high tea? By curating a charming high tea table setting, selecting a delectable menu, and exploring fantastic places for high tea, you can create an unforgettable experience for yourself and your guests.

While renowned tea rooms offer an exquisite experience, there is a certain charm in hosting a high tea at home and even in unconventional locations. I encourage you to bring the magic of a high tea into your  home or garden, or a picturesque park. By venturing beyond the ordinary, you can create an enchanting atmosphere and make your high tea truly memorable!

Get ready to embark on an extraordinary tea adventure!

creating an exquisite high tea table setting at home

High Tea cakes and sandwiches with champagne glasses

The high tea table setting sets the stage for an elegant affair.

Start by choosing a beautiful tablecloth with perhaps delicate patterns or pastel hues to evoke a sense of sophistication. Adorn the table with find bone china teacups if you have them, or simple teacups that match if you prefer. Consider incorporating a tiered cake stand to showcase an assortment of delectable treats.

To enhance the atmosphere, decorate the table with fresh flowers in dainty vases, allowing their fragrance to permeate the room. Opt for elegant floral arrangements with soft colours, such as roses, peonies, or hydrangeas. Scatter some tea lights or small candles for a touch of romance.

transforming your home into a high tea haven

Home dining table

Your home provides an ideal canvas for hosting an intimate and personalised high tea event that shows off your personality. Embrace the opportunity to create a setting that reflects your style and taste.

Consider using vintage furniture such as an antique tea trolley or a beautifully adorned sideboard, to display your teacups, teapots and all the delectable treats. Add a touch of whimsy by hanging fairy lights or lanterns to create a magical ambiance.

Use your exisiting decor, and add some fresh flowers to adorn the space.

Remember, hosting a high tea event is not just about the food and the ambiance; it's about creating a warm and inviting atmosphere that encourages laughter, relaxation, and connection. Set the tone by welcoming your guests with a smile and a heartfelt greeting. Encourage them to unwind, indulge, and savour the experience!

Outdoor dessert buffet table

host an elegant high tea in a picturesque garden or park

Historical black and white photo of a tea party in a gardenHistorical tea party in a lovely home garden.

Take advantage of nature's beauty by hosting a high tea event in a scenic garden or park. Find a picturesque spot with ample shade and out of the wind, and set up a charming picnic-style high tea. Perhaps put up a marquee, or lay out a picnic blanket adorned with soft cushions. Or, bring along lightweight collapsible tables and chairs to set up on the grass. Cover the table with an elegant lace tablecloth and it will instantly look inviting!

Enhance the natural surroundings by incorporating elements from the environment. Use rustic wooden crates as serving trays or vintage baskets to hold an assortment of finger sandwiches and treats. Display your teacups and saucers on vintage-inspired trays, alongside a delightful teapot.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of nature by incorporating floral elements into your high tea setup. Adorn the space with flower garlands, drape ivy over chairs, or create whimsical centrepieces with blossoms and greenery.

[The boring bit] Check with your local council authority if you are unsure about whether it's allowed in your area, or if there are fees involved in reserving the place you want to use. (And be a good sport, leave the area clean and tidy afterwards!)

creating ambrosial foods for a high tea

Chicken and almond sandwiches

The menu for a high tea event should feature an array of delectable treats that are both visually appealing and scrumptious to taste. Begin with an assortment of finger sandwiches such as cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon or egg salad. Cut them into dainty, bit-sized portions and present them on an elegant platter. Don't serve too many though, there has to be room for the other delicacies!

Some say that scones with jam and cream are a quintessential high tea delicacy but I disagree. I believe this is called a, "Devonshire Tea" and should not be confused with a high tea. However, if you wish to serve scones with jam and cream they would not look out of place and they can make a great addition to your food selection!

Indulge your guests' palates with an assortment of sweet delights too. Classic favourites include delicate pastries like eclairs, macarons, and petit four cakes. For a touch of class, present a delightfully light Victoria sponge cake adorned with fresh berries.

🫖 And don't forget the tea! 

which teas should i serve at my high tea?

image of French Earl Grey teaFrench Earl Grey tea

When you host an elegant high tea, I think that the tea you serve should reflect the people that you are serving. If you know their favourite flavours or favourite types of tea, make an effort to present this to them. For instance, if someone likes black tea, and they also like rose, calendula, cornflowers or citrus, look for a tea that has those flavours. Even if they're green tea drinkers, you could do the same.

It's a rather nice touch to have a small teapot for everyone to indulge their own tea preferences (such as a teapot for one) however, if you're all drinking the same tea this is not so important.

And if they're exclusively coffee drinkers, well... after you have rolled your eyes and tut-tutted a bit [sigh], you could offer a pot of freshly brewed french press coffee!

Below, I've selected a range of lovely, flavoured black tea options that are delicious with or without milk.

Popular black tea options that are unflavoured include:

other whimsical suggestions

Outdoor tea party

Don't be afraid to add your personal touch to the high tea experience. Consider incorporating a theme or a specific colour palette that reflects your style or the style of the event. What about a whimsical Alice in Wonderland theme or a romantic garden inspired setting, to infuse your event with elements that resonate with your personality - making it truly unique!

Lastly, don't forget to capture the memories. Encourage your guests to take photos, create a beautiful backdrop for group snapshots, and provide them with small tea favours to remember the occasion.

When you host an elegant high tea, it is an opportunity to escape the mundane and immerse yourself in a world of refined indulgence. With a carefully curated high tea table setting, a tantalising menu of delectable treats and the option to explore exquisite places for high tea, you have all the ingredients to create an unforgettable experience for yourself and your guests.

So, embrace the charm and sophistication of high tea, and invite your loved ones to join you in delicious flavours, heartfelt conversations and cherished moments at your next high tea!

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how to host an elegant high tea?

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