Have No Fear – Tea Party Etiquette Made Simple




Let’s talk about tea party etiquette




Antique ShoesWhen you’re planning an Afternoon tea party, you may want it to feel as authentic as possible. In today’s world there are no hard and fast rules to a tea party. It may be fun however, to go the authentic route. This means that you’ll be looking to get the menu as close to how they would serve it in England as possible. ( Remember it was Anna 7th Duchess of Bedford who is credited with establishing the first afternoon tea party.) Over time certain rules of expectation came to be understood.

You might want to have some fun teaching your guests about proper tea party etiquette. Ask your guests to turn up dressed in true English Victorian dress or as characters from any Charlotte Bronte novel.

How to Do It Right

Vintage DressPart of what makes an afternoon tea party special is how people behave. If you were to sit and watch the guests at an English tea house, you would see certain unwritten and unspoken tea party etiquette followed, such as:

You could introduce a forfeit for anyone who breaks these rules for fun, such as having to make a fresh pot of tea for the rest of the group. 

The Tea Party Menu

The proper menu for tea party etiquette should be served in the same order in which the food is expected to be eaten. You should serve:

Scones, with whipped or clotted cream and strawberry jam. The scones can be shop bought, but must have raisins or currants in for a truly authentic taste. Likewise, other flavored jams can be used, but strawberry is traditionally English.

Tea Sandwiches These are always served in quarters, with the cuts made diagonally across the bread. A truly English sandwich is cucumber slices on white bread, with the crusts cut off. This may not be to the taste of your guests, however, so use whatever fillings you see fit, as long as they are small and dainty.

Sweets and Cookies These can be things such as cupcakes, while a more modern audience will prefer brownies or cookies. If you are making these at home, try to make them all similar in appearance.

For extra style at your afternoon tea party, serve your food on a 3 tiered server, with the food layered in the order in which it’s meant to be eaten. While you’re trying to make your tea party feel as realistic as possible, remember that it’s also meant to be a bit of fun.

Encourage your guests to bring along readings from their favorite English authors, or try to speak with your best posh English accents. To finish off, ask your guests to provide entertainment in true English parlor style, such as singing or playing musical instruments.


Other articles about tea parties

Tea Parties and Planning
Tea Parties the Day Before
Tea Party Today
Victorian Tea Party

From Tea Party Etiquette to Your Cup of Tea
Top of Tea Party Etiquette


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