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How to Serve an Easy Spring Afternoon Tea Party

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As Mother’s Day and wedding season approach, spring flowers bloom, and the grass becomes green. An easy spring afternoon tea party is never far from my mind. It’s a beautiful excuse to dust off the china teacups, make finger foods, and gather with close friends for an afternoon.

Side view of tea setting for spring teatime.

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If you haven’t hosted a tea, you may wonder how easy or difficult it might be. Who better to glean ideas from than the British? From the BBC, we’ve gathered some easy and simple ideas on how to serve an easy afternoon tea party.

At the foot of this post are some more inspirational tea party ideas you won’t want to miss.

RELATED: Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches

Enjoying afternoon tea while perched on a gilded hotel armchair is a fine British tradition but hardly sustainable as a regular pursuit. Throwing an afternoon tea party means you can stick to your own budget, and select your favorite finger food. We have some suggestions for throwing a soiree in style.

The Basics for an Easy Spring Afternoon Tea Party

If you own a tiered cake stand, dust it off and use it as the centerpiece of your table. Otherwise, use your best china or dinnerware and make it a little more special with lace-like doilies, folded napkins, and name cards.

If you want to go all out, charity and secondhand shops are good sources for reasonable Chinaware—and don’t worry if the patterns are mismatched. Remember your teapot, teacups, cutlery, and cake slices for serving.

Setting the Scene for an Easy Afternoon Tea Party

Extend your table and throw on a tablecloth—if you don’t have one handy, fabric shops sell inexpensive spotted, floral, and striped material by the meter or yard.

While at it, you could make some place-name cookies and ice them with your guests’ names. Pop them in paper bags so your guests have a little present to take away – or snaffle them as an entrée.

Arrival Drinks

Make sure the sugar and milk are set on the table and ready to pour your guests a cuppa as they sit down. Try to provide a variety of teas – Earl Grey is always a favorite but herbal teas like peppermint and camomile are nice choices too. And, of course, any breakfast tea is always appreciated.

Spring Tea Party Food

There aren’t any rules when it comes to the food, but a standard afternoon tea comprises tea sandwiches, scones or tea cakes, and even full-size cakes for a showy table. You could also throw in pastries, petits fours, or biscuits.

Don’t wear yourself out by taking on too many ambitious bites.

Tea Sandwiches:

These require minimal effort, but it’s helpful to prepare your fillings in advance and assemble them just before proceedings begin to avoid the dreaded soggy sarnie. For more than 60 recipes and pro tips, be sure to bookmark or save Easy Make Ahead Tea Sandwiches!

Here are some more recipe ideas:


Scones are best eaten on the day and don’t take long to whip up, but if you want to get ahead, freeze a batch and defrost them in a low oven. Serve warm with lashings of jam – decant a pot of homemade preserve into a pretty bowl.



Teacakes and buns

These should be served split and buttered – try glazing with some apricot jam to give them a professional finish.

Keep it simple:

A little effort:


Shortbreads, cookies, ginger nuts… take inspiration from your childhood biscuit tin. These recipes all take less than an hour, so you can make them in the morning.


Just the mere mention of Parisian-standard pastry is enough to send shivers down the spine of your average home cook. If you’re willing to take them on, prepare the pastry or biscuits the night before.


Individual portions are the key here, so avoid making a large cake and bake up something dinky.

Easy Spring Afternoon Tea Party Inspirations

How to Throw an Easy Afternoon Tea Party | 31Daily.com
How to Throw an Easy Afternoon Tea Party | 31Daily.com
How to Throw an Easy Afternoon Tea Party | 31Daily.com

Vintage Tea Cups

How to Throw an Easy Afternoon Tea Party | 31Daily.com

Finger Foods

How to Throw an Easy Afternoon Tea Party | 31Daily.com

More Teatime Inspiration

If you love afternoon tea and are looking for ideas and recipes on hosting a tea party, here are some helpful foundation posts you may want to save:

Our Afternoon Tea page has all the latest tea posts, including recipes, tea party ideas, and seasonal tea inspiration.

More Spring Afternoon Tea Recipes

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Easy Mini Quiche Recipe in Muffin Tins

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  1. Hello, love your ideas. I am looking for a WOW factor for my afternoon tea party and wondering if any suggestions

  2. Hi Stephanie,
    We are having a 100th Birthday Come & Go Tea for our Mom this weekend. The timing is 2-4pm.

    Off course there will be cake with tea/coffee, juice. As it is difficult to determine how many will attend – do we HAVE to have other food items? Will the expectation be that there should be??

    We are having family dinner after.

    1. Hi Lynette! What a special event! It’s hard to stay whether people will expect food for your tea or not. I’m not sure whether it will be held in a home setting or institutional setting. However, if possible, I think it would be nice to have a little something to go with the tea, coffee, and cake you’re planning. In my opinion, simple tea sandwiches, open-faced or cut into triangles, would be the easiest addition. And if you have access to teacups, that would also be a really nice and special touch. However, celebrating a 100th birthday is a fabulous milestone and I know your mom and her guests will be thrilled with anything you do! Have fun!

  3. Thank you so much Stephanie for the help on putting together a tea party. I will be using this help soon.

  4. I loved this article, and will be approaching my daughter to help me host a tea like this for our friends. Thanks for the great ideas!

    1. I’m so glad it was helpful! I love to give and attend tea parties and am always looking for ideas and recipes for the next one. Have fun with yours!

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