Afternoon Tea – The Great British Tradition
As spring settles in and the weather is getting warmer, the thought of a relaxing afternoon tea with the sun streaming through the window becomes more and more appealing. So we thought we would help you with some ideas for the perfect afternoon tea.
Setting the Scene
Afternoon tea is all about comfort and style. Imagine relaxing in a bergère chair in a beautiful hotel, sipping from delicate china tea cups and eating finger sandwiches from an ornate tiered cake stand…it doesn’t have to cost you the world. You can recreate this in your own home and stick to whichever budget you choose.
Charity shops regularly have an influx of really very beautiful china sets or, if you prefer a more modern style, most kitchenware shops stock a wide range of tableware at varying prices to suit your budget. To set the table, throw over a spotted or floral table cloth and lay out your china/tableware before your guests arrive.
Traditional Tea Party Food
What you serve to eat during afternoon tea is equally as important as the tea itself! Finger sandwiches are the usual choice to begin with. They should be served with the crusts cut off and be small enough to be eaten in 2 or 3 bites. Try some of the following fillings for a quick and easy crowd pleaser;
• Cucumber tea sandwiches – Quintessentially English!
• Cheese and pickle/chutney sandwiches – Great if you have any vegetarians in attendance and you can experiment with different pickles and chutneys to shake things up.
• Salmon Sandwiches – Try poached salmon with a little lemon mayonnaise or smoked salmon with just a splash of lemon juice.
• Ham Sandwich – A traditional English favourite, best when made with roast ham and served with English mustard!
There are a whole host of different or more adventurous fillings on our afternoon tea menu.
Nothing beats fresh scones with clotted cream and jam at afternoon tea; after all, what’s a party without a little indulgence? Scones are always best made fresh on the day and are really very easy and quick to bake. However, if you really are pushed for time, freeze a batch ahead of time and defrost in the oven on a very low heat on the day of your tea party.
Little cakes and biscuits are great for guests to pick at in between the gossiping. A selection of homemade finger sweets also makes an excellent topic as you can explain the history of the Simnel cake or how you made your mini éclairs!
And Most Importantly….
Tea. Lots and lots of delicious tea. Earl Grey, fruit or herbal tea and of course good old English Breakfast Tea! Tea is always best served from a tea set, and as mentioned earlier, these are relatively inexpensive if you don’t already own one.
It is hugely important to cater for your guest’s tastes and dietary requirements. This doesn’t stop at tea, catering for vegetarians and providing gluten/ dairy free food. Gourmet Foods Afternoon Tea menu is available to download here, we can provide all you need for the perfect Afternoon Tea Party so that you don’t have to lift a finger. Just Enjoy!