Essentials to Throw an Improvised Afternoon Tea Party

The time has come! The Platinum Jubilee is here, the Queen is celebrating her 70th year of reign and the long Bank Holiday weekend is enough reason to prepare an afternoon tea with family and friends.

The main idea is to have a nice table outdoors. But it doesn’t mean you can’t have a nice table in your front room too. In my case, I am just preparing some nibbles to have an excuse to eat some finger food, and sweets and prepare a nice drink (or two). This is a post on how to throw an improvised Afternoon Tea party.

How to set up your table?

From my experience joining many afternoon teas in the past, I guess the table can be arranged with China or transparent glass dishes, or maybe even combined with each other, the look is different and stripped down.

You can add some flowers to the table to make it charming and fresh. In my case, I have most of my kitchen supplies packed for a moving house soon. Seriously. I don’t even have a nice teacup set for doing the trick.

My idea was to prepare something simple and tasty. After all, we can enjoy the Jubilee without necessarily going full royal.

So, I have decided to add some colours to my Afternoon tea party with the help of some nice teatime treats and lovely, crafted cutlery that I just received from Viners.

What should I serve?

Afternoon tea is all about appetising food and drinks. As for savoury options, you can include pies, quiches, pies, snacks, and pasties, such as cheese scones and finger sarnies. Guests can also serve croissants, cheese bread and various snacks.

Asking my 83-year-old auntie Kate about how to prepare the finger sandwiches – she told me they need to be delicate.

I tried my best to prepare some cucumber and salmon sandwiches. And I guess they don’t look too good but taste delicious.

They should be precisely cut, and it is quite difficult to get them right. But I did enjoy preparing it, and the fillings with a bit of butter and cream cheese just make it a perfect finger food for the summer.

but I was more interested in starting drinking prosecco at midday. I guess it is allowed at a special bank holiday weekend, right?

In relation to sweets, afternoon tea combines with cakes, from the simplest, such as cornmeal or carrot, to more incremented versions, such as stuffed ones.

What did I serve?

The leftovers were welcome. Luckily, I had some fancy mini-chocolate, red velvet cupcakes tea cakes, and shortbreads to display on the table. A bit of mish-mash of favourites that would do the trick and keep us fed during the day.

I also served two classics – the scones with jam and clotted cream and an angel cake. We prefer the Cornish way of serving it. And let’s be honest, it is the only way. But I apologise in advance if I did something wrong.

If you want to make it more special, you can always prepare the Queen’s favourite clotted cream, but I guess the fruit one that we find in any supermarket is a quite good and easy option. Especially if have decided to throw your Afternoon tea party at the last minute.

The scones looked fabulous in the 15cm two-tone serving bowl, adding some style and impact to the Afternoon table. Made from fine, pressed stainless steel, perfect for serving small dishes, nibbles and snacks or simply used as a decorative bowl.

I did choose the 25cm two-tone serving bowl to keep all extra treats that could be served in case of needing more food supply. But I guess it would be a perfect match to serve crisps for the little ones too. It’s huge! And the interior has a rich, deep, turquoise matt colour which contrasts with a brushed gold outside adding style and impact.

I do confess they look gorgeous indeed. To serve it with some style, I used my new set of 4 piece copper pastry forks in rose gold. Each piece is finished with an opulent copper coating, adding style to any afternoon tea setting.

Another English favourite for Afternoon teas is the sponge cake dessert that became quite popular in the 19th century. Have you ever heard of the famous Merry berry’s Victoria Sponge cake? That is the one I didn’t serve today. I am afraid.

My choice was the angel cake. That was the first one I saw on the shelf, and I liked the idea of having a colourful cake on the table. But do confess I have never tried it before. It looks better when served with some jam, strawberry, and clotted cream. In my opinion.

To add more sophistication to the tea set, I am using this select gold piece cake server. An instagramable and durable piece to have on any special occasion.

For drinks, English tea, of course, is indispensable. You can choose to leave a kettle with hot water and offer different types of tea, where each guest chooses their preferred. Or serve only one or two varieties. If it’s too hot on the day, try offering iced tea.

I would prefer the herbal and fruit ones. It is lighter and goes quite well with delicate desserts.

Just add some fizz to this – I also like the idea of having sparkling wine on my Afternoon tea. You can prepare a Bellini or even have some gin & tonic.

Despite the extensive list, afternoon tea is an easy and practical classic to prepare when you choose your favourites and make it simple, and it is prepared with personal touches.  The greatness is celebrating a special occasion.

*I received the product complimentary from Viners for testing purposes


Simone Ribeiro
Hi! I'm Simone, a citizen of Britain, where I live for over a decade, and of Brazil, where I was born. Midlands Traveller is where I combine my passion for travelling, business and an Eco-friendly lifestyle.