30 afternoon tea ideas

We've got lashings of afternoon tea ideas for a fabulous menu right here. With recipes for cupcakes, scones and sandwiches galore, here's how to make sure your hosting of the ultimate British tradition gets into the full swing.

Find afternoon tea ideas to take your tea party to the next level (and save you money!). Afternoon tea is a tradition we all love to indulge in, with scones and cream, cakes, tiny triangle sandwiches… There is so much to make it special – and to get excited about.

We’ve got afternoon tea ideas brimming with recipes for the ultimate tea party, from classic sandwiches to cake recipes worthy of fine china.

Things you will need to host afternoon tea:

  • A tea set, of course: Go for a matching set or a mixture of decorative plates to set the scene. Don’t have a set? Fake it by setting the table in all white pieces and using matching napkins, or choose decorative paper plates to keep things simple (and then you can just throw them away afterwards).
  • Tea pot: No afternoon tea is complete without a classic tea pot, which also makes for easy refills.
  • Tea (natch) and other drinks including hot chocolate, coffee or even fizz, if it’s a special occasion.
  • Cutlery: You’ll need everything from a cake knife to teaspoons for spooning on the clotted cream.
  • Napkins and doilies: Napkins for mess and doilies for decoration.
  • Cake stand: Cake stands are a great way of showing off your bakes and making them look extra fancy. A large serving plate or even a chopping board would work just as well if you don’t have cake stands.
  • Flowers: Make your spread look fresh and vibrant by adding pretty flowers to the mix.
  • Menu: You could push the boat out and make your own afternoon tea menu to give an extra sense of occasion.