Afternoon tea table set up with crockery and cake stand

There is nothing more decidedly British than afternoon tea. It’s a chance for friends to relax during the day, catch up, gossip and just enjoy each other’s company with a refreshing cup of tea and a selection of sweet treats. In fact, we don’t even need a special occasion to throw an afternoon tea party. From celebrating an engagement or birthday, holding a bridal or baby shower, or, just because it’s the afternoon.

If you want to take it to the next level and host the ultimate British afternoon tea garden party, keep reading and let Powder Butterfly, the UK’s leading supplier of beautiful British-themed gifts crafted in England, share with you some tips that will help you do just that!

How To Host The Ultimate British Afternoon Tea Garden Party

Traditionally, afternoon tea is served from mid to late afternoon and will include a tantalising assortment of finger sandwiches, pies and quiche, scones with jam, as well as a wide variety of cake, biscuits, and of course, tea. Let’s take a look at some of the things you will need to take your next afternoon tea to the next level.

The Basics:

Table Setting – set the table with your finest decorative summer-themed plates, bowls and silver. Your teapot and teacups (yes, there should be many) should offer at least 2-3 different types of tea. Set all of this all over the top of a white tablecloth, add a summery flower bouquet or two and your table is ready.

More On Your Teas – you want to brew a variety of teas, and of course, they should be served in decorative teacups. Choose loose leaf as well as bagged teas and don’t be afraid to offer hot chocolate, coffee or even champagne. While it is a classic tea party, you want to offer your guests options. Don’t forget to accompany your tea selection with cream, sugar and lemon slices.

London tea for one set
The perfect fine bone china

When selecting tea for your ‘Ultimate British Afternoon Tea Garden Party’, skip the everyday stuff you found at your local grocer and choose something special. There are many local tea suppliers in Newcastle, London or Yorkshire that carry a wonderful selection of British teas. We like Mrs. Pumphreys Curious Leaves and The London Tea Exchange, but you should find a tea shop that you like as well.

Napkins And Doilies – what ultimate British afternoon tea garden party would be complete without a classic assortment of napkins, tea towels and doilies? Choose classic colours and avoid napkins with patterns.

Three-Tiered Cake Stand – a three-tiered cake stand is the perfect display. Choose a fancy one that will only add to the luxurious look of your afternoon tea party.

Dress Up – dress up a bit for your ‘Ultimate British Afternoon Tea Garden Party’ and don’t forget to throw on a pretty apron to keep your outfit clean and free from those embarrassing jam spills.

The Food


Your ‘Ultimate British Afternoon Tea Garden Party’ should include a wide selection of food choices. When you think you have too many options, add a couple more!

Scones – what would an afternoon tea be without scones? Offer a selection of flavours and don’t forget the jams.

Try this recipe for Cheshire Cheese and Walnut Scones:


  • plain flour 500g, plus more for dusting
  • baking powder 1 heaped tbsp
  • cold butter 160g, cubed
  • walnuts 60g, toasted and chopped
  • strong Cheshire cheese 100g, plus more for sprinkling and serving
  • eggs 2, beaten
  • buttermilk 200ml, plus more for brushing


  • Heat the oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas.
  • Sieve the flour into a large bowl and add the baking powder and a pinch of salt.
  • Rub the cold butter cubes into the flour with your fingertips until the mix looks like breadcrumbs.
  • Add the walnut pieces and the crumbled cheese and mix into the flour.
  • Stir in the eggs and buttermilk until it just comes together and forms a soft dough.
  • Tip the dough onto a floured work surface and gently pat the dough with your hands until it’s roughly 3cm thick.
  • Using a 6cm ring cutter, cut as many scones as you can. Press straight down with the cutter, don’t twist as this will stop the scones from rising well.
  • Lift the scones onto a non-stick baking sheet and brush the tops with more buttermilk, then sprinkle with a little more crumbled cheese.
  • Bake for 12-15 minutes, or until risen and golden. Eat straight away with butter, more cheese and some pickle.

Finger Sandwiches – tiny finger sandwiches are making a comeback to afternoon tea parties throughout England. Serve yours on a variety of different breads cut into small rectangles or triangles and don’t forget to remove the crusts.

Biscuits- tea and biscuits, biscuits and tea, you can’t have one without the other. Be sure to add a selection of shortbread biscuits to keep it classically British.

Sweet Treats – serve your guests a wide selection of sweets including sponge cakes, fruit bars, berries and cream and more. This is where you can really go over the top!

Summer cocktails
Summer cocktails

Summer Cocktail- you could even serve a summertime cocktail at your ‘Ultimate British Afternoon Tea Garden Party’ such as a Pimm’s or a Twinkle which is a champagne cocktail inspired by Downton Abbey, which includes champagne, elderflower cordial and vodka.

Contact Powder Butterfly

To learn more about hosting the ultimate British afternoon tea garden party, contact Powder Butterfly today and shop a wide selection of uniquely British items and more!

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