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DIY Afternoon Tea at Home: Tips and recipes for the perfect afternoon tea in your own home!

Afternoon tea is a beloved tradition that can be enjoyed in the comfort of your own home. Setting up an afternoon tea at home is a simple and elegant way to entertain guests or simply treat yourself to a special afternoon. Here are some tips on how to set up afternoon tea at home:

1. Set the scene: Start by setting the table with a tablecloth, napkins, and your finest tea set. Use your best china plates and cups, and don't forget the sugar bowl and milk jug. If you don't have a tea set, you can use a mix of plates, cups, and saucers that you have on hand. The key is to create a cohesive look that is a tad bit whimsical. At The Socialite Tea Co. , we provide various patterns of china for our clients to utilize for their tea parties in Dallas. If you have a three-tiered serving tray, traditionally your sandwiches go on the bottom, scones and breads in the middle, and sweets on top.

2. Choose your tea: Select a variety of teas to serve, such as black, green, and herbal teas. You can also choose to serve a single tea or a tea blend that you particularly love. Be sure to have a tea strainer, infuser or a teapot with a built-in infuser to make brewing your tea easy.

3. Prepare the sandwiches: Traditional afternoon tea includes a selection of sandwiches, such as cucumber, chicken salad, and smoked salmon. You can also include a variety of breads, such as white, wholemeal, and rye. Be sure to cut the sandwiches into small, bite-sized pieces, and arrange them on a platter for easy serving.

Classic Chicken Salad Sandwiches Recipe:

Chicken salad tea sandwiches are a classic addition to any afternoon tea menu. They are easy to prepare and can be made ahead of time, making them perfect for entertaining. Here is a simple recipe for delicious chicken salad tea sandwiches: Ingredients:

  • 2 cups shredded cooked chicken

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise

  • 2 tbsp. minced onion

  • 2 tbsp. minced celery

  • 1 tbsp. lemon juice

  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard

  • Salt and pepper to taste

  • 8 slices of white or wholemeal bread

  • Butter or margarine, for spreading

  • Lettuce leaves or arugula (optional)


  1. In a large bowl, mix together the shredded chicken, mayonnaise, minced onion, minced celery, lemon juice, Dijon mustard, salt and pepper.

  2. Spread butter or margarine on one side of each slice of bread.

  3. On 4 slices of bread, place a lettuce leaf or arugula and spoon chicken salad mixture on top of it.

  4. Place the remaining 4 slices of bread on top to make sandwiches.

  5. Cut the sandwiches diagonally and arrange them on a platter.

  6. Cover the sandwiches and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes before serving.

You can also add some variations to this recipe like adding some chopped nuts, cranberries or even grapes to the chicken salad mixture. You can also play around with the bread, using croissants, baguettes or even mini buns. The key is to have fun and experiment with different ingredients to find your perfect recipe. These chicken salad tea sandwiches are a delicious and easy addition to any afternoon tea menu. They can be prepared ahead of time, making them perfect for entertaining. And the best part is that you can always add variations to the recipe to make it unique and tailored to your taste.

4. Serve the sweets: Afternoon tea is not complete without a selection of sweet treats. Scones are a must-have, and you can serve them with jam and clotted cream. The Devonshire method is when you place your clotted cream on your scone then jam on top. The Cornwall method is the inverse. Can you guess which method Queen Elizabeth II preferred? You can also include cakes, cookies, and pastries to round out the selection. Here is our cinnamon roll scone recipe you should try!

5. Add some flowers: Fresh flowers are a lovely addition to any afternoon tea. You can use a single type of flower, such as roses, or a mix of different types, depending on what's in season. Flowers can be placed in a vase on the table, or you can use small bouquets as place settings.

6. Create a comfortable atmosphere: Lastly, create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere by dimming the lights, lighting candles, and playing soft background music. This will help to set the mood and make your guests feel relaxed and at ease.

7. Do not forget the etiquette: You can add some elegance to your afternoon tea by following traditional tea etiquette. This includes holding the teacup with the index finger and thumb, and never placing the spoon in your mouth. Furthermore, if you are using china or fine porcelain, be sure to gently move your spoon forward and back to dissolve sugar. Stirring can potentially damage your cup. The Socialite Tea Co. offers afternoon tea etiquette & history lessons as an add-on service to your events & virtually! Contact us today to learn more.

In conclusion, setting up an afternoon tea at home is a simple and elegant way to entertain guests or simply treat yourself to a special afternoon. With a little bit of planning, you can create a memorable experience that everyone will enjoy. Remember to take your time, choose your tea and sandwiches carefully, and add some flowers and soft music to create a comfortable and cozy atmosphere. And if you want to make it more formal you can always follow traditional tea etiquette. If you would like to host afternoon tea at your home for your family and friends and are in need of china rentals, catering, and table design -- contact The Socialite Tea Co. today!

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