How to host the perfect high tea at home
Hosting a high tea is a fun way to enjoy delicious treats and teas while catching up with your friends. You don’t need to go to an expensive high tea- hosting a high tea at home lets you add your own special touch to the event. And let’s face it- who doesn’t love to organize a party?
A brief history of the high tea
High tea first originated in England in the early 1800s, when Anna the Duchess of Bedford (and a friend of Queen Victoria’s) decided to start having tea and a light snack in the afternoon to tide her over until dinner.
She invited her friends to join her and it soon became a popular ritual. Other ladies began hosting their own afternoon tea gatherings, and so the High Tea was born. In recent years, High Tea gatherings have also been hosted at hotels, cafes and other venues.
To help you host the perfect high tea at home, we’ve created a list of high tea ideas and suggestions, from the best high tea food ideas, themes, decorations and of course, which tea to serve.
Planning a high tea event
As with organizing any event, prior planning is essential.
You’ll need to decide on the following important details when planning a high tea event:
When will you host the high tea? What date and what time?
You’ll need to send out invitations about 3 to 4 weeks before the event to give your guests time to plan and reply to your invite.
Where will you have your high tea- will it be in the kitchen? The dining room? In your garden?
Think about how many people you’ll be inviting. Choose a space in your home that will comfortably accommodate your guests. Outdoor spaces can be fun, but make sure you have a weather back up plan in case of wind and rain!
High tea theme ideas
Here are some high tea party themes and ideas:This is the fun part- choosing a theme for your high tea. Your theme can relate to a decoration idea or a special event you’re celebrating. The choice is yours!
Spring garden party high tea
Mothers and daughters high tea
Winter wonderland high tea
Traditional English high tea
Bridal shower high tea
Kids high tea party ideas:
Teddy bears picnic high tea
Princess high tea
Enchanted fairies high tea
What is served at high tea?
High tea savory food ideas
While dainty cakes and fluffy scones are the main attraction at a high tea, savory food is also an important high tea staple.
Traditionally, high tea sandwiches have fillings such as cucumber dill, smoked salmon and cranberry chicken. Mini quiches, cheese scones and other savoury delicacies are also common.
You don’t need to follow tradition- create your own high tea menu according to what you and your guests would like most!
You can choose food depending on your theme. Don’t forget to consider dietary requirements and restrictions.
High tea dessert ideas
What else would you enjoy with your cup of tea than a slice of delicious cake, or a scone with jam and fresh cream?
Have a mix of large cakes that you can slice up when serving, as well as small cakes such as cupcakes or mini tarts.
Make sure you offer condiments for cakes, such as clotted cream, fruit jam, lemon curd and butter.
Here are some popular high tea dessert ideas:
-Classic scones with jam and cream
-Victoria sponge cake
The sky’s the limit when it comes to desserts for your high tea! You can tie your choices in with your theme.
A Christmas themed high tea could feature Christmas pudding or homemade fruit mince pies. A bridal shower high tea could have cakes with a love theme- heart-shaped biscuits, red velvet cupcakes or chocolate and strawberry cheesecakes.
Serving tea at a high tea
You can’t host a high tea without serving tea!
English tea is traditionally served at a high tea, but with the variety of teas available nowadays, you can offer your guests a wide selection of tea flavors.
Black teas like Early Grey and Ceylon are very popular. For fans of herbal teas, make sure you have Chamomile, mint tea and green tea.
Display your teas in a beautiful wooden tea box so that your guests can easily choose their tea.
Make sure you have milk, sugar (and other sweeteners) and slices of lemon available.
Some of your guests may prefer coffee to tea, while at a children’s tea party you could serve fresh fruit juice or hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Using our ideas, you’ll be able to create and host the perfect high tea. A memorable high tea is one where the food is delicious, the tea is tasty and the company is great. As they say:
“Life is like a cup of tea to be filled to the brim and enjoyed with friends.”