We love the idea of a mother and daughter(s) going out for afternoon tea, for a special occasion. It is also a great way to celebrate your daughter’s birthday with her friends or first day of school . Little girls around the age of 3-10 years old, would love to dress up, sip a cup of tea from a “grown up” tea set and lunch on some cute little sandwiches, scones and pastries. But before the current situation allows us to go out safely, why not organize an afternoon tea party at home? If you like this idea as much as we do, here are a few tips to help you organize everything
Preparing the afternoon tea menu
Traditionally the food is served on a 3-tiered serving stand. As a rule, the food is placed on the stand, in the following order:
- Sandwiches should be at the bottom.
Most common fillings are cucumber, egg salad and smoked salmon, but since this is your tea party, you can use your imagination. The sandwiches should be small, and the filling finely chopped. They should have cut off crusts and be rectangle or triangular in shape.
- Scones are placed in the middle. Read our previous post to see how you can make scones at home. They are traditionally served with clotted cream and jam.
- Pastries are at the top. You can make a cake of your choice and serve it in small pieces, make cupcakes or buy colourful macarons.
The most common tea served at afternoon tea are Assam and Earl grey, but for smaller children you can also serve herbal tea like chamomile.
Afternoon Tea etiquette rules
Organizing afternoon tea is a great opportunity to touch base on some etiquette rules too. We are only going to list the rules that are relevant for a tea party at home and those that are realistic for children to keep up.
- Dress appropriately.
- As mentioned above, afternoon tea comes in 3 courses on a 3 tiered-tray.
- Savories and sandwiches are eaten first
- Scones with jam and clotted cream next
- Last, but certainly not least, the sweets are eaten
Eat the food with your fingers. Sandwiches should be eaten in 2-3 bites. Use a knife to spread the clotted cream and jam onto your scone.
3. Don’t lick your fingers
4. Dab your mouth with a napkin, do not wipe
5. Hold your teacup by the handle and keep your pinkie finger down
6. Milk and sugar is only used for black tea.
7. Don’t dip your scone into the tea.
8. Don’t drink the tea with the spoon in it.
If your afternoon tea is a party theme for a birthday, you will need some elegant party supplies. We recommend using a porcelain tea set, as it plays the main role in the theme. But we understand that with children, paper cups and plates might need to be an option too. Try to include and elegant pattern, like the floral pattern.
What to wear for afternoon tea
The dress code is usually smart casual. Try to stay away from sneakers and jeans. Girls usually love to wear their “special occasion” dresses with their girlfriends. Younger girls might love to create a matching look with their mom. We discuss a few tips on what to wear below. We just love these dresses and accessories. (affiliate links – click on images to see more).
Three places to enjoy the real afternoon tea – with or without children
If you enjoyed the afternoon tea at home, next time try out the real thing. There are a few places that organize afternoon teas especially prepared for children.
Fortnum&Mason – London (various locations), UK. Other than the classic afternoon tea, they also offer a Children’s afternoon tea menu, for children aged 4-10. https://www.fortnumandmason.com
Fairmont Empress hotel, Victoria, BC, Canada: During the summer months, the Empress serves more afternoon tea than most hotels in London. They also offer the Children’s Prince or Princess Teas for children aged 5 to 12. https://www.fairmont.com/empress-victoria/
The Victorian House – Munich (several locations in the center), Germany. This is a place for a good tea and scones. They even have a concept called Sconery & Tea to Go at one of their locations! https://www.victorianhouse.de