Afternoon Tea Menu Planning Tips

Afternoon Tea Menu Planning Tips

You’ve invited your friends, set your table, and selected your teas, but how do you plan afternoon tea menu? If you’re not in the habit of hosting events, figuring out what to serve and how much can be a little challenging.

Catering your event doesn’t have to be overwhelming. These are a few of my favorite tips for planning your menu and creating a successful event:

Not Too Much & Not Too Little

Afternoon tea food is meant to be a mid-day snack, usually in place of a light lunch. Depending on the type of tea you’re serving, you’ll want to plan your menu accordingly.

  • A Cream Tea usually includes scones, Devonshire cream, jam, and of course, tea.
  • A Victorian Tea is a little more filling and adds tea breads and tea sandwiches.
  • Then there’s the Full Afternoon Tea which includes all of the above plus canapés, desserts, and sometimes starts with soup.

On average, you should plan on 1-2 scones, 3-4 finger sandwiches, 2-3 canapés, and 2-3 desserts per person. Tea sandwiches, canapés, and desserts should be no more than two bite-sized.

Sandwich Guidelines

Keep your sandwiches thin with very little filling so they don’t fall apart or require two hands to eat.

Placing a decorative bed of lettuce under your sandwiches will keep them moist so the bread doesn’t become stale.

Let Them Eat Cake

Cake is usually served in bite-size squares or thin slices. If you’re serving a full cake, cut it and place each slice on small plates. Be sure to serve desserts with a dessert fork or spoon as they can be messy.

It Will Be Our Secret

Hint . . . you don’t have to make everything on your menu. It’s okay to purchase cookies, cakes, petit fours, and macarons from the bakery. Serve frozen mini quiches if you don’t have time to make them. Get puff pastry or phyllo cups and fill them with chicken salad or chocolate mousse for easy menu items. No one has to know you purchased some of your menu items.

Planning your afternoon tea food menu shouldn’t be complicated, it’s just tea, not an all-you-can-eat buffet. A few simple planning preparations will help you create the perfect tea for your guests.

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