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Afternoon Tea

Afternoon Tea is a delightful ‘in between’ meal steeped in elegance and sophistication!

Afternoon Tea, in its traditional format is a combination of sandwiches, and scones followed by pastries and / or cakes. Sandwiches are eaten as a first course. They can be cut into fingers, triangles or discs, and be served with or without crusts. Scones come next. Savory scones should be eaten first, followed by the plain or fruit scones. These sweet scones are typically served with clotted cream and jam. The final course is made up of sweet pastries and cakes. The entire experience is further enhanced with tea service – more about that later!

This post is your complete guide to Afternoon Tea. It will address any confusion between Afternoon Tea, Cream Tea and High Tea. There will be instructions how to prepare and serve your own Afternoon Tea at home, complete with recipes and links to recipes. Included also are ideas for themed Tea parties, what accessories are needed and a video how to make it giftable in the form of a grazing box. It’s your one stop shop for everything related to Afternoon Tea.

(Some links in this post will redirect you to a third party seller. Some of these links are to Amazon. As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases.)

What is Afternoon Tea vs Cream Tea?

What is the difference between Afternoon Tea and a Cream Tea? This is a common question. As mentioned above, Afternoon Tea is comprised of savory tea sandwiches, scones and sweet treats. A Cream Tea however is usually just scones, clotted cream and preserve. Sometimes whipped cream is substituted for clotted cream and butter will be served for those foregoing the jam and cream experience. A Cream Tea is associated with the West Country, which is the southwestern part of England. The most notable areas of this region is Cornwall and Devon.

A Cornwall Afternoon Tea is served with the scone split and the jam applied first. Then it is topped with clotted cream. A Devon Cream Tea changes the order of cream and jam, with the cream spread over the scone first and the jam acting like a topping. It’s a hot debate, one that I will not get involved in – I’ll leave it there!

What is Afternoon Tea vs High Tea?

Now we know what Afternoon Tea is, how does it compare with High Tea. High Tea is a hot meal eaten in the late afternoon, early evening hours. The origins of High Tea is from working class Britain. Workers returned from factories, building sites, docks and mines after clocking off at 5pm. A hearty meal, usually meat with potatoes, was served with bread and butter and a pot of tea. This meal was eaten in the kitchen from the same table that was used to prepare the meal.

Growing up in Northern Ireland, many country house hotels in the surrounding area offered High Tea. On the menu was dishes such as Fish and Chips, Chicken Maryland, and Shepherd’s Pie to name a few. A plate of white sliced bread, along with Irish butter (or as we call it – butter,) was placed on the table too. Some restaurants also provided individual jam packets. A pot of tea was served with the meal. Another name given to this style of meal is table d’hôte. This means a certain price is charged and that includes the meal, bread, butter and tea. High Tea or a table d’hôte menu offers value for money. The American equivalent would be an ‘Early Bird Dinner.’

The only common element between an Afternoon Tea and High Tea is the pot of tea consumed and enjoyed, although the service of the tea would have been quite different. Scroll down to Afternoon Tea Accessories below for everything needed for Afternoon Tea service. High Tea, being an evening meal, required the usual dinner cutlery, a bread plate and a mug.

Afternoon Tea and Cake

This is a scaled down version of Afternoon Tea. It consists of one type of cake, usually a Victoria Sponge, served with a pot of tea to share, or it can be as simple as a scone with tea, served in your favorite mug!

Make Your Own Afternoon Tea

Pinkies up – let’s make our own Afternoon Tea at home!

Creating an Afternoon Tea experience in your home is the cheapest and most affordable way to enjoy it! This requires no special skill or talent, just a bit of organization.

I will walk you through how I made Afternoon Tea for two. Feel free to deviate and personalize this experience to suit your own tastes.

Here’s the equation commonly used for Afternoon Tea service:

Savory sandwiches + scones (usually sweet but a savory one can be thrown in) + cakes, tarts or pastries + tea.

More about the actual tea later!

Savory Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

This table will give you an idea as to what breads, fillings and shapes are commonly and not commonly used.

Commonly usedNot commonly used
Bread type:Sliced white sandwich bread.Sliced sourdough
Sliced wholewheat sandwich bread.Rye, or pumpernickel.
Combination of the two, one side white, the other wholewheat.Slider buns, soft rolls, brioche.
Filling:Coronation chicken (recipe below)Caprese (sliced tomato and mozzarella, fresh basil leaves)
Egg (boiled, chopped into small pieces) with mayonnaise, and possibly an onion component like chives. Watercress is also popular with egg.Fried egg and bacon.
Ham and cheese. Sliced deli ham with sliced or grated cheese, such as Cheddar.Mini meatball subs.
Tuna and onion / cucumber, blended with mayonnaise.Roasted veg and creamed cheese.
Shapes:Crusts removed and cut into fingers, either 3 or 4 per sandwich.Themed shapes such as Christmas trees, using a cookie cutter.
Cut into 4 triangles or squares, crust can be cut off or not.Bread cut into discs prior to adding filling.

Afternoon Tea Finger Sandwiches Recipes

Below are a few recipes for Afternoon Tea Sandwiches.

Coronation Chicken

One of the most traditional and popular sandwich fillings is coronation chicken. Created in 1953 for the coronation of the late Queen Elizabeth II, it has a bright yellow color due to the presence of turmeric or curry powder in a base of cream or mayonnaise. Additional flavors come from ingredients commonly used in Indian cuisine.

Ingredients needed are:

  • Bread: white, sliced, fresh.
  • Chicken: cooked. Use leftover rotisserie chicken or roast chicken. I pan fried chicken breast.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Mango chutney: the flavor profile and heat level will affect the overall flavor of the finished chicken filling.
  • Sultanas: otherwise known as a golden raisins.
  • Curry powder: yellow, mild.
  • Ginger: dried.
  • Parsley: fresh.

Chop up the chicken, and parsley. Add them and the rest of the filling ingredients to a bowl and mix. Spread evenly over one slice of bread. Put the other slice on top. Remove the crusts and cut into 4 fingers.

Egg and Cress

Once prepared, I chose to cut these sandwiches into triangles.

  • Eggs: hard boiled.
  • Bread: whole wheat, sliced, fresh.
  • Mayonnaise.
  • Watercress.
  • Chives.

Dice the peeled boiled egg, using an egg slicer.

Collect the diced egg in a dish. Add the mayonnaise, snipped chives and season with salt and pepper.

Wash and dry the watercress. Spread the egg salad mixture onto one slice of bread.

Place the cress on top of the egg and place the other piece of bread on top, to complete the sandwich.

Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich

One of the quintessential sandwiches for Afternoon Tea. I used a salmon flavored cream cheese and decided to make these sandwiches round. One option is to serve them open face with no bread lid.

  • Bread: I used marble rye, fresh, sliced.
  • Cucumber: English cucumber is best for its thinner skin.
  • Cream cheese: Salmon flavored or use non flavored if preferred.

Cut the cucumber horizontally and either using a spoon or melon baller, remove the seeds. Run a fork along the skin to create ripples.

With a cookie cutter, cut round discs of bread.

Spread the cream cheese on the bread and garnish with layers of cucumber. Place the other bread disc on top.


Scones are considered the ‘second’ course in Afternoon Tea service. They are the perfect way to blend savory into sweet. These are traditional British style scones (as in ‘gone’, not scone as in ‘bone.’)

Serve savory scones first. I made a Cheddar and chive scone, split it into two, and decorated each half with layers of smoked ham and sliced brie. Just before serving, I drizzled spicy hot honey over these scones.

The next scone I have is truly the bridge between savory and sweet. It is a plain scone which lends itself to both sweet or savory toppings. I chose sweet and served them with homemade Clotted Cream and strawberry preserve.

Finally, the truest sweet scone is made with dried fruit, in this case I made them with raisins. Served with butter curls made from grass fed Irish butter!

The recipe I used for all of these scones is this one: Simple Air Fryer Scones. Scones made using this recipe can also be oven baked.

The scones above are the standard 7cm / 2¾ inch size. They are ideal for open face service with either a savory topping or traditional clotted cream and preserve. Mini scones are also an option, using a 4cm / 1¾ inch cookie cutter. Mini scones are ideal for filling and serving in their entirety as seen here:

Six mini Simple Air Fryer Scones sandwiched together with strawberry jam and cream on a white plate.
Mini Scones sandwiched together with strawberry jam and cream.

Afternoon Tea Cakes

Cake and sweet treats make up the third and final course. Cake for Afternoon Tea can be cut as a wedge, in a slice or finger, or transformed into a mini cake or cup cake.

Afternoon Tea Cake Recipes:

Strawberry Sponge cake on a cake pedestal with strawberries decorating it and strawberries surrounding it.

Present whole cakes on a pedestal like this traditional Victoria Sponge . When it’s time for the cake course, cut wedges of cake according to your guests’ desired thickness.

This simple two ingredient quick loaf is an easy way to make a homemade cake without too much effort. This particular sweet bread is rum raisin flavored. Choose any flavor you wish. Slice it in advance or keep it whole until guests are ready for a piece.

Loaf of Ice Cream bread with 2 slices cut on a marble board and surrounding raisins.
Whole Irish Apple Cake with two slices cut from it.

Another simple, no fuss cake to serve is an Irish Apple Cake. Easy and not overly sweet.

Here’s a mini cake recipe, for Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes. Mini cakes are the easiest way to serve cake for Afternoon Tea.

Strawberry Crunch Cupcakes

Additional Sweet and Treats

Not every choice needs to be cake based during this final course. Sweet treats are also not only acceptable but welcome especially by non cake lovers.

Orange Mousse in a glass dish garnished with a candied orange twist

I included a 3 ingredient Orange Mousse with this particular Afternoon Tea. Served in individual glasses, they are pre portioned and are delightful to the overall presentation of the Tea. They are also low in sugar and gluten free.

Shortbread, also 3 ingredients, is a delicious addition to the sweet treat offerings.

Round of shortbread with a cup of tea and a piece of shortbread on a plate.
Banoffee pie on a glass plate with a banana and serving slicer in the background.

Banoffee Pie is a crowd favorite. With a cookie (UK biscuit) base, toffee and banana filling, it’s hard to refuse. I made 4 inch / 10 cm) mini pies and cut them into four for this Afternoon Tea post.

For a pastry sweet treat, consider Nutella turnovers. These are warmly welcomed by all the chocolate lovers out there!

Nutella Turnover sliced in half.

Tea Service

Tea plays a pivotal role in any Afternoon Tea get together. The following are best tea practices when serving tea:

Type of Tea Used

Choose any appropriate type of tea. If at all possible, use loose leaf tea. Staying true to the British origins of Afternoon Tea, teas popularly served in the UK and Ireland are marvelous choices for tea service. These teas are primarily sourced from India. These teas include:

  • Darjeeling, a light, delicate black tea.
  • Ceylon Tea, is slightly stronger, with a more aromatic flavor, offering more body than Darjeeling. It has a higher tannin content than Darjeeling.
  • Assam is the strongest tea of this set of black teas.

The name Orange Pekoe is often heard floating around in tea circles. Orange Pekoe is not a type of tea, but rather a classification for tea, and not an actual tea leaf. Orange Pekoe describes the tea leaf size.

While these types of tea are best suited to Afternoon tea, there are other suitors in the wings that can be served.

Flavors are added to a base tea to create a different tea altogether. Base teas are white, yellow, green, oolong and black teas. Ingredients added to these teas are ginger, cloves, spearmint leaves, cardamom, bergamot, and vanilla.

Scents are also used to flavor tea. Scents are placed close to the tea. The tea absorbs the scent which adds flavor to the base tea. This is how jasmine tea is made – jasmine flower blossoms are positioned close to any one of the base teas, which in turn pick up the aroma of the jasmine flowers.

While fruit and herbal based teas are not as traditional as Darjeeling, Ceylon and Assam teas, fruit and herbal teas are gaining popularity in Afternoon Tea drinking circles. Offer them, but be sure these teas will not overpower the flavors of the food. Tea should complement the flavors of the food, not compete with it.

Brands of Tea

So, knowing the types of tea is one thing, but which brand to choose is another. Popular brands are listed below:

  • Barry’s Tea gets my vote – but then what did you expect! Based in Cork, Barry’s tea is the most popular brand of tea consumed in Ireland. Ireland is the second largest (per capita) population of tea consumers in the world after Turkey. We know a thing or two about tea!
  • Twinings is a well known British tea producer since 1706, with its London tea room still in operation today. Their Earl Grey tea is excellent.
  • Punjama, along with Nambarrie tea was what I was raised on. Both popular teas in N. Ireland, Punjama can be shipped anywhere and comes in loose leaf form as well as teabags.
  • Yorkshire tea is England’s most popular tea. Their red label is available in loose leaf form from Amazon.

Crossing the pond (Atlantic), the U.S. has a variety of loose leaf teas in grocery stores, and specialty tea shops. Amazon offers a lot of variety of loose leaf teas.

  • Harney and Sons, are an American tea company specializing in high-quality loose teas and herbal teas. Some of their teas are certified organic and / or kosher. I recommend their Irish Breakfast tea.
  • Smith Tea out of Portland, OR., sells a variety of loose leaf teas, available online or in their store in Portland.

The list of choices are endless. Some options are to buy sampler packs, these allow you to offer your guests variety.

Brewing Time

For optimal results, tea leaves need a certain water temperature and steeping time to get the perfect pot of tea.

How Tea is Served

Tea can be made in a pot or cup. Hot water from a kettle, pot or even microwaved is the first ingredient. This hot water needs to be at the appropriate temperature, (see the above table for water temperatures). Pour the hot water into a pot or cup.

If using a pot with a built in strainer, measure the loose leaf tea into the pot. After the appropriate amount of time (again refer to the table above), pour the tea, the strainer will hold back the tea leaves. If the pot does not have a built in strainer, use a separate strainer, like the one below ( under Tea Accessories).

If using cups for tea brewing, measure out the loose tea leaves into a tea ball or spoon (see Tea Accessories below) and pour the hot water over the container of tea and allow to steep. Provide a little dish for all ‘spent’ tea containers.

If you are hosting a party with several different tea requests, using cups to brew the tea is the best method for satisfying everyone’s tea wishes.

Creative Afternoon Tea Ideas

An Afternoon Tea experience is whatever you make it. Themed Teas are proving to be popular, especially if Afternoon Tea is something you partake in frequently. Here are some ideas:

Celebrating an Event or Season with Afternoon Tea

  • The most popular time of the year to create an Afternoon Tea service, is for Mother’s Day. Mothering Sunday is the fourth Sunday in Lent, celebrated in the UK and Ireland and Mother’s Day celebrated worldwide at different times of the year, depending on the country. Mothers’ Day Afternoon Teas are very popular, with reservations in restaurants filling up months ahead of the date. All the more reason to create your own Tea at home. Add to the experience by giving Mum a Spa Gift Basket!
  • Use Afternoon Tea to celebrate a Baby or Bridal Shower.
  • Christmas and Fall themes. Serve food typical for these seasons and events, such as Mini Christmas Cakes and Crab Apple Toffee Apples. One idea I heard of was ‘Teas and Trees’ with Afternoon Tea being served mid to late January complete with Christmas decorations. It’s something to look forward to post Christmas and New Year.
Mini Christmas Cakes, each cake is decorated with marzipan, fondant and marzipan berries and leaves.
Mini Christmas Cakes.
Completed Homemade Crab Apple Toffee Apples in a row on a sheet of wax paper.
Homemade Crab Apple Toffee Apples
  • A fundraiser is the perfect excuse for Afternoon Tea. Every year my local chapter of Royal Family KIDS (100% volunteer- run and donation-funded charity that provides free programs and services for foster children, including a life changing week at summer camp) hosts a Tea party. Approximately 350 people partake in the experience. All the food is donated, and all proceeds go to Royal Family KIDS.

Serving Afternoon Tea in a Particular Style

  1. Afternoon Tea Windsor style. Named after the historic English town where Windsor Castle, one of the British Monarch’s official residences is located. A Windsor style of Afternoon Tea should be a classic English style of Tea.
  2. Savoy London Afternoon Tea named after the Savoy hotel, is world famous and one of the oldest Teas served. Watch this clip to see exactly how they do their Afternoon Tea service.
  3. Staying with the English theme, there’s an Alice in Wonderland style (think Mad Hatter’s tea) with foods and teas named after Alice, Queen of Hearts, White Rabbit, and the Cheshire Cat. There are also Harry Potter and Peter Pan themes, with lots of ideas online for all of these themes. These themes are popular and will keep kiddos of any age entertained!

Themed Afternoon Tea Parties

  • Make it a Tipsy Tea with the inclusion of Prosecco or champagne.
  • Serving Afternoon Tea for Brunch sounds strange, but there are no rules in place telling you when to serve it. If mid morning works best for guests, then a Brunch Tea is a good solution. Serve mini breakfast sandwiches, granola parfaits, Overnight Oats and open face Pecan Pie French Toast. Both of these suggestions are prepared the day before.
Single glass jar of Nutella Overnight Oats garnished with fresh strawberries, and toasted almonds, in the foreground. Additional jars of Nutella Overnight Oats in the background.
Glass jars of Nutella Overnight Oats garnished with fresh strawberries, and toasted almonds.
Overnight Pecan Pie French Toast
  • Dietary inclusive: serve Afternoon Tea with vegan, gluten free, dairy free, and nut free choices on the menu. Life is hard enough without attending an Afternoon Tea, only to discover you can’t eat any of it, due to dietary restrictions. Consider providing at least one sandwich made with GF bread, serving GF cookies like these Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies (assuming nobody has a peanut allergy) or this Granola Butter (gluten, dairy and nut free!) served on rice crackers.
Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
Almond Flour Peanut Butter Cookies
Granola Butter on a Rice Cake
Granola Butter on a Rice Cake

Afternoon Tea Accessories

In order to execute a successful Afternoon Tea, a few accessories are needed. Some of these accessories are essential, while others are more gimmicky but fun!

We’ll start with the obvious – Afternoon Tea starts with a Tea set. Tea pots are typically china, glass or metal. China pots are more traditional, some are family heirlooms. Glass pots typically come with stainless steel tea leaf infusers. A metal pot can have an oriental motif or a more traditional look. Metal pots are better at retaining the heat of the hot water more so than a china pot. Use decorative Tea cozies or teapot candle warmers to help china pots retain their heat.

Cups, saucers, sugar bowls and a milk jug, teaspoons, butter knives and pastry forks are essential.

If using loose leaf tea, and your teapot does not have an infuser you’ll need a tea strainer, tea spoon or tea ball.

Finally, you’ll need a way to display all the food you are serving. These tiered serving stands or Afternoon Tea étagère will do the trick! If you are serving slices of lemon for the tea, provide a lemon squeezer for guests to use, rather than having them use their fingers.

Afternoon Tea Etiquette

The first point to mention when addressing Afternoon Tea etiquette is how to position one’s pinky! Pinky up or not? That is the question! Apparently, decades ago, raising one’s pinky was a sign of high class. Today I suggest drinking tea however you like!

Coursing the Tea is important. For the first course serve the sandwiches, savory pastries, and savory scones. Then serve the sweet scones, these will be fruit filled or plain. Clotted cream and jam can be served in individual dishes or already on the scones. Lastly, the sweet pastries, cakes and tarts.

Tea can be poured at the very beginning, to mark the commencement of the festivities.

What Makes a Successful Afternoon Tea?

I asked a group of experienced individuals, who are not only passionate about this repast, but are also knowledgeable about how to make it a success. So, what makes this whole experience a success? Their answers were invaluable – here they are:

For the Table Set Up:

  • Cover the table with a cloth or linen tablecloth.
  • Use fresh flowers and candles (perhaps for darker wintry months.)
  • Set each place setting with a medium sized plate (bread / salad plate), cup, saucer, teaspoon, pastry fork and small butter knife.
  • Have water glasses at each place setting. Prepare jugs of still water with cucumber slices, fresh mint or lemon wedges in it. Sparkling water should be served in its original bottle.
  • Use small, cloth napkins or, as some have suggested, use ladies’ embroidered handkerchiefs.
  • Have a name card, along with a menu, (a personalized menu is even better), placed at every guest’s place setting. State the food and teas on offer. Note any allergens. On the back of your menu, state the brewing times for each tea. See the above section on Tea Service for more info.
  • Use étagères (tiered serving stands) whenever possible to make your table three dimensional rather than two.
  • Bring out the family heirlooms and inherited china.
  • Mix and match china pieces for an eclectic look or use all of the same china pattern for uniformity.
  • Polish any silver plated tea serving sets, (which usually consists of a tea pot, milk jug and sugar bowl) before they grace the table.
  • Acquire, most or some of your Afternoon Tea china, linens and glassware from thrift / charity shops and garage sales. Mix and match thrifted items with inherited heirlooms, be creative!
  • Fresh milk should be pre poured into the milk jug but not too far in advance as to leave a milk rim. Use sugar lumps with corresponding lump tongs and have fresh lemon wedges available too.
  • One suggestion was to not have any paper on the table except for menus and place cards. No paper tablecloth, napkins, doilies, or cup cake and muffin wrappers.

Food and Beverage Service

  • Serve interesting food with varied colors and textures. Everything should be mini sized, no large portions – think dainty. Focus more on serving individual tarts and cakes, 2-3 bite sandwiches, mini scones and a light fluffy mousse, as an example.
  • Scones should be served warm. It is worth noting, that most, if not all of the high end hotels in London, such as the Savoy, serve warm scones at Afternoon Tea. Their scones are made every 90 minutes to ensure fresh, warm scones.
  • If serving clotted cream and preserve for scones, use pretty jars or dishes with small spoons. Also provide real butter, preferably grass fed. Make individual butter curls or pre cut butter into small pieces and garnish with a little sea salt.
  • A side table is a great staging area for an extra pot or two of hot water, extra pitchers of cold water and any alcohol being served along with the corresponding glassware.
  • Serve loose leaf tea. Use a teapot with a built in infuser or use a tea strainer, tea spoon or tea ball as shown above in Afternoon Tea Accessories. If guests are placing a tea spoon or tea ball containing loose leaf tea in a tea cup of hot water to brew, provide a small dish or saucer where they can place their spoon or ball when tea brewing is complete.
  • Ensure the water temperature to brew the Tea is sufficient. Cooler water will not draw out all of the flavor. Tea leaves need a water temperature of at least 170 degrees F. / 77 degrees C . Scroll up to Tea Service for more detailed information on water temperatures for teas.

Ambience and Atmosphere

  • Serving Afternoon Tea to celebrate a bridal shower, birthday, or similar occasion is easy. The occasion sets the theme. If the Afternoon Tea is a simple get together, then create your own theme such as a ‘classical’ theme with traditional food and beverages, classical background music and possibly a classical music concert on the TV to cap off the experience. The theme dictates your decor and possibly even your menu too.
  • Consider having a list of conversation starters especially if your guests are not familiar with one another.
  • Play background music that is enjoyable and compliments the entire experience.
  • Offer your guests a gift to take home. Wrap it up and include a note of thanks from you. An inexpensive, yet related gift, is a little loose leaf Tea ball with attached chain and drip tray. It costs about $3 / £2.35 /€2.75 from Amazon.

Above all, make it beautiful, elegant and enjoyable! It should be an event where good friends come together, share laughter, unwind and relax.

What to Wear to Afternoon Tea?

It’s easier to write about what not to wear. Do not be too casual, wearing exercising / gym clothes, flip flops, sweats or hoodies. Do wear something that is smart and comfortable. If the Afternoon Tea has a theme, for example it is an engagement party, then wear what you would typically wear to an engagement party. If in doubt, ask your host.

Some Afternoon Tea invitations will state the dress code. If you are the host, you may wish to mention it on the invite. Some attendees enjoy dressing up in their Sunday best with a fancy hat to top of the festivities.

A Tip From Me

This post is filled with tips for a successful Afternoon Tea experience.

One tip yet to mention is this – be sure to spread the sandwich filling to the very edge of the bread. Every bite should be uniform with the same amount of filling.

Another tip from me, is to make as much of the ingredients in advance. Egg salad sandwiches can be made a day ahead for example. Return pre made, uncut sandwiches, to the sandwich bag and store vertically in the refrigerator. Trim crusts (optional) and cut the following day when needed.

Shortbread can be made days before it is served, along with other sweet treats. Plan the menu and make as much of it ahead of time to make the whole process easier.

Not every food item needs to be homemade. Buy sweet treats as I did (macarons), ready made sandwiches, frozen savory and / or sweet pastries and scones. The goal of Afternoon Tea is to be social not to be a food critic.

Can Afternoon Tea Delivered?

Many establishments offer pre packaged Afternoon Tea treats. This enables everyone, particularly elderly or infirmed people to partake in and enjoy this fun experience. If making Afternoon Tea at home, consider making a bit more and packing it up to gift to elderly neighbors.

Here’s my take on how to make a Grazing Box for Afternoon Tea for two.

All music in this post is composed by Savkf (Saverio Blasi) titled – “Eight Mountains” is under a Creative Commons (CC-BY 3.0) license    / savfkmusic   Music promoted by BreakingCopyright:

“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
C. S. Lewis, Irish-born scholar, novelist, and author

Two tiered stands filled with scones, sandwiches and pastries. Flowers in the background.

Afternoon Tea

This post is your complete guide to Afternoon Tea. It will address any confusion between Afternoon Tea, Cream Tea and High Tea. There will be instructions how to prepare and serve your own Afternoon Tea at home, complete with recipes and links to recipes. Included also are ideas for themed Tea parties, what accessories are needed and a video how to make it giftable in the form of a grazing box. It's your one stop shop for everything related to Afternoon Tea.
5 from 2 votes
Prep Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour
Course Afternoon Tea
Cuisine British
Servings 2
Calories 699 kcal


Coronation Chicken Sandwiches

  • 3 oz cooked chicken breast
  • 2 slices white sandwich bread
  • 1 tbsp yellow curry powder
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp sultanas (golden raisins)

Egg and Cress Sandwiches

  • 1 boiled egg
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 slices wholewheat sandwich bread
  • 2 tbsp chives about 4 chive stalks
  • 1 oz watercress about a handful of leaves

Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich

  • 2 oz cucumber
  • 2 oz cream cheese I used salmon flavored
  • 4 slices marble rye sandwich bread


How to Make Coronation Chicken Sandwiches

  • Chop up the chicken, and parsley.
  • Add them and the rest of the filling ingredients to a bowl and mix.
  • Spread evenly over one slice of bread. Put the other slice on top. Remove the crusts and cut into 4 fingers.

How to Make Egg and Cress Sandwiches

  • Dice the peeled boiled egg, using an egg slicer.
  • Collect the diced egg in a dish. Add the mayonnaise, snipped chives and season with salt and pepper.
  • Wash and dry the watercress. Spread the egg salad mixture onto one slice of bread.
  • Place the cress on top of the egg and place the other piece of bread on top, to complete the sandwich.

How to Make Cucumber and Cream Cheese Sandwich

  • Cut the cucumber horizontally and either using a spoon or melon baller, remove the seeds. Run a fork along the skin to create ripples.
  • With a cookie cutter, cut round discs of bread.
  • Spread the cream cheese on the bread and garnish with layers of cucumber. Place the other bread disc on top.


Serving: 2gCalories: 699kcalCarbohydrates: 73gProtein: 34gFat: 30gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 15gMonounsaturated Fat: 8gTrans Fat: 0.1gCholesterol: 145mgSodium: 1083mgPotassium: 642mgFiber: 8gSugar: 16gVitamin A: 812IUVitamin C: 10mgCalcium: 319mgIron: 6mg
Keyword Afternoon Tea, banoffee pie, Clotted Cream, orange mousse, Preserve, sandwich, Scones
Tried this recipe?Let us know how it was!


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