an afternoon tea party

how to throw an afternoon tea party

My friends have always been very important to me, especially my lady friends. For as long as I can remember, I’ve always had a group of really close female friends, and I have deeply treasured these relationships. While my guy friends are all super important to me, there is a specific kind of emotional intimacy that comes from a bond with a close girl friend that is a thing all it’s own.  So when I had the idea of throwing an afternoon tea party for my girls, I really didn’t really need an occasion. It was really just a way of just saying ‘I love you, you’re awesome, let’s eat some mini foods.’

So here is what I made, and how I pulled it off. This would work really well for an engagement party, baby shower, birthday party or whatever. In fact, some of my gfs were convinced I was going to surprise them with some news – nope, just wanted an excuse to make tiny scones you guys!

how to throw an afternoon tea party how to throw an afternoon tea party how to throw an afternoon tea party how to throw an afternoon tea party how to throw an afternoon tea party


  • 2 pitchers of Pimm’s Cup – I used this recipe
  • 2 pitchers of iced tea – I used Laura’s recipe for “not-super-sweet sweet tea with orange and spice.” It’s the best.

(Friends brought favourite teas, but we had to forego that as it was simply too hot)


  • Cucumber sandwiches – the classic cream cheese & cucumber, one side whole wheat, one side super white sandwich bread. Crusts removed!
  • Open face smoked salmon sandwiches – on dark rye with creme fraiche and chives.
  • Fruit skewers – I used watermelon, pineapple and grapes
  • Scones (obviously!) – I used this recipe from Violet Bakery and was really happy with the results. The other thing to flag: these scones rose so high that many of them tipped over! Despite looking a little funny they tasted amazing. Served with double devon cream and jams, because obviously.
  • Almond rhubarb picnic bars – this recipe was delicious (although as you can see in the photo above, I totally buggered up the chevron! It took me a while to figure out how to do it, and by the time I realized my chevron was too wide, I just said, screw it. And it still looked pretty).
  • Lemon poppyseed blueberry cake  – recipe from Seven Spoons cookbook, baked in a loaf pan.


  • Bunting – provided by my friend Rose who owns bunting because she is a proper Brit 😉
  • Vintage tea cups from my grandma
  • Tiered plate stand borrowed from my mom (although I’ve seen tons of tiered platters at places like Homesense) and a cake stand
  • Tissue paper tassel garland – I got this in a kit for $4 on sale at Michaels having seen things like it on a million blogs. I feel like it would be a pretty easy DIY too.
  • Fresh flowers – always a good idea.


  • The day before: I did all the grocery shopping, and then made the rhubarb bars, lemon loaf, and fruit skewers. I also chopped up all the fruit for the Pimm’s cups!
  • The day of:  I baked the scones, put together the mini sandwiches and set up the table.
  • To avoid having to do a ton  of dishes (I had 15+ guests, no dishwasher) I used adorable polka dotted paper plates (and matching napkins) I got at Homesense and clear plastic cups for the cold drinks.

how to throw an afternoon tea party


Add yours →

  1. That is my favourite iced tea for real. So happy that you made it for your ladies. These pretty photos make me wish I could have been there! The layers on those scones are outta sight. xoxo

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Prove you’re not a bot *

© 2024 Michelle Arbus

Theme by Anders NorénUp ↑