I think everyone knows how much I love afternoon tea, so on Good Friday, rather than pay over the odds and head into London, I said I’d sort a little afternoon tea at home for mum and I. We just sat in the dining room, had some eats and a bottle of prosecco – and it was really lovely. It was just nice not to have to get totally dressed up, but still have a good time. If you too want to master afternoon tea at home, then here are my tips.
(1) Get Creative
The week leading up to the Friday, I made my own menu in Publisher. I found a similar template on Google and adjusted that slightly. It was also good to decide then what I’ll be serving – and it had pride of place on the table. It took about 40 minutes to do, but it was so worth it and was just a little extra touch I thought I’d do to make it special.
(2) Prep, prep and prep some more
I was at work all week, so time really wasn’t on my side. Items I had bought could be kept in storage, but everything else I prepped in the morning, prior to serving. The table can be set in advance, baked goods can be left to cool, sandwich fillings can be kept in the fridge. When you have afternoon tea, a lot of the time, the trays are already prepared and taken out of the fridge – so don’t feel under pressure to get everything organised in a short timeframe.
(3) It’s all about china
I don’t think I’ve ever had an afternoon tea at a restaurant or hotel and not been impressed with the china plates and teacups – only the best. Why not replicate that at home and rather than use your everyday dinner plates or those old chipped ones, get out your best china. It’ll make the occasion a lot more special.
(4) The tea is important
Of course, TEA is a big part. I always love the selections available and it’s a chance to try something a little unusual or I wouldn’t normally. A couple stand out for me: the apple pie tea at The Sanderson and Old Blue Eyes at The Connaught. We had a decent enough selection at home: numerous breakfast teas, earl grey, green tea, fruit tea, butter mint and camomile. We both opted for Betty’s of Yorkshire, which is honestly the nicest breakfast tea ever! I love Yorkshire tea.
(5) If in doubt, cheat
Like I said, I worked all week and I have a 40-50 minute commute to work. I would have loved to bake my own scones and cakes and even made pastries or tarts, but I totally didn’t have time. I barely have time to do anything in the evenings (you may have noticed, my posts are inconsistent). The scones I bought from Betty’s and they were beautiful. They were delivered the day before, so were still fresh – I did put them in the oven for 10 minutes to warm them through. I bought a couple of loaf cakes from Betty’s too: the Yorkshire Loaf and Stem Ginger Cake – both were delightful and exactly what my afternoon tea required. I served my scones with clotted cream, strawberry preserve and fresh berries.
I was really pleased with how the afternoon went and my mum appreciated it too – which was the aim. I’m sure next time we will go out, as there are a few places I would love to try.
Have you ever hosted afternoon tea? What are your tips?
Love, Lucy xx