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Host Your Own High Tea

Home > Everywhere > Afternoon Tea | High Tea
by Lynne Cargill (subscribe)
I'm a grandmother, a retired teacher, an avid reader and Pinterest addict who loves historical re-enactment, English Country Dance, writing and Op Shopping. My business www.Step Into History.com.au is designed to help children experience history.
Published August 9th 2013
High tea without the high price
High Tea without the high price.

High Tea is the "in" thing at the moment but the cost is outrageous. And the food may not be exactly what you want - especially if you or your friends are gluten intolerant.

So ...... what is the answer. D.I.Y of course.

tea party, china, high tea
An elegant Tea Party is not difficult to create.


The hardest part is getting the correct crockery but if you have none yourself, ask around. Lots of people have old china in a cupboard somewhere. To ensure a good time follow these simple suggestions:

If borrowing crockery take a photo before you begin so you can be sure to return items to the correct person.

tea party, china, high tea
Take photos of anything you borrow in groups according to who they belong to.


Some op shops still have pretty china but prices are not what they used to be.

Invite people who are willing to dress up and "be polite". A great opportunity to entertain elderly aunts and neighbours.

tea party, china, high tea
Only invite people willing to 'ham it up' and be elegant!


Keep it small for ease of catering and to allow polite conversation.

Keep it short so people don't 'fall out of character'. An hour or two is plenty.

Use beautiful table cloths - linen if you can. One large table or several card tables.

Use china cups and saucers, sugar bowls and milk jugs.

Everything must be in a china or glass container - no plastic allowed.

tea party, china, high tea
Definitely NO plastic allowed.


Cloth napkins if you can. None would be preferable to cheap paper ones.

Use cake stands if you can or stand plates on upside down cups, glasses or vases. Check for stability though.

Keep the food simple and bite sized - jam, cream, and scones or pikelets; dainty sandwiches, brown bread with cucumber or watercress and cream cheese; teeny cup cakes.

Decorate tables with flowers.

Use teapots and loose leaf tea. Herb tea such as mint or chamomile are appropriate.

Wear your best frocks. If outdoors wear hats or bring parasols. Wear gloves (not to eat though).

tea party, china, high tea
I hosted a Regency ( Jane Austen) garden party for my birthday.
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Why? To entertain
When: Afternoon
Where: Your home or garden.
Your Comment
What a delightful idea and something to enjoy in a spring garden.
by blue2 (score: 1|16) 1803 days ago
Sounds like a great way to host a baby shower too.. lots of fun and creativity to be had.
by Katy Holliday (score: 3|1129) 1802 days ago
well done. The ideas, photos and recommendations . Good job :-)
by Irene (score: 1|19) 1786 days ago
I love Cucumber Sandwiches: super thin slices of Cucumber & real Butter on the freshest, thinnest white bread - NO Crusts allowed. Delicious.
by fluffynut (score: 2|843) 1069 days ago
I love the idea of this, most people I know are too busy whizzing around, not enough hours in the day or working shifts and living in different time zones. Hopefully, I'll get a chance to try it out sometime. :)
by Margaret Waters (score: 1|91) 1789 days ago
Lovely idea Lynne! Do you also write a blog by any chance?
by maria (score: 1|87) 1609 days ago
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