Put the kettle on, break out the eggs, dust your rolling pin with flour, and prepare to host your very own afternoon tea as we celebrate Afternoon Tea Week (Monday 10 – Sunday 16 August).
Whether it’s an al fresco moment with friends, a celebratory occasion with family, or simply a moment for yourself, we have a few handy hints and tips, to bring high tea home in an elegant stylish setting.
Napery is the start of all afternoon teas. Although easy to clean, avoid plastic and go for a plain, white linen, lace-edged number or a floral print. If the table is long, layer two mismatched ones and then add a white piece to overlay the middle. Now you have set the tea stage! Appearances are everything with afternoon tea, and if you’re hosting a Classic Vintage Afternoon Tea, you’ll need teapots, tea strainer, jug for the milk, sugar bowl, an extra teapot of hot water (for those who prefer weak tea), plates for sandwiches, scones and cakes and some small pots for jam, cream and anything else!
For a striking and colourful centrepiece, the two-tier, fine bone china Timorous Beasties Cake Stand with an elegant brushed-brass handle, is perfect for displaying delicious pastries and scones. To serve, the Gold Cake Server – a double-sided brushed-brass stainless steel server – allows you to slice and serve with ease.
For the all-important cup of tea, it is important to use cups that are elegant and are easy to use. For something that allows you to sip in style, the beautifully designed Timorous Beasties Tea for One – teacup, saucer and teapot – is a pretty addition. You could also add a touch of glamour with the Gold Tea Strainer or Gold Leaf Spoon as you prepare your brew!
For a classic tea itself, British-grown and British-dried tea is a wonderful addition to any hosts table. Set in Cornwall’s largest historical botanic garden, Tregothnan offers traditional English Breakfast, fragrant Earl Grey and invigorating Peppermint teas.
Is there a more archetypical English institution than an afternoon tea menu? Sandwiches are the perfect addition, with the traditional way being to cut the crusts off and to serve in triangle shape. You can also use mini rolls or brioche. Some of ‘the classics’ include cucumber, Coronation chicken, ham and mustard mayonnaise, egg , smoked salmon and cream cheese.
Scones can be a mixture of the plain and raisin variety, served with clotted cream (preferably Roddas!) and a large dollop of jam. It is apt to have a selection of cakes and pastries in a mini style and favourites include Victoria sponge, fruit cake, strawberry tart, chocolate cake and macarons.
Timorous Beasties Cake stand – £45
Gold Cake Server – £8
Timorous Beasties Tea for One – £40
Timorous Beasties Coffee Cup and Saucer – £25
Gold Tea Strainer – £6
Gold Leaf Spoon – £12
Tregothnan English Breakfast Tea – £8
Tregothnan Earl Grey Tea – £8
Tregothnan Peppermint Tea – £6
Available to buy at the Royal Opera House Shop – shop.roh.org.uk