The UK has been blessed with the occasional glimpse of summer in recent weeks, so it feels apt to start planning a tea party as an excuse to get everyone together. A tea party is a great alternative to a barbeque, as it can easily be moved inside if the weather lets you down.

We know hosting can be stressful, especially when there are lots of elements to come together. In this guide we’ve put together some of our favourite tips, recipes, and ideas to make sure your tea party is stress-free and something everyone will remember.

DECORATIONS

Step 1: Choose your theme! Do you want pastels, florals, or maybe a mad hatters themed party? Whichever you choose, it’s best to go all out and try and bring this theme to every element of the event. We like a classic British-themed set up, with Union Jacks and bunting being a must!

China – There is never a more appropriate time to dig out your prettiest china. If you don’t have any, charity shops and car boot sales are a great place to pick up some mismatching sets, adding an extra element of charm to your layout.

Tablecloth – You can keep with the theme and take this opportunity to go with an outlandish pattern, or skip it if you have a nice wooden table and are going for a more rustic look.

Bunting – Buy some or make your own. Either way, it always reminds us of Royal celebrations and the street parties that come with them! We love this easy tutorial by blogger Poppy Loves.

Flowers – If you have flowers in your garden, arrange a few cuttings of those in to various vases to bring the whole table together.

DRINKS & FOOD

Sandwiches – Cater to your guests with a varied selection of meat and veggie sandwiches. Depending on how much time you have to prepare, you can either choose the classic finger shape or intricate variations. We love the sandwich recipes by River Tea.  TIP: make the night before, cover with a slightly damp cloth, then a layer of cling film. Pop in the fridge overnight and uncover fresh and ready for your party the following day!

Scones – There’s nothing more pleasant on a sunny day than biting in to a buttery scone covered in clotted cream and jam- but be prepared for the jam or cream first debate! We love Delia's recipe made with buttermilk.

Cakes – Once again, a couple of different varieties is key here. We would suggest light, fluffy and delicious cakes that aren’t too heavy after eating scones and cream. After all, you and your guests want to try and fit as much in as possible!

Victoria Sponge by James Martin - A true classic: light, fluffy, and an all-round crowd pleaser! You can make your sponges ahead of time and freeze them, ready to defrost and fill with cream and jam on the day.

An alternative choice (and one of our personal favourites), is a slightly unusual but very delicious courgette cake. We love this version with a hint of orange.

Your treats should be arranged on a cake stand with sandwiches bottom, scones in the middle, and cakes on top. We suggest getting some paper bags together to give out any leftovers to your guests.

Still stuck for ideas? Have a look at our Afternoon Tea Pinterest Board for some inspiration!

Pinterest tea party