Hosting a Tea Party? 5 Menu Planning Ideas and Tips

Hosting a Tea Party? 5 Menu Planning Ideas and Tips

Tea parties have always been a memorable way to gather friends and family for an afternoon of conversation and tasty treats. Yet, there’s more to hosting a tea party than just brewing tea and whipping up a batch of cookies. 

If you need a guaranteed hit, you’ll need a solid plan, particularly for the food. Some elements to mull over are the guest list size, special dietary needs, the event’s purpose, and how formal it’ll be.

Here are a few things you can consider if you are planning a tea party:

Designing Your Menu: Striking the Right Balance

Building a menu that caters to all taste buds is crucial. Strive for a collection of both sweet and savory delights for a balanced variety. And why not spice things up a bit with an unexpected choice? Pizza pockets made at home might seem unconventional for a tea party, but they’re bound to inject some fun into the mix.

• Menu Item 1: DIY Pizza Pockets

Adding DIY pizza pockets to your tea party could be a hit. They’re flexible in terms of filling, tasty, and enjoyable to munch on. All that’s required is some pizza dough, your chosen fillings, and some time to assemble everything. The best part about homemade pizza pockets is that they are easy to make and easier to serve! Plus, they’re loved by people of all ages, so if you’ve got kids coming over, this is a must-have on your menu. If you’ve never made pizza pockets at home or want to do something different, check out expert recipes online. A serving of these crispy golden goodies is sure to be a crowd-pleaser.

• Menu Item 2: Classic Finger Sandwiches

No tea party would be complete without classic finger sandwiches. These small, crustless sandwiches are easy to handle and complement a hot cup of tea any day. Consider traditional fillings like cucumber, smoked salmon, or egg salad, or branch out into more contemporary options like avocado and turkey. Preparation is easy: just spread your filling onto thinly sliced, soft bread, press another slice on top, and cut into bite-sized pieces.

• Menu Item 3: Scones with Clotted Cream and Jam

No tea party is complete without scones, making them a non-negotiable item on your menu. Whether plain, filled with raisins, or a different flavor, warm scones accompanied by clotted cream and assorted jams are a classic choice. For the true homemade feel, making your own scones from a simple online recipe is a winning idea.

• Menu Selection 4: A Variety of Petit Fours

Petit fours, those bite-sized, icing-dressed cakes, are ideal for adding a touch of sweetness to your tea party. Available in numerous flavors, from almond and raspberry to chocolate and lemon, they can either be store-bought or made at home using a basic cake recipe, colorful icing, and a bit of precision. They’ll lend a hint of sophistication to your party while satisfying the sweet cravings of your guests.

• Menu Selection 5: Assortment of Tea Cakes

Adding an assortment of tea cakes to your menu is another wise move. They can range from airy, delicate sponge cakes to more substantial fruitcakes. A benefit of tea cakes is that they can be prepared ahead of time, cutting down on any day-of-party stress. When it comes to flavors, you could stick to classic options like Victoria sponge or lemon drizzle or venture into unique territory like a pistachio and rosewater cake.

Tea Selection: Pairing Tea with Your Menu

The star of the show at any tea party is, of course, the tea itself. 

Consider a variety of options. The classic black teas, the floral and fruity green teas, and some herbal infusions for those who prefer something less caffeinated. 

Be sure to pair your tea with your food: stronger, malty teas like Assam go well with savory items, while delicate Darjeeling pairs well with sweet pastries and cakes.

Dietary Restrictions and Alternatives

Consider your guests’ dietary restrictions. Amidst all the preparations, this one often gets overlooked! However, this is the most crucial aspect of planning a tea party. 

Make sure you cater to vegans and those on a gluten-free diet. You also need to be mindful of any guests who suffer from diabetes. Ask beforehand and prepare accordingly. 

You can make vegan sandwiches, gluten-free scones, or sugar-free desserts without compromising on taste and variety. There are plenty of delicious alternatives available, which you can set aside for those with special requirements.

Preparation and Timing

Preparation is key to hosting a stress-free tea party. Make as much as you can in advance, like sandwiches and scones, which can be frozen and then defrosted on the day of the party. 

Plus, timing your cooking helps! It will ensure that everything is ready at the right moment. Also, keep this little tip in mind: it’s always better to have too much food than too little!

Presentation and Serving Tips

Presentation matters just as much as taste. Here are some tips: 

• Use beautiful china.

• Lay out your food on tiered stands.

• Don’t forget the finishing touches, like fresh flowers or table linen. 

• Serve sandwiches and scones first, followed by the sweeter items. 

• Refill the teapots frequently.

• Ensure there’s plenty of milk, lemon, and sugar available for guests to customize their tea.


Hosting a tea party is a wonderful opportunity to gather loved ones and enjoy good food and conversation. It may seem a bit overwhelming if you haven’t done this before or are planning a large-scale gathering for the first time, but with careful planning and preparation, you can host a tea party that will delight your guests and create lasting memories. Happy hosting!

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Josie Smith
Josie Smith
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  1. Brittany Gilley
    July 12, 2023 / 8:08 pm

    thank you for the lovely tips

  2. Kari B
    July 13, 2023 / 6:10 am

    Such a fun party idea. Great suggestions!

  3. Janet Meisner
    July 13, 2023 / 1:12 pm

    That looks like a lovely tea party and is perfect for summer.

  4. Oliviea
    July 15, 2023 / 5:22 pm

    Excellent tips! Will have to incorporate them the next time I do a tea party

    July 17, 2023 / 11:30 am

    look good

  6. Shirley O
    July 18, 2023 / 10:19 am

    This sounds like a fun idea that my friends would really enjoy! Thank you for all the wonderful tips.

    July 19, 2023 / 11:50 am

    good info

  8. Heather Swanson
    July 23, 2023 / 4:25 pm

    Dressing up for tea parties is so much fun!