Christmas Tea Party: a British inspired Christmas tea party menu, complete with recipes and decor ideas for high tea.
This Christmas Tea Party was so much fun to put together, and the perfect fun festive party to celebrate the holiday season. Many years ago when I was 18, I lived in England for a year. It was then that I developed a love for traditional afternoon tea, and learned all about the traditional tea party fare. I had so much fun putting together a British inspired menu for our Christmas tea party. I can’t think of a better way to celebrate Christmas time, then with a festive British themed tea party. If you are planning to host your own tea party, I hope it gives you lots of inspiration.
I decorated the table with some beautiful Christmas trees down the centre of the table on a knit runner. I added some twinkle lights and pretty candles. All the Christmas decorations looked so beautiful.
At each place setting I started off with some pretty vintage tea cups. These were the first thing I found for the tea party and they set the tone for the whole party. They’re from the thrift shop which is the perfect place to find tea cups for an afternoon tea party. They certainly add an authentic British tradition feel. They would also be sweet party favors for guests to take home to remember a special afternoon. This would also be the perfect occasion to use special Christmas china if you had some.
I mixed my vintage tea cups with plain white plates, and pretty gold cutlery to match their gold trim. At each place setting I included a Christmas cracker -another very British addition to the table. I gave these Christmas crackers a makeover with some pink paper, and new ribbons and embellishments to tie them into our party perfectly.
I also included these pretty iridescent champagne flutes. A glass of champagne makes a wonderful addition to a tea party -inspired by the fancy high tea menus at the hotels downtown, and is the perfect way to raise festive spirits on special occasions with a little holiday cheer. We didn’t have champagne but we did include some sparkling strawberry juice that my kids enjoyed.
Christmas Tea Party Decor
In addition to our pretty table, I thought it would be fun to add a few simple tea party inspired decorations. On our little mini Christmas tree, I used an old metal tea set as decorations on the tree. The tea pot made the perfect tree topper, and the cups and saucers make adorable ornaments. I love including little details like this to make a holiday party extra special.
On the side cabinet I added in some light up marquee letters to spell out “tea”.
Christmas Tea Party Menu
Traditionally a full afternoon tea is served late afternoon and has a savoury course to begin with, mostly comprised of finger sandwiches, and savoury snacks, followed by scones with cream and jam, and then small sweet treats and desserts.
It won’t be a tea party without tea. In an English tea room it would be loose leaf tea made in a teapot and served in a teacup. Many tea drinkers swear the a cup of tea tastes better drunk from a china tea cup. If you don’t have a tea pot, look for one at a thrift store. These days you can us a tea bag to make the tea. Look for a black tea like earl grey, or English breakfast. But you can also include other options for guests like different flavors of herbal tea, or green tea. Be sure to have milk, not cream for the tea, and sugar cubes -so you can say “one lump or two?”
If you have children at your tea party, hot chocolate is a good idea. Make it feel extra special by serving it from a teapot for them. This sure to be a big hit, especially if you add a dollop of whipped cream and some marshmallows.
- egg salad on mini croissants
- turkey sandwiches with cranberry mayo -find the recipe here
- cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches
- mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and horseradish cream
- sausage rolls
To make the Mini Yorkshire puddings with roast beef and horseradish cream, I picked up some frozen Yorkshire puddings at the grocery store, and baked them according to the package instructions. I aded some roast beef deli meat, some lettuce, and horseradish cream. I thought these were a nice nod to a traditional Christmas roast, but in holiday tea party form, and a great addition to our menu.
Turkey tea sandwiches with cranberry sauce mayo were also felt perfect for a Christmas celebration. They’re easy to make and really delicious.
The sausage rolls are another very traditional British savory treat. These are from my local bakery, and cut into small pieces were perfect for our Christmas afternoon tea.
- scones with jam and cream -find the Easy Food Processor Scones recipe here
- Christmas fruit cake
- mini raspberry trifles
- mincemeat tarts
- assorted cookies -chocolate chip shortbread cookie recipe here
- mini cupcakes
The scones are a quick and easy recipe, or pick some up at the bakery. In England it’s traditional to have scones with jam and clotted cream. It’s very difficult to find clotted cream here, and very expensive so I’ve substituted some whipped cream. It’s not the same as clotted cream, but it’s quite delicious. This time of year you might try using a jam with some traditional Christmas season flavors like cranberry. Lemon curd is another great option.
Old fashioned fruit cake is such a traditional British treat around the holidays. These days many aren’t fans of it, but if you enjoy it Christmas cakes are the perfect holiday addition to your tea parties menu.
Another traditional British treat at Christmas is mince pies. I picked up some mincemeat tarts at the bakery. Add an assortment of any of your favourite Christmas cookies, like sugar cookies, shortbread, or gingerbread.
I also included some mini cupcakes. These mini cakes are the perfect little bite and these were so beautiful too, picked up from my favorite cupcake shop.
The trifles are an easy addition. Start with some store bought pound cake, cut into cubes and layered in the bottom of a dessert cup. Next layer on some custard -homemade or from a can. Then add a layer of raspberry jam and sprinkle of fresh raspberries. Top it all off with some whipped cream, and decorate with another raspberry and a leaf of holly and holly berries (but don’t eat these).
This tea party was so much fun, especially with our English inspired menu and fun pink color scheme. We had such a good time, enjoying good food, and close friends. It’s the perfect way to celebrate this Christmas time.
This was a great way to celebrate the holidays, but it would also be a very fun baby shower, or birthday celebration with good friends over the holidays.
With a Christmas tea party like this one to enjoy, life really is a party. Merry Christmas!
You might also. like our Nutcracker Tea Party here.
Also check our Christmas Fondue Party here.
You might also enjoy Christmas Dessert Party here.