Afternoon tea—not high tea*—is a traditional British meal taken in mid-afternoon. It’s an elegant snack and social hour between lunch and dinner.
A pot of tea plus nibbles—a choice of finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, cakes and pastries—allow friends to enjoy a leisurely chat.
It’s our favorite way to keep in touch with friends, and develop relationships with new acquaintances.
Tea parties are so enjoyable that guests invariably wonder why Americans don’t have more of them.
We’ve made it easy for you to host tea parties, with a whole year of afternoon tea party ideas. You don’t need to host one every month: Rotate the location with friends. Those who like to bake can try out new recipes.
Tea parties don’t have to be fattening. We have a selection of healthy choices among our tea party food recommendations.
Since most of us work during the week, consider holding tea parties on Sunday afternoons. While it’s not traditional, you can serve sherry, Port or wine for those who need some spirited enticement.
*High tea is a hearty working class supper traditionally served in the late afternoon or early evening (in modern times, generally around 6 p.m.).
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