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How to Have a Victorian Tea Party

Afternoon tea is a fundamental part of traditional British culture, and a Victorian tea party can be a great twist on your next social gathering with your friends.


  • Step 1: Serve the tea. You can either make the tea ahead of time, offer tea bags in a tea box or a tea tray, or have loose tea in labeled containers.
  • Step 2: Provide lemon wedges, milk, and sweeteners such as a pitcher or server for honey, and lumps of sugar in a sugar bowl.
  • Step 3: Provide finger foods to eat at your Victorian tea party. Traditional tea-time fare include tarts, cookies, scones, muffins, cucumber and cream cheese sandwiches, smoked salmon spread, pimento cheese, and olives and cheese.
  • Step 4: Enjoy the company of your friends as you spend a lovely afternoon tea together -- Victorian style.
  • FACT: Queen Victoria ruled England for nearly 64 years, making her the longest reigning monarch in English history.
  • TIP: Mix and match various cups and saucers if you don't have a complete set.
  • Step 5: Set the table with a white lace tablecloth. Use a floral tea set if you have one, or use glass or ceramic. Make sure each guest has a tea cup and saucer, spoon, fork, small plate, and a cloth napkin.
  • Step 6: Decorate your home to resemble England in the 1800s. Find old photographs and frames, antiques, ribbons, lace handkerchiefs, mirrors, jewelry, and books to create a Victorian feel.
  • Step 7: Liven up your home with fresh flowers. Roses were a typical decorative flower in Victorian England.
  • TIP: Use yellow roses, which signify friendship.
  • Step 8: Decide whether your Victorian tea party is going to be buffet style or if you will serve tea at the table. If you have more than eight guests attending, then buffet style will be better. Set up a separate table for the tea and snacks.
  • Step 9: Invite your friends to the tea party by designing Victorian-inspired invitations by hand. Make sure to mail the invitations at least 10 to 14 days before the party, and ask guests to RSVP.

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