35 Tea Party Food Ideas & Recipes – Scones To Sandwiches

A quintessential English tradition, the tea party has evolved over time to become a popular celebration for various occasions, including birthdays and Mother’s Day. While tea is undoubtedly an integral part of this charming gathering, it’s the food that truly sets the tone. Delicate sandwiches, savory bites, and sweet treats come together to create a delightful culinary experience.

A traditional tea party typically consists of three courses: Tea Sandwiches and Savory Bites, Scones with Jam and Cream, and Sweet Treats. If you’re planning to host your own tea party but are unsure where to start with the menu, fear not! This list features dishes from all three courses that are not only easy to prepare but also tantalize the taste buds.

For bite-sized treats and finger sandwiches, be sure to check out our high tea treats list and discover the perfect option to match your party’s theme. And if you’re looking for inspiration, consider exploring our collection of tea sandwich recipes, which includes 24 mouth-watering options.

The first course of a typical afternoon tea, sandwiches and savory items like canapés and crostini are served immediately at the start of the tea service. As with any proper tea etiquette, it’s customary to decide what you’d like to eat and serve it on your plate from the serving tray before you begin. Additionally, be sure to finish all the items on your plate before moving on to the next course.

Chicken Mushroom Alfredo Canapes


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The humble combination of chicken, bacon, and toast is a winning formula at any tea party. But elevate it with a rich and creamy alfredo sauce and toasted bread, and you’ll have a recipe that will be the talk of the town for days to come. The best part? These bite-sized morsels are incredibly easy to prepare and can be assembled in no time, making them a foolproof choice for any occasion.

Strawberry Goat Cheese Bruschetta


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As the warm sunshine beckons outside, why not bring a touch of elegance indoors with a sweet and refreshing treat? This delightful tea party food idea strikes the perfect balance between flavors, combining the sweetness of strawberries with the creaminess of goat cheese. With preparation time clocking in at under 20 minutes, it’s the ideal start to your fancy afternoon tea party – don’t you agree?

Mango Chicken Puffs

Indulge in the delightful combination of creamy mango and succulent chicken, wrapped in the flakiest puff pastry, ready to impress your guests in under 30 minutes. This effortless yet impressive snack recipe is perfect for a special occasion, be it a princess tea party or any other celebration. The harmonious blend of flavors and textures will undoubtedly make this dish a crowd-pleaser.

Asparagus Tart with Egg and Goat Cheese


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Indulge in a delightful vegetarian option for your savory tea party menu with a delectable asparagus tart recipe courtesy of trialandeater. The harmonious union of crunchy asparagus, flaky pastry, and creamy goat cheese is simply divine. The addition of a runny egg elevates the dish to new heights, making it an absolute must-try, even if it’s not typically considered finger food.

Philadelphia Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches


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Indulge in an refined afternoon affair with our expertly curated high tea menu, where elegance meets ease. Savor the simplicity of these finger sandwiches, crafted with a mere handful of ingredients yet exuding sophistication. Our recipe combines the harmonious trifecta of cream cheese, cucumber, and ham – a match made in heaven. With minimal effort required, you can still impress your guests with these visually stunning bites, perfect for an unforgettable tea party experience.

Deviled Egg Finger Sandwiches


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Indulge in the quintessential comfort food fusion that elevates the humble English tea party to new heights. The deviled egg salad sandwich, a staple of refined gatherings, is reimagined with the subtle touch of chive threads, creating a visually stunning experience. Whether it’s a leisurely afternoon or an impromptu get-together, this delightful combination of flavors – herbs, eggs, and rich sauce – has the potential to transport your taste buds to new levels, making it arguably the most satisfying egg sandwich you’ve ever had.

Cucumber Mousse and Dill Shrimp Bites


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This exquisite tea party offering is nothing short of sublime. Deceptively simple to prepare, yet bursting with flavor, these succulent shrimp bites are sure to steal the show. The velvety cucumber mousse brings a refreshing respite from the crunchy toasted bread and tender shrimp, elevating this dish to new heights.

Smoked Salmon Crostini


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Crostinis are the epitome of simplicity and sophistication in appetizer form. The versatility of toppings allows for endless possibilities, and smoked salmon is a particularly impressive choice. To ensure a seamless preparation process, all ingredients can be prepped ahead of time, then assembled just before the tea party commences. This elegant combination of smooth goat cheese sauce and fresh tomatoes elevates the crostini to new heights, making it the perfect addition to any refined gathering.

Cucumber Goat Cheese Sandwich Bites


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For many, a classic cucumber sandwich is a staple of English tea parties. But what if we took this beloved treat to new heights? By transforming it into sumptuous cucumber sandwich bites, reminiscent of open-faced crostini, we can elevate the experience even further. The addition of herbed goat cheese adds a rich and creamy element, while the crunchy bite of fresh cucumber provides a delightful contrast against the soft French baguette and tangy cheese. This creative twist on a timeless favorite is sure to impress at your next tea party or whimsical gathering.

Downton Abbey Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches


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For an authentic British afternoon tea experience, few things evoke the same sense of sophistication as an expertly crafted egg salad finger sandwich. When done just so, these delicate sandwiches exude refinement and charm, making them a perfect addition to any warm spring gathering. With their simplicity and elegance, they’re sure to impress your guests and leave a lasting impression on your party experience.

Ham Rolls and Toadstools


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For a whimsical touch at your Mad Hatter tea party, why not opt for something more delightful than toadstools? These delectable ham rolls are surprisingly easy to prepare and will transport your guests down the rabbit hole with their scrumptious flavor. Inspired by Alice’s fantastical adventure, these savory treats will have you feeling like you’ve taken a tumble into a world of wonder.

Cucumber Sandwiches

There’s nothing quite like a timeless classic to impress at any tea party. Cucumber sandwiches, in particular, stand out for their enduring popularity and scrumptious flavor profile. When executed flawlessly, they’re the ultimate showstopper among tea party fare. The harmonious union of cream cheese and fresh herbs elevates this humble snack to royal treatment-worthy status, making it a top contender among princess-themed tea party food ideas.

Crustless Quiche Cups


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English tea parties just got a whole lot more exciting with these gluten-free, scrumptious mini quiche bites. Requiring mere minutes of preparation and baking time, they’re the perfect addition to your afternoon spread. Without the need for a crust, these bite-sized treats are surprisingly light and airy, making them ideal for preparing ahead of time. Ditching traditional sandwiches and scones for something new and exciting? Look no further than these delectable mini crustless quiches.

Crab Salad Sandwiches


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Imagine serving tea sandwiches that exude effortless elegance, as if they were freshly crafted seconds before being devoured. The secret to achieving this refined presentation lies in the subtle nuances of preparation and presentation. For a truly impressive tea party offering, consider incorporating a succulent crab salad filling into your sandwich creations. This delightful combination will undoubtedly leave your guests craving more. If you’ve never ventured beyond traditional fillings for your tea sandwiches, prepare to be pleasantly surprised by the rich flavors and textures that a crab filling has to offer.

Classic Deviled Eggs

Deviled eggs are a crowd-pleasing classic that can be served at any occasion. But when it comes to a tea party or intimate gathering, they’re particularly well-suited as a delightful finger food option. The beauty of deviled eggs lies in their ability to be prepared ahead of time, making them a stress-free addition to your menu. And let’s not forget the flavor – with the perfect balance of creamy and savory, it’s no wonder these bite-sized morsels are always a hit. When paired with some crunchy crackers and a sprinkle of fresh herbs, deviled eggs take on a whole new level of sophistication.

Roast Beef Pickle Bites


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When it comes to serving tea party fare, many people default to sandwiches. However, roast beef pickles offer a refreshing departure from the usual. These bite-sized morsels are sure to spark curiosity and once guests take a bite, they’ll be hooked. When paired with a tangy and creamy mayo dill sauce, this pickle-based menu is an effortless way to elevate your tea party’s culinary game.

Salmon Croquette Canapes


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Indulge in the refined charm of an afternoon tea party with these exquisite salmon croquettes, nestled in flaky bread crumbs and infused with a subtle hint of spice. A delicate fusion of flavors and textures, they pair perfectly with French bread crostini and a squeeze of fresh lemon, accompanied by a sprinkle of dill for added brightness. This elegant recipe is the epitome of sophistication, making it an ideal choice for an all-encompassing tea party experience.The second course typically consists of scones, served with a generous helping of jam and clotted or whipped cream. Enjoy your scones with your fingers, carefully scooping on the desired amount before placing them on your plate. As with the preceding courses, it’s essential to maintain separation between condiments and utensils to prevent cross-contamination. Use a butter knife to apply the cream or jam, and be sure to complete each course before progressing to the next. While traditional tea parties often feature, well, tea, modern iterations have introduced various exceptions, allowing for an array of drinks to complement your scones.

Almond Flour Blueberry Scones


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At a traditional English tea party, scones are an indispensable treat. These buttery and flaky pastry biscuits, often served with an array of sweet or savory fillings, are sure to delight any guest. When infused with the nutty flavor of almonds and paired with the sweetness of blueberries and raspberry jam, these bite-sized treats transcend mere indulgence, becoming a truly heavenly experience. This delightful British-inspired tea party idea is not only scrumptious but also remarkably low in carbohydrates, making it an ideal choice for those looking to indulge without compromising their dietary goals.

Roasted Strawberry Greek Yogurt Scones For Tea Party Menu


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Nutmegnanny’s delightful scones are infused with the sweet-tart flavors of berries, strawberry jam, and creamy vanilla Greek yogurt, making them an ideal treat for a tea party. With a perfect balance of flaky texture and softness, these scones boast a subtle sweetness that’s enhanced by the surprising addition of black pepper – a clever trick that amplifies the natural flavor of the strawberries.

Cranberry Orange Scone


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Indulge in the warm, comforting taste of traditional tea party fare with Baked by an Introvert’s scrumptious scone recipe. Flaky and tender, each bite is infused with the sweetness of orange and punctuated by the subtle tang of cranberries. Pair these autumnal delights with a steaming cup of tea and your favorite finger sandwiches for a quintessential afternoon gathering experience.

Berry Mimosas


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Certified Pastry Aficionado has crafted an exquisite mimosas recipe, perfectly capturing the essence of a spring and summer gathering. This refreshing concoction is sure to delight your guests, offering a delightful alternative to traditional tea party fare. The addition of garnished berries adds a touch of elegance, making it a show-stopping centerpiece for any afternoon celebration. With its sweet yet tangy flavor profile and effervescent charm, this mimosas recipe is sure to elevate your next gathering to new heights.

Raspberry Mint Lemonade


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Imagine sipping on a refreshing glass of lemonade infused with the sweetness of raspberries at your next British-inspired tea party. This delightful drink is made with fresh lemons and a hint of raspberry syrup, making it the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon delight. The combination of flavors is sure to be a hit among your guests. As you plan your tea party menu, don’t forget about the sweet treats that are a staple at any elegant gathering. These bite-sized desserts, such as cookies and truffles, are carefully crafted to be savored in just 2-3 bites. While formality may dictate eating from your plate rather than directly from the tray, there’s no denying the allure of these indulgent delights. With the savory flavors of sandwiches and scones preceding the sweet treats, it’s a culinary experience that will leave your guests feeling satisfied but not overwhelmed.

Soft and Chewy Lemon Cookies


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These scrumptious cookies are designed to delight at any afternoon tea gathering. Their soft texture and wonderfully chewy center make them irresistible. To elevate the flavor profile, an extra dollop of cream cheese adds a tangy twist, while the infused lemon zest infuses each bite with a bright, citrusy note. Perfect for rounding off a high tea spread, these bite-sized treats are sure to be a hit with anyone who tries them.

Coconut Truffles with Almond Butter


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Indulge your little princesses with an unforgettable treat at their tea party – rich, decadent chocolate truffles infused with coconut flavor and drizzled with almond butter. Not only are these bite-sized delights a perfect fit for any whimsical celebration, but they’re also surprisingly easy to prepare in advance. The best part? They’re sure to elicit squeals of delight from your tiny guests, making them an absolute must-have at any royal soiree.

Festive Vegan Meringue Kisses


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When planning the ultimate finger food for a whimsical tea party, look no further than these delectable meringue kisses. Not only are they vegan-friendly, but their delicate pink hue makes them an ideal choice for a princess-themed celebration. The best part? They’re incredibly easy to prepare and devour – so much so that you might just find yourself scrambling to replenish the supply! With their luscious texture and sweet flavor, these meringue kisses are sure to be the star of your tea party spread.

Cake Roulade with Raspberries


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Who can resist the allure of a delectable tea cake roulade? This show-stopping dessert is surprisingly simple to prepare, making it an ideal addition to any party menu. For a princess-themed celebration, this recipe is a royal treatment for your guests’ taste buds. The rich dulce de leche cream and sweet pureed raspberries infused throughout the cake will have everyone coming back for more. To elevate this dessert to new heights, top it with a velvety chocolate ganache and delicate chocolate shards – the perfect finishing touches.

Lemon Blueberry Pancake Bites


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Serving up little pancakes from scratch can be its own reward, but sharing them at a princess-themed party? That’s a recipe for creating lifelong memories. You might think pairing pancake bites with a traditional tea party is unconventional, but once you take a bite of these sweet and tangy treats, you’ll understand why they’re a match made in heaven. Fresh lemon zest and plump blueberries add a burst of flavor to each bite, while the cream cheese icing provides a rich and indulgent finish. This delightful combination is sure to be an instant hit with your little princesses and their friends.

Easy Mini Cheesecakes


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Indulging in individual mini cheesecakes is a quintessential delight, especially when served at an afternoon tea party. The combination of creamy filling and crunchy crust, topped with sweet berries, makes for the perfect princess-worthy treat. And let’s be real – who can resist the charm of these bite-sized beauties? As a timeless classic, mini cheesecakes in muffin molds never go out of style. Whether you’re hosting a royal gathering or just want to treat yourself, these delightful desserts are sure to please.

Brownie Bites


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Imagine sinking your teeth into a crinkle-top brownie that’s not only indulgently rich but also perfectly bite-sized. No more tedious cutting or messy squares – just pure, unadulterated chocolatey bliss. And the best part? These miniature masterpieces can be whipped up in under 20 minutes, making them the ultimate tea party treat. It’s a match made in heaven: the velvety texture and intense flavor of these brownies, paired with the elegance and refinement of a fancy soiree. With seconds and thirds a certainty, you’ll be hard-pressed to resist their allure. And as TCH’s expert tip reminds us, variety is key – offer a range of sweet and savory options to cater to different tastes, and don’t forget about those with dietary restrictions, ensuring everyone feels included in the fun.

Lemon Shortbread Bars with Mascarpone

As summer arrives, the abundance of citrus fruits is a welcome sight. Citrus-themed recipes flood social media feeds, and it’s only fitting that traditional tea party menus follow suit. A classic lemon dessert is essential to any such gathering, and what better way to elevate it than with a tangy lemon curd and rich mascarpone? These delicate, crispy shortbread biscuits are the perfect finger food for a tea party, melting effortlessly in your mouth and leaving you craving seconds and thirds.

Petit Fours


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Petit fours are the epitome of tea party indulgence. These bite-sized treats literally translate to ‘tea party food’, making them an essential component for any afternoon gathering. Layers of soft cake, lightly sweetened jam, and a delicate white chocolate glaze come together to create a delightful dessert that’s sure to impress guests. The best part? They’re surprisingly easy to prepare with the right guidance. So why wait? Whip up a batch for your next soiree and discover why petit fours have earned their reputation as a timeless classic. For those looking to elevate their tea party experience, pairing the perfect brew with these sweet treats is key. A light, floral jasmine tea pairs beautifully with sugary indulgences, while a robust darjeeling stands up to the savory flavors of mini quiches and cheese-filled pastries. The goal is harmony between sips and bites, making each moment a truly unforgettable experience.

Cannoli Bites


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Who can resist the allure of a classic cannoli? The combination of crispy pastry and creamy ricotta filling is a match made in heaven. But what if we took this beloved treat to new heights by transforming it into bite-sized tarts instead? By incorporating chocolate chips and nuts, these miniature masterpieces are sure to be the star attraction at your next elegant tea party. Whether you’re hosting a themed gathering or simply looking for an impressive addition to your menu, these cannoli bites are guaranteed to impress.

Chocolate Ganache Bundt Cakes


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Indulge in the richness of this afternoon cake recipe, a decadent treat that will surprise even the most discerning palates. Miniature bundt cakes smothered in a luxurious chocolate ganache glaze are the perfect epitome of English tea party charm. It’s a guaranteed showstopper at any gathering, with every guest – from children to adults – falling under its sweet allure. As the crowning glory of an elegant soiree, these bite-sized treats will leave everyone in awe.

White Chocolate Chip Brownies


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Looking for a unique twist on classic brownies? Look no further! This delightful tea party recipe combines the best of both worlds: crunchy white chocolate chips, rich dark chocolate chips, and sweet-tart dried cranberries, all topped with the perfect crunch from toasted walnuts. The result is a treat that’s both soft and satisfying, with just the right balance of flavors to please even the pickiest palates. Whether you’re hosting a tea party for friends or simply want a fun and easy recipe to impress your family, this sweet and tangy brownie is sure to be a hit.

Red Velvet Whoopie Pies


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Indulge in the sweetest conclusion to your tea party with these delectable whoopie pies, courtesy of goodtoknow. As a scrumptious alternative to baking and frosting a dozen cupcakes, these treats are sure to delight. With their chewy texture and just the right amount of softness, they’re perfect for an elegant party food idea. Just be prepared to bake in bulk, as they’re sure to vanish quickly – a testament to their irresistible charm!

FAQS

Q1: What food do you serve at a tea party?

When it comes to hosting a traditional tea party, the menu is where the magic happens. A classic spread typically features delicate finger sandwiches, flaky scones served with generous helpings of clotted cream and a medley of sweet and savory jams. But that’s not all – pastries and cakes are also must-haves to satisfy any sweet tooth. To truly impress your guests, consider offering a diverse selection of teas, from rich and bold black varieties to soothing herbal blends, ensuring there’s something for everyone to enjoy.

Q2: What are the 3 main foods served at an afternoon tea?

The foundation of a traditional afternoon tea lies in its harmonious balance of three essential components. These are the finger sandwiches, warm scones with clotted cream and preserves, and an assortment of bite-sized pastries and cakes. The sandwiches, typically crustless and filled with ingredients like cucumber, smoked salmon, egg salad, or chicken salad, provide a delicate start to the tea service. Next, the scones are served fresh from the oven, accompanied by clotted cream and a selection of sweet preserves. Finally, the pastries and cakes offer a delightful array of sweet treats, including macarons, éclairs, and fruit tarts. These three pillars work together in perfect harmony to create an unforgettable afternoon tea experience.

Q3: What to serve with finger sandwiches?

When it comes to accompanying finger sandwiches, consider a harmonious trio of sweet and savory treats. Scones, for instance, serve as an excellent bridge between the two, best served with generous helpings of clotted cream and jam. A well-curated tea selection is also essential, featuring an assortment of options such as Earl Grey, Assam, herbal, and fruit teas to perfectly complement the food. To round off the menu, petite pastries like mini cupcakes or chocolate truffles add a delightful touch of indulgence.

Q4: What should be included in an afternoon tea party?

When it comes to hosting an afternoon tea party, there are a few essential elements that will ensure your gathering is truly delightful. At the heart of any successful afternoon tea party is a selection of teas that cater to different tastes and preferences. This may include classic black teas, refreshing green teas, and soothing herbal options.In addition to a variety of teas, an afternoon tea party should also feature a range of finger sandwiches, each one carefully crafted with delicious fillings such as cucumber, egg salad, or smoked salmon. These dainty sandwiches are the perfect size for a leisurely afternoon in good company.Freshly baked scones with clotted cream and jam are another must-have at any afternoon tea party. These sweet treats are sure to be a hit with your guests, who will appreciate the warm, flaky texture of the scones and the rich flavors of the clotted cream and jam.No afternoon tea party would be complete without an assortment of pastries and cakes to satisfy your guests’ sweet tooth. From classic Victoria sponge cake to decadent chocolate brownies, there’s something for everyone at this delightful gathering.Finally, to add a bit of variety to your afternoon tea party, you may consider including some light salads or quiches on the menu. These savory options will provide a welcome contrast to the sweetness of the pastries and cakes, ensuring that your guests have a truly memorable experience.

Q5: What do Americans eat for afternoon tea?

In the United States, the tradition of afternoon tea often takes on a unique flavor profile that blends classic British fare with local twists and preferences. This fusion is reflected in the types of finger sandwiches offered, which might feature unexpected ingredients like avocado or turkey cranberry alongside traditional options. Similarly, scones and sweet breads can be found in flavors such as banana bread and pumpkin bread, catering to American tastes. The dessert selection also tends to skew more American, with popular items like brownies and mini cheesecakes making an appearance. When it comes to the beverage of choice, Americans may opt for iced teas or flavored teas that reflect their diverse palates, further distinguishing their take on this classic tradition.

Q6: What is the order of eating afternoon tea?

The traditional afternoon tea sequence is a delicate balance of flavours and textures, typically unfolding in three stages: first, indulge in savoury delights such as finger sandwiches and other light accompaniments; next, delight in the warm, comforting presence of scones served with clotted cream and jam; finally, conclude the experience with an assortment of sweet treats, including pastries and cakes.

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