How To Host a Modern Tea Party


Can you feel it? The first day of spring is just a few days away. A great way to kick it off would be to have an updated, modern tea party. There’s something really special about spending intentional time with those closest to you, and that’s what tea parties have always been about. It’s simple: just prepare tasty snacks, enticing desserts, and of course, a few pots of delicious tea, and invite your friends over for a great time.

How To Host a Modern Tea Party - Discover, A World Market Blog

When it comes to tea parties, there’s a time and place for fine china and victorian elegance, but this spring is a great time for a modern take on the tea party, don’t you think? For this post, I’ve updated the tea party by taking elements from the past and giving them a much-needed refresh. This way, the tea party can remain beautiful and special while incorporating elements that you’d otherwise use every single day.

Here are the four main things to focus on when thinking about hosting your next modern tea party: setup, snacks, sweets, and tea. Let’s start with the setup!

Setup: Keep it simple, focused and intentional. Decorate with vibrant colors and fragrant flowers that make you happy. I already own a lot of beautiful white plates, which worked perfectly with the modern vibe I was going; the rose linen napkins complemented the plates perfectly. I went with blush pink and white for my flowers. This color palette felt very spring-appropriate, but feel free to choose whichever color speaks to you.

How To Host a Modern Tea Party - Discover, A World Market Blog

Snacks: The type of food served at a tea party can vary. For this gathering, I made two types of tea sandwiches: one with sliced cumber, basil, and whipped cream cheese, and another with stone-ground mustard, cheddar cheese, and roasted turkey. Other great ideas for snacks would be to serve tortilla wraps, mini quiches, or some other type of delicate canapé.

How To Host a Modern Tea Party - Discover, A World Market Blog

Sweets: Give your guests some options. When it comes to a modern tea party, having a good assortment of treats is essential. Make sure to include items that could either be enjoyed on their own or enhanced by a little dip into tea. For my spread I went with mini tarts for the former category, and scones and madeleines for the latter.

How To Host a Modern Tea Party - Discover, A World Market Blog

Tea: Your whole party is centered around your tea, so make it count. One way to go is to serve a few teas that pair readily with the snacks and sweets, but another is to serve a whole assortment and variety of flavors. I’m currently in love the this Lady Grey Tea from Twinings, but you could always go with a subtle chamomile or green tea for something more relaxed.

How To Host a Modern Tea Party - Discover, A World Market Blog

Shop This Post: 

White Pompom Naomi Table Runner | Spin Cup and Saucer Set | Rose Linen Napkin | White Baroque Plates

Gold Wave Teaspoon | Gold Wave Forks | Glass Infuser Teapot | Tempo Square Glass Tasting Bowls

Twinnings Lady Grey Loose Tea – In store | Madeleines | Daelmans Dutch Caramel Wafers Tin

Sticky Fingers Wild Blueberry Scones | Gold Tea Pot Tea Infuser | Marble Cake Stand – In Store

Gold Mesh Tea Infuser – In Store | Harrowgate Lemon Curd | Clearbrook Farms Shortbread Tart Shells


  • Adam Morris

    Molly and Susan…

    Here’s the recipe I use…

    Base line and grease two 7″ sandwich tins.

    Beat 6oz of Butter with 6oz of caster sugar until pale and fluffy.

    Gradually beat in 3 eggs.

    Fold in 3oz of self raising flour, then fold in a further 3oz of self raising flour.

    Divide the mixture between the two tins and bake at 375F for 20 minutes.

    Slide a knife between the tin and the cake and leave to cool for 5 minutes.

    Turn out, remove parchment and turn over the sponge.

    Sandwich the two layers together with jam and sprinkle the top with caster sugar.

  • Kat Mullen

    Hi Susan…I don’t have a recipe but if you Google it there are many, many recipes available.

  • Kathy

    However you enjoy tea, evening meal if you live in U.K. or traditional afternoon or “low tea” because it was served at a low table or “high tea” because it was originally served at a high table and included savories in addition to sweets and scones or perhaps “cream tea” (tea, scones, jam & clotted cream) bone china or mug….just enjoy! Let’s not spend time arguing the ‘best’ or ‘proper’ way. It is a fascinating subject on which hundreds of books have been written. Now we can get into an argument about real tea and herbal or tisanes. Milk first or tea first? Loose leaf or tea bag?

    A big thanks to Kristan for introducing the subject to this blog and for her very good suggestions. Now, I think I will pour myself a nice cuppa!

  • Lynn Taylor Zguro

    Looking forward to my next tea party!
    Enjoyed reading everyone’s comment’s
    Whenever family and good friends gather it is always a blessing!
    Whether your drinking tea or coffee!

    Lynn Taylor Zguro. 1/12/2019

  • Diane

    Go to the thrift shop and buy a China cup. It does make a difference.
    Also, have your guest bring a China cup, put it at a different seat and you bring home the NEW cup brought by some one else. Adds some fun. Enjoy a great tradition!

  • Deb

    I have taken tea many times with friends and family. Some traditional some modern. Some with an Asian feel as I serve Oolong. I have had an elaborate menu and have taken tea with just tea cookies with my Hubby (which I absolutely cherish). I will have to admit, I don’t care to have tea in a mug. It’s just because I enjoy the whole ritual of taking tea using teapots. The ritual itself is calming and relaxing and prepares me for the special time that is yet to come. I believe enjoying tea your way is the best way. I also meditate and to me taking tea is a form of mindful meditation. Alone or with others. To all I say…take time for tea!

  • Kat

    I loved a good cup of hot tea anytime of the day. And I drink it with milk and sugar, yes I do!

  • LaVett

    Great article every spring I give a tea party for my granddaughters they just noun 14, 12, 7&4.. this is our 8 one and we have a wonderful time they look forward to wearing my large hats and pearls with shawls draped around them and using fine china it’s been a wonderful expression in their life and this article brings joy and will add to our event.

  • Adam Morris

    Good grief, the negative comments are unreal.

    I am British, with British parents, grandparents, and so on.

    Tea is many things. It can be the evening meal, but a lighter one, with a pot of tea and bread and jam, or snacks, or scones, or high tea where it is more about little cakes…

    Tea does not have to be drunk from bone china… In fact it is usually drunk from a mug. Builder’s tea is still tea.

    The inclusion of Dutch stroopwaffel and French Madeleines should have topped people off that this is not a traditional high tea.

    I remember having tea where we had several pots of jam on the table, bread, fresh made scones or drop scones, a cheese board, egg salad, some cold meats, and usually a Victoria sponge. Those were as much an event as high tea in a fancy tea room.

    Do what you want, make it an occasion, keep it as a family meal, it doesn’t have to be a big production, but it is a special time even if it is just your evening meal.

    • Molly

      What is a Victoria sponge? And this was lovely to read.

      • Kat

        Victoria sponge is a delicious, light usually vanilla-flavored yellow cake. It’s rarely frosted (usually dusted with powdered sugar) but typically filled with jam or custard or both.

    • Lacy J

      Having lived in the UK, this is Perfect teatime for me. I miss it so very much, thank you for bringing back the memory of a wonderful 10 years.

  • Dee Aufuldish

    I was chair of what we called a Victorian Tea. a fundraiser for a scholarship foundation, for some 26 years. We had lovely china cups for tea, scones, clotted cream and lemon curd accompanied by a light luncheon. And had “maids” in white blouses and black skirts and white doily headpieces as servers. And a fun fashion show. Raised mucho bucks for the foundation – so you can call it whatever you want and do good while having a good time.

  • Samone

    Loved💕 the tip can’t wait to throw my first tea party

  • Samone

    I loved this artical..and can’t wait to throw my 1st one . Thanks for the tips.

  • Alexis

    Thank you for a lovely article!
    PS some of your readers may not know about the more humble and homely “tea” traditions in the U.K. In many circles “tea” is the evening meal and can be quite rustic, but still awfully good! Nothing like a bacon and egg pie, or a scotch egg followed by a big slice of Dundee cake, and of course, a nice pot of hot strong tea! Personally I love a good tea in any form, be it elegantly delicate or heartily homespun.

  • DJ

    I’m just glad to enjoy any tea and friends!!!

  • Jamie Yancey

    English Tea, Tea Party, whatever! To each his/her own. Everyone doesn’t own bone china or can afford a trip to England to indulge in High Tea at a fancy hotel, restaurant or tearoom. The tea “party” here was still pretty traditional and the floral arrangements, flowers on the saucers and colorful linen napkins were delightful touches. Isn’t it all about the efforts of a thoughtful hostess to arrange such a special gathering of friends?

    • Lori Linn

      Well said Jamie! Not everyone can afford the trips to England or fine bone china tea. The article was about enjoying a spring tea! I too thought the intent was charming. Indeed to each his or her own.

  • Karen Winchester

    Wow! Joan, you might be just a tad judgemental here! Kristan never said this was an English tea party so yes, even Madeleine’s would be fine! This looks like a lovely spring tea for an enjoyable afternoon!
    And yes, I have had my share of traditional English teas as my grandfather and husband are both English!

  • Billie

    My, such negative comments, including (alors) Madeleine cookies. Perhaps if all were to read the article once again the intent would become clear. There is reference to the old fashioned, but this “party” is newer and fresher. Nothing stodgy here, just fun.
    As a young girl I would have tea parties with other young girls, hence, I believe, the reference to the word “parties”; a gathering of like minded people, even children.
    I, too, have enjoyed traditional English tea in England as well as other parts of the world and think this is a charming take on an otherwise old tradition.

  • Juli Warren

    If you have ever had English tea in Fine Bone China made in England, you would never consider having it in a regular porcelain cup, there is no match for the taste! English tea should be enjoyed in a delicate fine bone china teacup, regular china cups are for coffee. I would encourage you to try the Lady Grey tea in a bone china teacup sometime and you will discover the difference.

  • Margaret Pollard

    Such a pity that everything has to be a “party”. Afternoon tea is not a Party, now or in the past. It is an elegant gathering of like minded people to enjoy a traditional tea, with the proper accompaniments. The one thing that I look forward to every year upon returning to England.

  • Joan Anton

    You obviously do not appreciate the joy of sitting down to a traditional English tea.
    The new take does not do justice to the ambiance of a elegant table setting or choice of food . Just back from London were you can still enjoy s proper tea in this modern age .

  • Margaret Jollow

    All perfect for a happy time with friends. – except – Madeleines ! At an English tea party ! !


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