Getting all dressed up for afternoon tea

Afternoon tea has been an English tradition since it was introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840 and is becoming an increasingly popular occasion. With the rise of the Instagram culture, afternoon teas must be picture-perfect, as well as delicately delicious.

In celebration of Afternoon Tea Week, 12-16 August, we have put together our must-know tips on dressing the perfect setting for this quintessentially British custom.

Aug 12, 2019

Match your colour palette to your theme

The first way to perfect your afternoon tea table setting is by picking a complementary colour palette.

Whether you have a chosen theme or offer seasonal delights, using coloured linen can enhance the aesthetic of your dishes.

Why not celebrate your summer offering with a cornfield gold tablecloth and rose blush napkins or put an icy edge on your Christmas afternoon tea with a pebble grey base and Cambridge blue runner?

Alternatively take inspiration from the Met Gala, who featured flamingo pink table cloths and embroidered napkins into this year’s table settings.

Add unique centre pieces

Centre pieces don’t need to be expensive to make a table setting come alive.

Get creative and utilise your surrounding environment to create unique props to your table. Take a wonder outside and pick flowers from your grounds and place them in used glassware or forage pinecones for a seasonal, inexpensive look.

If you’re looking for something other than floral displays, you can upcycle old decorative items or purchase pre-owned pieces on sites such as eBay for a quirky touch to your look. Think teacup candle holders and table top lamps.

Quirky crockery and cutlery

Similarly to table linen, pattered and coloured crockery will catch the eye of any diner.

From traditional blue and white china to loud mosaic designs, the plates that your dishes are served on need to be just as pretty as the patisserie.

If it’s essential you use white crockery, why not spice your table setting up with luxurious cutlery. Adding gold or black cutlery can add a contemporary touch to the traditional occasion of afternoon tea.

For more information on Special Occasion Linen and our service, click here.