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Best Afternoon Tea Party Themes

Updated on May 30, 2010

Five Best Tea Party Themes

"Forget cocktails--this season's hottest girls' get-together is afternoon tea, says Ellen Easton, author of The Afternoon Tea Guide and Tea Travels. "The tradition was started to foster friendship among women--and it couldn't be easier to host your own elegant event!"

Hundreds of years ago a duchess asked her maid to bring her a tray with some tea and sandwiches. She liked it so much that she invited her friends to come over and enjoy tea with her. Eventually, she began to add pastries and other sweets. That was when afternoon tea was born and it has been nurturing friendship ever since.

But how do you choose from among the myriad of themed tea parties available? There are plenty of books available to help you plan your party from start to finish once you have decided what kind you're going to have. What follows is designed to help you choose.

These are the tea themes that best fit my own life right now. I hope you find one that inspires and excites you!


“Whatever the occasion, giving a tea party allows you the opportunity to entertain good friends and kind acquaintances with sweet style. Take care with the food, brew a bracing pot of tea, but most important, enjoy the warmth and joy possible only when good friends gather for a party.” –The Essential Tea Companion

Which Afternoon Tea Party Theme Will Work Best for You?

(1) A Reunion Tea

How long has it been since you gathered your closest friends together? Call them up and have them over for a reunion tea. Ask them to bring pastries, cookies or other sweets, and you brew the tea.

It keeps the party simple enough that you can place your entire focus on connecting with each other, catching each other up on the stories of your lives and weaving again the thread that binds you in friendship.

(2) A Long-Distance Tea

"There is magic in long-distance friendships. They let you relate to other human beings in a way that goes beyond being physically together and is often more profound." ~~Diana Cortes

Can't get together physically with your closest friends? You can still plan a tea party and invite them! Send them an invitattion and let them know what time you will be having the tea, and you might even send them a small packet of loose tea in a tiny plastic bag along with the invitation. Light your candles, brew your tea, and when the time comes, pick up the phone to call them and have your tea party on the phone!

Take pictures to share with each other of you individual tea parties. You may want to get you families into the act or make it just a special time for you and your friends.

(3) A Book Club Tea

"If your book club has planned to discuss an English novel of manners ~ the sort of gentle domestic drama that flows from Jane Austen to Barbara Pym ~ why not cue the tea to the genre, perhaps offering a delicate Darjeeling in porcelain cups with petite sandwiches of smoked salmon and curried egg salad. ... After all, so much literature is drenched in tea, from Henry James to Rosamunde Pilcher. Your bookmates will love the connection." ~~Kim Waller, The Art of Taking Tea

For help in starting a book club, go to this lens.

(4) A Mother-Daughter Tea

This can be a special time for moms with grown up daughters. Simple decorations with a simple flower arrangement to grace the table alongside tea cups and saucers can be pleasing to the eye as well the heart.

Finger sandwiches, cookies and scones finish the menu. For a special treat, have the mothers and daughters write a note or letter to each other sharing how much they are appreciated.

(5) A Children's Birthday Tea

Little girls love to pretend and it gives them a chance to dress up and be little princesses for an afternoon.

"Tea parties are traditionally held in the afternoon, which makes them ideal for a children's party occasion. They're also a great excuse to play dress-up and eat sweets. Plus, they help kids practice table manners and party etiquette, such as sending invitations and thank-you notes. Don't think that a tea party has to be girls-only, by the way. While some kids tea party themes will probably be too girly for many boys, others are suitable for mixed company."~~Lori A. Selke, eHow contributor

Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties


“Tea Party offers fun, delicious ideas for every possible occasion. With great tips and tricks, Tracy knows how to turn a simple tea party into a fabulous event. Readers will love her advice, her tone, and the results!”

–Jane Buckingham, author of The Modern Girl’s Guide to Life and The Modern Girl’s Guide to Motherhood

Tea Party: 20 Themed Tea Parties with Recipes for Every Occasion, from Fabulous Showers to Intimate Gatherings

More Afternoon Tea Party Advice

The Perfect Afternoon Tea Book: Over 70 Tea Time Treats


"The tea party is a spa for the soul. You leave your cares and work behind. Busy people forget their business. Your stress melts away, your senses awaken..."

~~Alexandria Stoddard

I'd love to hear from you!


Which tea is your favorite?

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    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      I really am a huge fan of green tea, I also use that for the high tea. What's yours? Regards, Cameron

    • JoyfulPamela2 profile image

      JoyfulPamela2 7 years ago from Pennsylvania, USA

      I don't think there is ever a bad time to have a tea party! : )