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Tea Time Treats - Tier Servers Show Them Beautifully

Updated on July 30, 2017

Add Class To Your Tea Table Setting

Multi-tier china servers for tea cakes, sandwiches and other teatime treats bring charm and class to your party.

I chose this colorful two-tier server to use for casual events. It has blue elements, to blend with other china patterns I use.

The motif goes with themes of "dishes" and "food." And the harmonious color palette on purposely mismatched plates. Charming, and extra inspiration to the concept of mixing and matching china and dinnerware in other ways.

These servers are also handy in that you can arrange the food in the kitchen, then take it to the table with little effort. Beautiful to look at, and savor how tasty and pretty the food looks, even before it's time to eat.

Make your next party or buffet dinner special with a tier server to show off your special treats!

Photo by kimbesa. Example of one of many china servers.

What to Consider When Choosing a Server

Match Your China, or Mix as a Complementary Piece

There are several factors to help you select the best multi-tier server your party.

Coordinating colors and materials will go a long way to selecting a server that fits into your theme, yet stands out as something special.

  • Fine china or porcelain for a formal event
  • Stoneware or metal for a casual party or game-day buffet
  • Glass adds elegance and sparkle, and can go formal or casual
  • Colors can bring out the details in your china and dinnerware
  • Gold or silver also can highlight the details, down to the flatware and candle sticks
  • White goes with everything

With so many wonderful servers to choose from, it can be a tough choice. Of course, you could get one for casual, one for formal, and one for pure whimsy...

Vintage chrome-plated server.  Wash me by hand only!
Vintage chrome-plated server. Wash me by hand only!

Go Vintage - Check Online for Servers in Your Pattern

From formal to funky, there are lots of serving pieces on secondary online markets like eBay!

If your pattern is hard to find, you might connect here.

Then there are servers in glass or stainless that can add some vintage style to your dinnerware set and buffet serving pieces.

If you're looking to give your table setting some extra pizzazz, look for a complementary piece that suits your style!

Two-tier server, Desco by Villeroy & Boxh
Two-tier server, Desco by Villeroy & Boxh

Care of Your Tier Server

Check for these features when purchasing your tier server:

  • Can it be taken apart for cleaning and storage?
  • How is it cleaned? Many vintage and fine china models should not go into the dishwasher.
  • Size and shape - do you have a spot to store it, especially if the piece does not come apart.

Once you answer these questions, you will be able to take care of your server and keep it looking beautiful for many years.

I recommend keeping servers in the box, especially those that come apart, with foam or tissue separating the pieces. The metal parts should be in a smaller box inside the larger one, wrapped in tissue or silver cloth if they are silver or silver plate.

I also recommend that these servers be washed by hand, no matter what material they are made from, and air dried for hours or a day, to make sure it is completely dry before storing for your next event.

Tea Party Guests Have to Ask

Does it depend on your menu, the occasion, or how plain or fancy you want your party to be?

One tier works well for candies, mints, nuts and other small treats.

Two tiers can handle an offering of all sweet pastries, or a mix of petite sandwiches and desserts.

Three tiers can do just about everything you want from a tier server. Spectacular when filled with pastries, cupcakes or other sweets. Just about everything you need for a tea party with sandwiches and sweets.

How Many Tiers Should You Have?

See results

Teatime at Adare Manor - Ireland

Teatime at Adare Manor
Teatime at Adare Manor | Source

Tea at Adare Manor

A Special Visit to Ireland

A friend took me to afternoon tea at Adare Manor, in County Limerick, in the west of Ireland. It was a beautiful and tasty treat!

The food came on a three-tier server. First the scones, then some dainty tea sandwiches, and finally some pretty and luscious sweet desserts. We had the library all to ourselves, overlooking the sculptured garden.

This kind of server allows you to use your special plates. (The white china used for our tea was Villeroy & Boch.)

Our delightful experience at the manor that day still inspires my thinking and planning for tea, even though it happened a few years ago.

If you're ever in Ireland, in the area of Shannon, Limerick or Cork, Adare Manor is a lovely place to visit.

Photo by kimbesa

Enjoy Tier Servers And Sweet Treats

Enjoy Tier Servers And Sweet Treats
Enjoy Tier Servers And Sweet Treats

When Do You Use Your Tier Serving Trays? - What's The Most Special?

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    • profile image

      KidsToyTeaSets LM 

      8 years ago

      Wouldn't these be great for a very special girls tea party complete with a real tea set. Thank you for all the lovely ideas.

    • profile image


      8 years ago

      I always thought of multi-tier servers as old-fashioned. And then you displayed the ultra-modern Nambe Morphik 2-tier model. Wow!

    • profile image

      Deadicated LM 

      8 years ago

      I live alone, I'd really be in trouble with the Tier System; I'm porking maximum density now.

    • Mary Crowther profile image

      Mary Crowther 

      8 years ago from Havre de Grace

      Very pretty servers! I like to use one during the holidays to display cookies.

    • Gypzeerose profile image

      Rose Jones 

      8 years ago

      I really enjoyed this lens, and pinned it to my cooking and food board. I want some of this stuff! I was surprised by the quality, inexpensive choices that you have brought to us from eBay. Angel Blessed due to the inclusion of the bit on your Irish tea. :)

    • wyrm11268 profile image


      9 years ago

      I miss tea time with the cakes lovingly placed on display! Nice lens thank you. Think it is time more people used tier serving trays again - they look so beautiful.

    • profile image

      SmBizGuru LM 

      9 years ago

      This is a wonderful complement to my lens Everything Tea that I have recently updated. I'm a big fan of beautiful dishes, especially tiered ones that help to display the food beautifully.

    • profile image

      Michey LM 

      9 years ago

      I always love nice settings, it is not just the food it is how we present the food.

      You have a great collection here.

    • profile image

      goo2eyes lm 

      9 years ago

      i use them at parties, summer grills. don't need to put cake slices only. i can put some grapes and other slices of fruits too.

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 

      9 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Alas we don't have one of these any more, don't entertain much and cakes are fattening, but we used to have a tiered tray like this years ago. It brought back some good memories of my Mum's cakes, she was a great cook. Nicely done.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I love the cake tiers, my Grandmother always served her home baked cakes on them when we went for a nice cuppa :)

    • Pam Irie profile image

      Pam Irie 

      9 years ago from Land of Aloha

      I love to look for tier serving trays when I'm out thrifting. My favorite are the California pottery style.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Yes, I like one tier for sweets and one for more salty treats. Great selection here. Thanks!

    • Sylvestermouse profile image

      Cynthia Sylvestermouse 

      9 years ago from United States

      Beautiful tier trays and serving pieces!

    • ForestBear LM profile image

      ForestBear LM 

      9 years ago

      Nice collection you have here. Great lens

    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 

      9 years ago from New Zealand

      Very nice lens. To be honest in my early days of marriage I used to do this. but these days with family visiting most of the time, everything seems to just be put on the table as it comes even biscuits still in the package, I will have to wake my ideas up.

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      Very nice tier trays! Great lens. I really like the modern, morphik one - very cool.

    • jlshernandez profile image


      9 years ago

      I used the tiered serving trays for hors d'oeuvres and appetizers before a sit-down dinner. But I like them all white. I enjoy having an informal get-together look elegant and classy.

    • LouisaDembul profile image


      9 years ago

      I really liked the modern-looking one in the beginning of the lens!

    • profile image


      9 years ago

      I adore tiered plates and trays! I have loads!

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      These servers make cakes look so much more attractive, love this attractive Lens too!

    • MrsPotts profile image


      10 years ago

      I use my 3 tier trays for sit down and buffet tea parties. However, if it's just tea with a friend, a single plate works just fine.

    • KimGiancaterino profile image


      10 years ago

      You've inspired me ... I'm going to have a chocolate biscotti with my morning tea. I love beautiful serving trays, but don't have a lot of storage room right now. We're going to build a pantry for trays, platters, etc. Lovely ideas here. Even simple treats look so elegant on these trays.

    • howtocurecancer profile image


      10 years ago

      Lovely lens.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Guess what just happened. I have the urge for some tea and treats now. Thank you, it's a good time to have some now. Blessed!

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 

      10 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I love serving smaller desserts that people can pick on and not be saddled by big pieces they will only eat to be polite so Tier servers are best for these.

    • profile image


      10 years ago

      Lovely trays. Love this lens. I have lensrooled it to my tea lens.

    • Charmcrazey profile image

      Wanda Fitzgerald 

      10 years ago from Central Florida

      These are beautiful. Great selection.


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