How to Host an Afternoon Tea Party

In anticipation of Ms. Meghan Markles nuptials to Prince Harry, I’m sharing my tips for an unforgettable afternoon tea party.

This is not a traditional English tea, just a childhood playtime come to life.

how to host an afternoon tea party

{This post was originally written in 2011, one of my first posts here on Sweetpea Lifestyle. I’m republishing, with some additions of what I’ve learned over the years from entertaining. Enjoy!}

Growing up, my grandparents had this amazing walk in pantry. There I would create the most fabulous tea parties from “my” shelf – my darling grandmother designated the bottom shelf with all things “tea party” – tiny china tea cups & saucers  – glass plates – glass pitches – etc. I wish we had thought to photograph that shelf now, however, I will forever remember it. I’m sure this is where my love of all things antique and vintage began.

I would go down in the basement of my grandparents home and put on my favorite dress ups — jewelry — hat — and high heels. Then proceed straight to the pantry, where I would create a tea party for myself on a little stool as my table. 

Years ago, when I had little ones under my care, I created a “life size” version of those magical tea parties I remember so fondly. Today, I’m sharing my easy tips for hosting an unforgettable afternoon tea party — whether you are 4 or 84! 

Here are a few simple guidelines to follow when creating a party, not just a tea party, but any party!


keep it beautiful. 

hosting an afternoon tea party is more simple than you think. I few store bought goodies, antique tea cups, and a few fun goodies is all you need!

Every afternoon tea party table does not have to be elaborate.

It does need a couple things..

  1. a table cloth

  2. tea cups & tea pot

  3. tasty treats

Most of the items I used were the very ones I played with growing up. I did add some fun “goodies” for the girls – silly bands – bling bling rings – headbands – necklaces. 


 keep it simple.

When it comes to food – I take the easy road. I go to my local grocery store & buy as many pre made options as I can. Then, I assemble them, and add a couple home made items. This saves me time & I don’t feel like I’m lacking in the “treat” department. Your friends are definitely not going to have a better time if you are in the kitchen, slaving away! Relax! 



 keep it meaningful.

 Using items that have meaning to you make it special. These tea cups have been in the hands of 3 generations – I can’t wait to share them with generations to come. This is something I talk about in my Hostess Handbook {releasing late April 2018!} — using items that have a story or meaning behind them helps create conversation. I call these “story pieces!” I love using pieces I can talk about — people can ask questions about — or tell a funny story about when they used something similar. Everything that goes on your table should have story. Whether that is a family heirloom, or you picked it up at the Dollar Store because you could, tell the story! Create the conversation around your table, and meet your community there! One simple plate, tea cup, glass can lead to hours of conversations — get ready!


To recap: host your tea party with beautiful things, simple food, and have a “story piece” ready. While this looks elaborate, it really wasn’t. Colorful pops of bright pinks and purples from the fun items help create a look and feel that was super special. Sometimes, all it takes is a little festivity, and the party shows up!

Be sure to share your tea parties on Instagram using my #sweetpealifestyle hashtag! I would love to see! 

You can save this graphic to your favorite party planning board on Pinterest.   

Host an unforgettable afternoon tea party! Using three simple tips, your tea party will be the hit of the neighborhood!



sweetpea lifestyle


Similar Posts