High Tea is a shared ritual of sweet pleasures and culinary decadence, designed to be enjoyed with friends and family, often involving multi-generational get-togethers, and perfect for celebrating significant life events!
With Mother’s Day coming up on 9 May, we wanted to share some tips on how to create heavenly high tea menus or simple afternoon tea affairs.
A traditional High Tea tends to consist of a decadent selection of sweet and savoury petite morsels, stylishly placed on a two or three tiered cake stand.
Given it’s social nature, High Tea is served share-style where guests can leisurely ‘graze’ the afternoon away whilst sipping quality tea (preferably loose leaf) and (hopefully) champagne too! To simplify menu designing, we’ve put together a list of delicious morsels from which to create your High Tea or Afternoon Tea menu.
- Squid Ink Brioche Slider filled with Smoked Salmon, Rocket & Horseradish Cream
- Matcha Brioche Slider filled with tea-poached chicken, aioli and fresh herbs
- Cucumber, Radish & Crème Fraiche on Emmer Sourdough Ribbon Sandwiches
- Classic Egg & Lettuce Triangles on our Sourdough Sandwich Loaf
- Lobster Tail with Lime Aioli & Fresh Coriander on our Milk Tin Loaf
- Coconut Tea Cake
- Petit Pain Chocolat
- Petit Croissant
- Portuguese Tarts (served traditional or dressed with fresh berries)
- Chocolate & Hazelnut Brownies (sliced into petit morsels)
- Raspberry & Pistachio Friands
- Orange & Hazelnut Petit Cakes
- Mini Donuts (exclusive to Melbourne)
The items listed above are simply suggestions. There are no rules and the sky is the limit when designing your High Tea menu!
View the full Brioche Collection
What to wear
High Tea is the perfect occasion to pop on a fancy frock and fun heels or your fave suit! Think Carrie Bradshaw or Mad Men (gents too!) if you’re vibing a more retro look. And if you’re feeling extra fancy, pop on some cute lace gloves too. But, remember, gloves off before eating!
Crisp, linen napkins are best for very formal High Teas, however, for more casual afternoon affairs, paper napkins are perfectly acceptable. There are so many incredible paper napkins on the market that you’re bound to find a design to match any High Tea theme.
And there’s no end to options when it comes to gorgeous cutlery and tableware. Choose high-end fine china, an eclectic mix of vintage teacups and plates or fun paper plates and cups to theme-up your High Tea.
High Tea Etiquette
If you were to follow traditional High Tea etiquette, the host signals the commencement of service by taking her/his linen napkin off the plate and placing it on her/his lap. Guests then follow.
Contrary to popular belief, it’s pinkies down when sipping tea! When holding a teacup, the ring and pinkie fingers shouldn’t be extended, but should rest by curving gently back toward your wrist. And a reminder not to sip tea from the teaspoon (or saucer!) and avoid clinking the sides of the teacup while stirring. And it’s a big no-no is to leave your teaspoon in your teacup!
For more on Dining Etiquette check out this piece by The Spruce
Grazing Board High Teas.
An alternative to a traditional High Tea is to serve it on a grazing board where all your sweet and savoury morsels are presented on a board or nestled in cute, individual boxes rather than a tiered cake stand. Happy high tea grazing!
Gorgeous grazing by Phat Platter & Luxury Picnics