Food Lifestyle Motherhood

afternoon tea

May 20, 2016

I hosted an Afternoon Tea style brunch for some of my friends for a belated Mother’s Day. To give my ladies a little bit of a break, I planned a baby less afternoon for them! Afternoon Teas are elegant, pretty and great for many occasions. Bridal showers, small scale baby showers, birthdays, mother’s day, anytime you want to get together and enjoy pretty little finger food!

Here are some tips and links to recipes that can help you throw your own adult version of a tea party!


  • For a more polished look, I used matching and monochromatic china. But I do also find mismatched, colorful, floral china very pretty. And I love that vintage, rustic feel. I should start collecting vintage tea cups now!
  • Use a table cloth, it gives your tea a more formal vibe. It almost says you mean serious business when it comes to your tea drinking! 😛
  • I only had one vase of blue hydrangeas this time but I usually would decorate my table with several vases of varying heights. I generally keep all the flowers to simple, pale color palette. But pick whichever flowers you love!
  • In lieu of place cards, I wrote individual thank you notes to the attending girls, scribbled their names on the envelope and it doubled up as a name card.
  • I learnt this from Cupcakes and Cashmere, when having a party, seat friends and couples away from one another. This helps people meet each other, discourages clicks, helps singles feel included and facilitates new conversation. However, I hate being put on the spot and would never want any of my friends to feel uncomfortable. So if there are shy ones in your gathering, seat them closer to the host.



  • Have an assortment of teas. I laid out tea bags for convenience and had one pot of hot water, with a kettle on standby. I had an assortment of English Breakfast, Green, Vanilla Earl Grey, Chamomile, Hibiscus and Chai.
  • Have both savory and sweet items. My tea sandwiches served as my savory item. And my various pastries were my sweet offerings.
  • Cut tea sanwiches into half rectangles or three finger lengths for ease of eating. Keep it dainty, cut the crusts off. Smaller portions gives your guests opportunity to try different food without filling up on a single item.
  • Butter both slices of bread to keep the filling from making your bread soggy.
  • Keep a slightly damp, clean kitchen towel (or paper towel) over the sandwiches and then saran over top until ready to serve. This helps the sandwiches from not drying out.

tea08 tea06Sandwich ideas:

  • Prosciutto and arugula with grainy dijon
  • Smoked salmon, cream cheese, red onion
  • Dill and vinegar marinated cucumber
  • Egg salad
  • Baked herbed cream cheese roll ups
  • Do a quick google search for tea sandwiches and start getting inspired!

tea17b tea17aSweets:

  • Scones, store bought
  • Mini custard fruit tarts, custard recipe part of Ochikeron’s YouTube Video, here.
  • French Madeleines, Duchess Cookbook
  • Parisian macarons filled with white chocolate ganache, Duchess Cookbook
  • Earl Grey shortbread, recipe here.
  • Assorted fruit and berries
  • Mini danishes, lemon squares, pound cake slices, petit fours…the sky is the limit!

tea18 tea09
Here’s the husband scouring and polishing off the leftovers. Its tiring watching little ones when you’re wife entertains. Thank you Hubby! And thank you to my children who napped a stellar three hours right throughout my brunch. I actually got to eat! Thats a total Mommy win! 😉

Happy Tea Everyone! xx

tea19To my ladies, thank you for coming! You all inspire me in so many different ways and I am grateful you are in my life. Thank you for teaching me, advising me, supporting me. You are all such amazing mothers and I strive to be as great as you all are. Like you, I also have my share of bad days but I want all of you (and my other mommy friends who couldn’t make it) that you are AMAZING. Mothering is hard, don’t beat yourself up for it! I think you guys are doing a wonderful job. Cheers to us Mamas! xx Ci

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  • Reply Yosh May 20, 2016 at 11:15 pm

    I love this post! Your dining room is a dream!! and your china set and stacking plates are just perfect too. like shots are from magazines!!!
    I love going to an afternoon tea at a fancy hotel (well, before babies…) but I never thought about hosting one at home. what a great idea. maybe I will start building my fhina collection and one day I can host one like this.
    ps) your boys are such good boys and I like your husband’s T shirt 😉

    • Reply CiCi May 21, 2016 at 3:21 pm

      I used to love going to fancy teas at hotels too…but now with kids, I don’t go anywhere. So I bring the tea home! 🙂 And my “fine china” is actually bought at a Home Sense (a discount wholesale store). You don’t need expensive things to make a nice brunch at all! Ill tell Steve you like his shirt! 🙂

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