Afternoon Tea is a big part of the English culture, and there is no other perfect excuse to have one than there is now. For the best part of almost 2 years, the numerous lockdowns and restrictions have prevented us from getting together. Continue reading on to get some fantastic ideas for an afternoon tea. Be prepared for Afternoon Teas Week starting 9th - 15th August.

First things first, despite the lifting of Covid restrictions on the 19th July, I ask you to remain cautions and keep yourself safe - covid cases are still on the rise... it only takes one person and nobody wants that throwing out your tea party plans. Remember sanitise your hands, where a mask when traveling and keep appropriately distances where possible.


Before you can do anything, you need to get a plan together and focus on how you want to get in set up. You also need to think about how many people you intend to invite as well as whom you want there. Furthermore, though not required, it is more fun to have a themed afternoon tea. Whether it's just a colour scheme, a holiday event or an awareness day - it's defiantly something to think about.

In addition to this, you need to get sorted the type of food/snacks you want to have. The food, or at least for me, is a very important part in getting your guest to come over. Get together a book of all your favourite and start prepping. The idea food is something you can eat warm or cold and will keep you relaxed through the afternoon; especially with Summer in full force.

After that will come the cakes .You cannot have an afternoon tea without them, these will usually be had with the tea ( or Coffee) and is perfect social food during the event.

Once you have got all the planning out of the way coms the best bits (well other than eating the food), making the recipes you have gathered!

Below you will see some tasty recipes for you to try out ready for the afternoon tea party. It will have everything from little snacks to cakes - not to mention some alternative drinks if you prefer something a lot cooler through the summer heat. Don't forget to have a nice selection of fruits just to make things a little more interesting - I suggest watermelon and mangos!


Now let to the best bit, what are the recipes you are going to make? Below you will see a mixture of recipes for drinks, snacks and of course cakes.

Victoria Sponge 

It's best to start an afternoon tea with a classic recipe - a Victoria Sponge! Nothing goes better with a cup of tea than a slice of this delicious cake.


200g caster sugar

200g softened butter

4 eggs, beaten

200g self-raising flour 

1 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp milk

For the filling

100g butter, softened

140g icing sugar, sifted 

Drop vanilla extract (optional)

Half a 340g good-quality strawberry jam

Icing sugar, to decorate


Step 1

Heat oven to 190C/ fan 170C/ gas 5. Butter two 20cm sandwich tins and line with non-stick baking paper.

Step 2

In a large bowl, beat 200g caster sugar, 200g softened butter, 4 beaten eggs, 200g self-raising flour, 1 tsp baking powder and 2 tbsp milk together until you have a smooth, soft batter.

Step 3

Divide the mixture between the tins smooth the surface with a spatula or the back of a spoon.

Step 4

Bake for about 20 mins until golden and the cake springs back when pressed.

Step 5

Turn onto a cooling rack and leave to cool completely

Step 6

To make the filling, beat the 100g softened butter until smooth and creamy, then gradually beat in 140g sifted icing sugar and drop vanilla extract (if you're using it).

Step 7

Spread the buttercream over the bottom of one of the sponges. Top it with 170g strawberry jam and sandwich the second on top.

Step 8

Dust with a little icing sugar before serving. Keep in an airtight container and eat within 2 days.

Afternoon Tea sandwiches - By Emma Lewis

Now we have to start filling the table with little bite sized sandwiches that are easy to eat.


For goats cheese, walnut & roasted pepper (makes 20) (nut warning)

200g soft goat's cheese

100g cream cheese

10 slices white bread

2 roasted red peppers

25g walnut

Lemony cucumber & prawn (makes 12)

6 slices wholemeal bread

1/2 cucumber, thinly slices

4 tbsp mayonnaise 

zest of 1 lemon

6 large cooked prawns, halves for topping.

Creamy egg & cress (makes 12)

4 eggs 

2 chopped spring onions

2-3 tbsp creme fraiche

12 small rolls

Cress, to serve


Step 1

For the goat's cheese, walnut & roasted pepper sandwiches, mix together 200g soft goat's cheese with 100g cream cheese. Spread most of the mixture over 5 slices white bread. Slice 2 roasted red peppers into strips, divide between bread, then top each with another slice white bread.

Trim the crusts, and then cut sandwiches into 4 triangles. Whizz 25g walnuts until fine. Spread 1 edge of each sandwich with the remaining cheese mix, then dip into the chopped walnuts.

Step 2

For the lemony cucumber & prawn sandwiches, lightly spread 6 slices wholemeal bread with butter. Cover with a layer of thinly sliced cucumber, then get a 5-6cm round cutter to stamp out 12 circles. Mix together 4 tbsp mayonnaise with zest 1 lemon. Top each circles with halved large cooked prawns and a dollop of the lemony mayonnaise.

Step 3

For the creamy egg and cress sandwiches, boil 4 eggs for 8 minutes. Cool the eggs, peel, mash then mix with 2 chopped spring onions and 2-3 tbsp creme fraiche. Season, and then spread over 12 small rolls. Add a little cress, pop on the lids and serve.

Pimm's Summer Punch

Sometimes a hot tea in the summer might not be what you are looking for in an afternoon tea, however, I have you covered with a refreshing fruity beverage.


200ml Pimm's No.1

600ml Lemonade 

Mint sprigs, sliced cucumber, sliced orange and strawberries, to serve.

Step 1

Fill a jug with ice and pour over the Pimm's and lemonade. Give it a good stir then add the mint, cucumber and fruit.

Mini sausage rolls - By John Torode

This is the perfect finger food that no party would be complete without, afternoon tea is no exception!


1/2 small garlic clove

Handful of parsley, chopped

400g sausage meat or sausages

375g pack ready-rolled puff pastry

1 beaten egg, to glaze.


Step 1

Heat the oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6.

Crush the garlic and a little salt to a paste using a mortar and pestle, or use the flat of a knife on a chopping board. Mix together with the parsley and stir in 50 ml cold water.

Step 2

Blend the sausage meat in a food processor (if using sausages, peel away the skins) on a high speed, pour the garlic water into the mixture, then season with pepper. Blend until combined.

Step 3

Unroll the pastry onto a board and cut in half lengthways.

Step 4

Divide the sausage mixture in two and spread along the length of each pastry strip in a cylinder shape leaving a 1cm.

Step 5 

Tightly roll the pastry around the sausage meat and brush the ends with the beaten egg to secure.

Step 6

Cut each roll into 10 pieces with a sharp knife, each about 2.5cm long, and arrange on a baking sheet. Will keep covered and frozen, for one month.

Step 7

Brush more beaten egg all over the pastry. Cook for 25-35mins until the pastry is puffed, crisp and the meat has cooked through. Add an extra 10 mins if cooking from frozen. Eat hot or cold with tomato ketchup, if you like.

Easy Scotch Eggs - by Barney Desmazery

Have scotch eggs to finish off your afternoon tea. These are easy to make and just as tasty.


5 Large eggs

300g good-quality pork sausage, skinned

1tsp black peppercorns, crushed

140g cooked ham, shredded

25g sage, apple and onion stuffing mix

1 tsp chopped sage

1 tsp chopped parsely

1 tsp chopped thyme

100g plain flour, seasoned, plus extra for dusting

100g dried breadcrumbs

Sunflower oil, for frying

Piccalilli, to serve


Step 1

Bring a pan of salted water to a rapid boil, then lower four of the eggs into the plan and simmer for 7 mins 30 secs exactly. Scoop out and place into a bowl of iced water, cracking the shells a little ( this makes them easier to peel later). Leave them to cool completely, then peel and set aside. Can be boiled the day before.

Step 2

Put the sausage meat, pepper, ham, stuffing and herbs in a small bowl, mix to combine, the divide into four equal balls. Squash one of the balls between pieces of cling film until it's as flat as possible. One at a time, lightly flour each cooked egg, then use the cling film to help roll the sausage meat around the egg until it is completely encased. Repeat with the remaining sausage balls and eggs.

Step 3

Beat the remaining egg and put onto a plate. Put the flour and breadcrumbs on two separates plates. Roll the encased eggs in the flour, then the beaten egg and finally the breadcrumbs. Can be prepared up to a day in advance.

Step 4

To cook the eggs, heat 5cm of the oil in a wide saucepan or wok until it reaches 160C on a cooking thermometer or until a few breadcrumbs turn golden after 10 secs in the oil. Depends on the size of your pan, lower as many eggs as you can into the oil, and cook for 8-10 mins until golden and crispy. Drain on kitchen paper, leave to cool a little, and then serve halved with some piccalilli.

To Finish

With these recipes you will be able to make an excellent afternoon tea, something to remember - and a great start into having fun activities once again, post-lockdown.

Photo by Becky Fantham on Unsplash

Various recipes images from bbcgoodfood

All recipes are credited to the relevant owners