Monday, 7 June 2010

How to host an afternoon tea

With the huge resurgence of interest in all things vintage, it can surely be no coincidence that taking afternoon tea has never been so popular, whether it's a birthday, hen party or even a wedding! We absolutely adore the whole ritual, from proper teapots, to finger sandwiches and scones, so here's a quick and easy guide to serving your own tea!

Firstly, think about presentation. As the hostess, you need a fabulous outfit, and that's where we come in! Might we suggest the aptly-named Tea Dress, or a fabulously full, floral-print swing dress, complete with petticoat, would be a wonderful choice for a tea party hostess? Tie a vintage pinny around your waist as you serve, for an extra cute look. As for presentation of the tea itself, scour charity shops for chintzy old china and pretty cakestands. Or, you can use one of the many wonderful vintage china hire companies out there, just do a Google search for those in your area.

The best thing since sliced bread has to be … crustless sliced bread! Available from all big supermarkets, it saves a huge amount of time and waste. Pick four or five classic and simple fillings for your sandwiches: ham and mustard, cream cheese and smoked salmon, cucumber, egg mayonnaise and cheese and pickle.

If you're something of a dab hand in the kitchen, like fellow Vivien of Holloway addict Nigella Lawson, you can make scones from scratch. We like to cheat and buy ours from the premium supermarket ranges. Heat them in the oven for a few minutes and serve with clotted cream and jam in little vintage sugar bowls.

The same applies to cakes, you can either whip up a batch of cupcakes like the domestic goddess you are, decorate some shop-bought ones, or get a professional to do it for you.

And that's pretty much it! Serve all the delicious goodies with hot tea, invite all your most glamorous friends, and you've got a tea party to remember...

(Thanks to the gorgeous Susie for these photos!

Don't forget that Vivien of Holloway dresses are incredibly easy-care, so even if you're a butter fingers, your outfit will remain unscathed! Bon appetit!


  1. Ah, I love Susie!
    I know that VoH dresses withstand a smattering of cake crumbs, but what about lashings of Pimms? I'm putting mine to the test this weekend; dress, don't fail me!

  2. ApoloniaWhite09/06/2010, 22:31

    Could you tell me when the gray swing trousers will be aviable in your shop ?