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101 ways to celebrate afternoon tea – Afternoon Tea Week (10th – 16th August)

Ever had that sinking feeling in the afternoon?

Well, that’s exactly how Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford, felt during her 17th-century afternoons. At the time, it was normal to have two meals a day and dinner wasn’t served until 8 o’clock. The duchess was becoming, understandably, rather peckish. 

After trying it out privately in her boudoir, she began inviting friends over to enjoy tea and ‘a light refreshment’. Suffice to say, the rest is history.

Fast-forward to present day and we’re honouring this national institution with the annual Afternoon Tea Week. So, what better way to celebrate than by raising your china cup, spreading a scone and getting involved. Of course, in almost 200 years a lot has changed. Here are 101 scrumptious ways to celebrate afternoon tea.  

#1. Chocolate afternoon tea

Enjoy a Wonka-themed wonderland with an opulent tea of chocolatey treats. 

#2. Afternoon tea picnic by the lake

Sip in blissful serenity by one of the UKs beautiful lakes. Just watch out for the ducks.

picnic by the lake

#3. Afternoon tea picnic at home 

The weather shouldn’t put a stop to your plans. Just roll out a blanket and enjoy afternoon tea at home. 

#4. Harry Potter afternoon tea

Switch the tea for Butter-beer and enjoy a magical afternoon tea like they would at Hogwarts.

#5. Champagne afternoon tea 

Pop open a bottle of fizz and wash those scones down in style. 

champagne afternoon tea
Image Credit: Scandimummy

#6. Teddy bears picnic afternoon tea 

If you go down in the woods today, you’re sure of a big surprise… treat your little cubs to a bear-themed banquet.

#7. Afternoon tea by the coast

What’s more heavenly than dining by the coast? The sound of waves gently lapping at the shores and seagulls gliding overhead (just watch your cucumber sarnies). 

#8. Disney afternoon tea 

Create a “whole new world” and dine in your imaginary kingdom.

#9. Marvel afternoon tea 

Assemble your Avengers and put together a spread that’s fit for superheroes. 

#10. Afternoon tea at home 

Image Credit: Nicole Russell

Dust off the china teapot and roll out the doilies, time to experience those hotel luxuries at home.

#11. Pink afternoon tea 

Iced ring donuts and sparkling rose; everything looks prettier in pink. 

#12. Vegan afternoon tea

Gone are the times when a falafel wrap was the only option. These days a plant-based afternoon tea is something to behold. 

#13. Vegetarian afternoon tea

You don’t have to be a meat-eater to enjoy afternoon tea. Whether it’s sweet or savoury, veggies have lots to choose from. In fact, even the ‘sausage’ rolls are pretty convincing these days. 

#14. Gluten-free afternoon tea

With gluten-free flour and bread available for cakes and sandwiches, there’s no reason why coeliacs can’t enjoy high tea as well. Plus, Pimms and champagne are naturally gluten-free. Go on, spoil yourself. 

#15. Savoury afternoon tea 

Sausage rolls, cheese scones, tartlets and canapes; afternoon tea is just as special when it’s savoury. 

#16. Birthday afternoon tea 

birthday afternoon tea
Image Credit: Evenangelsfall

Blow out the candles, carve the cake and celebrate in style.

#17. Anniversary afternoon tea 

It only comes round once a year so make a fuss. We’ve got some other ideas for celebrating your anniversary too. 

#18. Rainy day afternoon tea 

There’s nothing more comforting on a rainy day than a warm pot of brew. So why not push the boat out?

#19. Couples afternoon tea 

What’s better than spending a day together? Doing it over tea and cake, of course. 

afternoon tea at home
Image Credit: Emma Campbell

#20. Afternoon tea for 1

You deserve spoiling too. Plus, there’s no one to judge if you go for seconds (or thirds). 

#21. Family afternoon tea 

Nothing goes to waste once you get your little helpers involved. Well, maybe the crusts. 

two young girls enjoying afternoon tea in the garden
Image Credit: Five Little Doves

#22. Afternoon tea in the park

With the finest crockery and a spread this decadent, it’s definitely no picnic in the park.

#23. Sunset afternoon tea 

A romantic way to end a special day. Just remember to go decaf.

sunset picnic

#24. Afternoon tea on a boat

See the sights whilst savouring a scone. It’s the only way to travel. How about tea on the Thames?

#25. Prosecco afternoon tea

Lunch like the Italians with Prosecco, focaccia and, of course, scones. Well, it wouldn’t be afternoon tea without them. 

#26. Kids afternoon tea 

Stuck for Summer holiday ideas? This is the perfect way to keep them occupied. 

Image Cred: Lucielovesit

#27. Healthy(ish) afternoon tea 

Homemade hummus, crudités, fresh fruit and olives – all washed down with an anti-oxidising herbal tea. The perfect cleanse. 

#28. Diet afternoon tea

Don’t miss out. Whether it’s low carb, keto or paleo, there are lots of ways to enjoy a slimmed-down version of the real thing that’s just as satisfying.

#29. Work meeting

Spoil the client or keep your own troops happy and nourished. It’s a win-win either way.

#30. Jungle afternoon tea

Is that a paw paw or a prickly pear? Whatever it is, it’s delicious. 

#31. Beauty and the beast afternoon tea 

“Be our guest” and join Lumière, Chip and Mrs Potts for this fantastical trip to 18th-century France.

#32. Alice in Wonderland afternoon tea

Head down the rabbit hole for a tea party that’s just as mad as it is delicious. This Queen of Hearts-themed tea is a must for fans of Lewis Carroll’s classic.

alice in wonderland afternoon tea
Image Credit: Nikki

#33. Garden party afternoon tea

Get out the gazebo, arrange some flowers and fill up some pitchers. It’s time to head outside.

Image cred: Rhian Westbury

#34. Afternoon Sea (seafood afternoon tea)

Fresh crab, treacle-cured salmon, Poole Bay oysters and Keta caviar; oh we do like to be beside the seaside.

#35. All-pink Afternoon Tea

Rose petal icing, pink macaroons and Château Minuty rosé – ooh-la-la. 

#36. Beach afternoon tea

1st August is Sandcastle Day, so what better time to pack a picnic and enjoy afternoon tea on the beach?

#37. First Date afternoon tea

Forget the pub. Make your first meeting one to remember.

#38. Fruity afternoon tea

Looking for something lighter? Then enjoy a fruit-infused tea that’s guaranteed to awaken the senses. 

#39. Centre Court-style 

Wimbledon’s cancelled but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy the best bits. Pimms and strawberries with cream: the taste of Summer. 

#40. Girls night in

Much more special than your average movie night. Pop open a bottle (or two) and let the good times roll.

#41. Spa day at home with afternoon tea

Cucumbers on the eyes and in the sandwiches; spoil yourself rotten at home.

#42. Rustic and shabby chic 

Wooden boards full of not-so-dainty treats and lovingly, mismatched bone china; as relaxed as a spot of tea at your nan’s. 

#43. Graduation celebration

Celebrate all the years of hard work with tea, cake and, of course, a little bit of the bubbly. 

#44. Retirement tea

It’s the first day of the rest of your life – best start it with cake.

#45. G & Tea

Gin and tea are like Absolutely Fabulous: quintessentially British and a match made in heaven. 

#46. Afternoon book club tea

Pick while pulling apart the finer points of this month’s novel. 

#47. Baby’s first birthday

Finger foods cater to both adults and the little ones. So light that birthday candle, it’s time to party. 

#48. Baby shower

Invite your friends over for mocktails, macarons and plenty of cake. After all, you are eating for two remember.

#49. Holiday-themed tea

Not planning on flying abroad? Bring the holiday home with afternoon tea. There’s plenty to see here anyway

#50. Peter Rabbit tea

Hop through some of Peter’s favourite treats, all inspired by the classic Beatrix Potter tale. Carrot cake, anyone?

#51. Gender reveal tea

Whether you were hoping it’s a girl or boy, everyone can agree on cake. 

#52. 1st wedding anniversary

Reminisce about cutting the cake and do it all over again. It’s a fitting way to get the bridesmaids and groomsmen back together.

#53. Summer afternoon tea

Image Credit: Dannie Moore

Summer and afternoon tea are a match made in heaven. So make the most of the sunshine while it lasts. 

#54. Fundraiser tea party

A tea party or coffee morning is a great way to raise money for your cause. In the office or at home, they’re always a hit. 

#55. British afternoon tea

Bring out the bunting and enjoy a spread fit for her majesty. Just watch out for the corgis.

#56. Camping afternoon tea

Afternoon tea the simple way. Warm a pan over the fire and watch as the world slowly passes you by.

#57. Bird watching garden tea

British gardens come alive in the Summer, so soundtrack your lunch with the blissful chirps of birdsong. But remember to fill up the feeder, they’d love to tuck in too.

#58. House-warming celebration

Who’s not going to want to come over when they hear about this wonderful spread?

#59. Pimms o’clock

Fill up the pitchers with plenty of fresh fruit and Pimms. It’s a classic for a reason. 

#60. Hen do cake and prosecco party

Get the girls together for one last hurrah. Raise a glass and make a toast; this afternoon tea will quickly turn into a prosecco party. 

#61. Small wedding tea

Afternoon tea really lends itself to intimate celebrations. Your breathtaking wedding cake, towers of cheese and plenty of champagne. What could be better?

#62. Floral afternoon tea

A positively blooming way to celebrate the great British afternoon tea.

#63. Man cave afternoon party

Whether it’s fantasy footy, videogames or craft ales, an afternoon spent in the man cave is one well spent.

#64. Bake Off competition tea

Separate the star bakers from the soggy bottoms in this show-stopping challenge. And then wash it all down with tea. 

#65. Candlelit evening tea

There isn’t a lot in life that’s more magical than a candlelit supper in the evening.

#66. Tea under the stars

Well, maybe this….

#67. Afternoon tea hunt

Transform afternoon tea into an adventure for treasure. Fun for kids and grown-ups alike. 

#68. Fishing trip with tea

What better way to celebrate the catch of the day than with a warm canister of tea and a salmon sandwich?

#69. Spicy savoury tea

Masala chai, fresh samosas and chutneys. It’s afternoon tea with a tongue-tingling twist. 

#70. Vintage afternoon tea

Take a trip back in time and enjoy dainty finger sandwiches, freshly baked scones with clotted cream and plenty of tea. All served on timeless vintage china for that retro feel.

#71. Street party 

Coordinate with the community by setting up some stools of savoury and sweet delights. A safe-distance street party is the perfect way to bring everyone together.

street party

#72. First home 

With no furniture, this is the perfect time to eat on the floor. Pop a cork and toast the new place in style. 

#73. Indoor garden

Set-up an indoor oasis; bad weather can’t spoil this party. 

#74. Doggy-friendly afternoon tea 

Forgot those boring old dog treats for your hungry hound. “Good boys” deserve Bakewell Bones and pup pawsecco.

#75. Virtual 

Almost as good as the real thing; an afternoon tea that’s so 2020.

#76. Neighbours 

Raise a toast over the fence. Because what better way to get to know the neighbours than over warm tea and freshly baked scones? 

#77. Rainbow afternoon tea

Eye-catching cakes that are all the colours of the rainbow; time to honour the NHS and Pride month.

#78. Thank you

Perfect for long Summer nights, dine amongst the shrubbery in your own secret garden. 

#80. Bike ride 

Once you’ve worked up an appetite, cycle back to base for your own Tea de France. It’ll taste even better after you’ve worked a sweat.

#81. Eco-friendly 

Ethically sourced and plastic-free; it’s easy to eat sustainably in 2020. 

#82. Outdoor cinema 

Films are enjoyable with popcorn but they’re even better with a warm cup of tea (especially when the sun goes down). 

#83. Dog walking

Take a puppy pitstop and refresh yourself with tea and cake. Just remember to bring a treat for your pooch too.

#84. Patriotic 

Wherever you’re from, come together and fly the flag. 

#85. Festival 

Enjoy your own ‘headline set’ of sweet and savoury treats. All washed down with a warm can of cider, obviously. 

#86. Treehouse 

Sharing canapes up in the canopy; the stuff of storybooks.

#87. Afternoon tea in bed

Forget tea and toast; try tea with all the trimmings. 

#88. Sporty afternoon tea 

Get the whole team together. After all, you’ve earned it.

#89. Picnic bench afternoon tea

Your table is ready and you’ve got the best view in the house…

#90. Cocktail afternoon tea 

Enjoy lunch the Mad Men way. Because there’s always room for another Old Fashioned.

#91. Date night afternoon tea

Makes a change from the cinema…

#92. Date day afternoon tea 

When a night just isn’t long enough.

#93. Spring afternoon tea 

When Spring’s sprung, so have the season’s freshest flavours. Time to go al fresco

#94. Biscuit afternoon tea 

Custard creams, cookies and everything in between. This is a sweet tea with a bit of bite to it. Just be careful when you dunk…

#95. Dessert afternoon tea

Victoria sponge, earl grey tea cakes and bakewell tarts; it’s afternoon tea with all of the best bits. Patisserie Valerie has got pudding covered

#96. Strawberry picnic

Strawberry lemonade, fruity cupcakes and, of course, bountiful amounts of the berries themselves. Summer in a hamper.

#97. Catch up afternoon 

Take your time to nibble and natter because this one’s long overdue. 

#98. Sunrise morning tea

Swap your scones for scrambled eggs and your tea for coffee. A majestic way to start the day in style. 

#99. Luxury afternoon tea

It all started with a duchess, so afternoon tea was born to be decadent. Opt for opulence, darling. 

#100. Bottomless afternoon tea

Hydrate til’ your heart’s content and pass the cucumber sandwiches, please. 

And last but not least…

#101. Traditional afternoon tea

English breakfast, bunting and blackberry jam are just some of the delights you’ll find in a traditional afternoon tea. Sometimes you just can’t beat a classic. 

What’s your favourite way to enjoy afternoon tea? Let us know in the comments.

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