How to Serve Tea with Dignity: 12 Tips

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A difference between ‘high tea’ and ‘low tea’ does exist; it’s a matter of what you serve and when.  [You can read about the subtleties here or here.]

However, if your guests aren’t posh, high-maintenance or British, perhaps you won’t need to worry about these details. Perhaps your guests will be impressed with the mere idea of drinking tea.


In either case, hosting an apolitical tea party can be intimidating. To lessen the stress, here are twelve simple essentials:

1. Chunky jam

– and scones, of course.

Buttermilk and Mixed Fruit Scones with Sour Cherry Jam by Karen Booth

2. Unique plates.


3. Bite-sized sandwiches and baked goods

– so everyone can eat more.


4. An elegant tiered platter

– instant class.


5. Spreads that include the word ‘cream’

– mascarpone cream, clotted cream, crème fraiche, cream cheese frosting…

Buttermilk Scones With Honey Mascarpone Cream And Strawberry Apple Conserve by jamieanne

6. A long table

– the ‘high’ part of ‘high tea’.

(‘Low tea’ is served on lounge tables.)

Image by Caroline

7. Appropriate silverware.


8. The presence of chocolate.

...a celebration... by p*p (away)

9. Extra bowls for wet tea bags.

Stains by Ryan Hyde

10. Pure honey

– for the sweet-teeth.


11. Good friends.

Fur & Feather by Mrs Logic

12. The right tea

-as always.


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