Whether you want guidance on how to plan a Vintage tea party for kids or for adults, I’ll be guiding you through both with some fabulous ideas and inspiration.
Hosting a vintage tea party at home is an art of bringing elegance, coziness, and intimacy at a single affair accompanied by some delicious food and a pot of tea of course!
Either it can be a formal way out to discuss your corporate deals or as casual as a girls’ day off from house chores discussing movies, friends, and happiness
When thinking about how to plan a vintage tea party, the first scenic view that comes in my mind is from Alice in Wonderland with those Victorian hues, British gentry, dressed-up ladies, and a lavish spread along with that exotic kitchenware.
A more modern or perhaps trendy reference would be of the Bridgertons – with the popularity of the Netflix show, who doesn’t want to throw a Vintage, Birdgerton themed tea party?
You know we love theme parties here at Branded Girls – previously, you’ve loved our posts on Backyard Tea Party Decor Ideas and Outdoor Tent Party Ideas so today we’ll be talking about another theme we all love – Vintage tea parties. Let’s dive right in:
- Choose a date and a venue: If you want to host an afternoon tea party, then selecting a garden or a patio with some vintage décor would be the best option on a sunny day.
- Giving private invitations: Invites can be as warm as you want. You can give a handwritten invite with a pack of cookies to set a mood for your party. But don’t forget to create an online event to help people remember what is coming on the weekend.
- Tea party menu: Do review some snack recipes online, including bite-size savories and desserts. Don’t forget to look for classic scones and Victorian sponge.
- Tea ideas: It is always better to serve two teas; one can be a caffeinated tea while the other can be a herbal tisane.
- Decoration ideas: A vintage tea party must be a completely formal affair, therefore, lighten up the mood with some fresh flowers, vintage crockery, and music (depending on the age group you have invited).
What Food to Serve at a Vintage Tea Party?
A three-tiered stand gives the most traditional look to the high tea served along with some bite-size sandwiches, classic flaky scones, and pastries. Make sure the guests work upon the trays from bottom to the top. Keeping the sandwiches at the bottom, scones in the middle, and sweet treats at the top.
1. Main course: Finger Sandwiches & savories
Did you know ‘finger sandwiches’ are also known as tea sandwiches?
Best served with smoked salmon, egg salad, cheese, cucumber, roasted beef, or chicken salad fingers. Mayonnaise, mustard paste, and chipotle sauce add flavors to the classic grilled meat.
Pro Tip: Put a damp towel over the exposed sandwiches keeping them to get dry. Make sure you cut the crust off the bread before making sandwiches or buy a Tramezzino for making exclusive sandwiches.
Other savories that can spark up your spread are
- Fresh cucumber roll-ups served with fresh peppers, carrots, and cream cheese.
- Mini salmon croquettes
- Chive with egg salad
2. Second course: Scones
Scones are the second traditional main course of a tea party served with jam, Devonshire cream, clotted cream, and lemon curd.
Scones can either be sweet or savory, ranging from plain to buttermilk scones to cheddar mustard scones or sweet cinnamon scones.
Be sure to prepare at least two scones per person because they are so amazing that people always crave for more!
If you are planning a vintage tea party for ladies, a bridal shower or a girl’s birthday, try serving raspberry scones as they turn naturally pink, adding to the girlish theme.
Pro Tip: For classic flaky scones, ensure that you use very cold ingredients like cold eggs, cold butter, and cream. Also, consider giving a boost to the scones by adding a tint of lemon juice to your milk.
Other ideas include:
- Lemon blueberry scones
- Peanut butter scones
- Cranberry orange scones
3. Third Course: Sweets
Cake and pastries are the deal you can make or break. Consider going for the traditional ones like Victoria sponge, carrot cake, cheesecake, banana bread, or Danish pastry.
If you want to add a personal touch you can include chocolate eclairs, lemon tarts, raspberry millefeuilles, or cannoli bites.
Make them perfectly bite-sized, minimizing the hassle of platters and forks.
Pro Tip: For making the fluffiest sponge and breads make sure you sift the flour with a height from the bowl so that it removes any residing air bubbles.
Other options to consider:
- Chelsea buns
4. Add some scarlets to your runner
If you want to add some more tangy and scarlet touch to your food spread, then don’t forget to add mini cookies with fruit tarts. This will not only add color to your runner but also give a refreshing and healthier touch to the menu.
Choosing the Tea
With so much focus on sweets and savories, do you think you have overlooked something?
Now comes the elementary part, which tea to serve at a Vintage tea party?
We are always in favor of serving two teas. One can be a caffeinated tea, while the other be an herbal tisane for guests who are sensitive to caffeine.
Brew the caffeinated one in a larger teapot and the herbal one in a smaller teapot as most people find it bitter.
There are a lot of options for both types.
So, for caffeinated one, the traditional top picks are Earl Grey, English Breakfast, and Darjeeling. While other exotic varieties include Assam and Matcha.
For herbal tea, go for safer options like mint tea, lemon or chamomile tea. You can mix two of them for a distinctive flavor.
Pro Tip for Fun: Planning a vintage tea party for a bridal/baby shower? Try hibiscus tea that gives a rich pink color, apt for a girlish pinky theme.
Serve the Food on Vintage Crockery
Mismatched teacups are the key idea to enrich the vintage vibe but consider keeping the color theme the same.
It looks fun when people settle for a minute to decide in which teacup, they should have their teas. Make sure you keep two teacups for an individual if you are having two tea options.
If you still have that Alice in Wonderland theme running behind your mind, then it would be important to know that the vintage crockery from that actual party was matching fine bone China teapot sets. However, these are heavy on prices so either you can thrift the mismatched pieces from a nearby crockery shop or surf online flea markets.
How to set up your table for a Vintage tea party?
After sorting up the menu and crockery, the main considerable thing left is to set your tea table.
A tea table must be inviting yet completely organized. Try keeping all your dishes at some intermediate distance and not messing up the crockery.
A fine white or checkered tablecloth is a must as it helps to coordinate things. You can choose a flowery or lacy runner placed diagonally on the table. Keeping a 3-tiered stand in the middle. Make sure you place cups with saucers and tea stirrers.
Placemats under each dish would add some spice to your overall look. You can hide some boxes or containers under the tablecloth to give different heights to your eateries.
Select a bigger, exquisite vintage teapot for brewing up caffeinated tea and a smaller teapot for herbal one. Make sure you put sufficient plates, silverware, glasses, and tea strainers for your guests.
Don’t forget to add a centerpiece according to the weather.
Decorating the Venue for a Vintage tea party
Undoubtedly there are countless vintage tea party decoration ideas, but I recommend keeping it simple yet soothing, after all, it is a classic event.
Placing fresh pastel-colored flowers in mason jars at different spots adds life and give a vintage vibe to your whole theme. We know that fresh flowers might be a little hefty go-to option; in that case, fake flowers can also freshen up the living space. Or if you are planning the party outdoors, you can make use of paper lanterns or bird cages.
Since you are the host, ensure you keep proper seating arrangements for everyone, as tea parties are known for having light conversations with your loved ones.
Decorating the trees or fences with buntings is also a cost-effective option, as buntings particularly give a vintage vibe to your décor.
If the weather allows for it, I would highly recommend adding some candles to the decor. Here are some more Garden Party Ideas that you can take inspiration from.
What to Wear to a Vintage Tea Party?
Vintage tea parties at home are the best way to flaunt your chic wardrobe. Play with bright sunny colors along with pastel-colored footwear. Low heels and flats, along with hats, bows and scrunchies, would enhance your overall look.
Danglers and hoops in the ears would complete your outfit. Try avoiding denim or dark-colored suits, while light blazers can be a nice option.
Floral maxi dresses are another good option and if the party is outdoors, you just can not go without a hat or some flowers in your hair.
If the party is in your honor – you obviously have to wear a gown! You can surely get lots of ideas from the Bridgertons for this. Extra points if you can find matching gloves – sheer white ones would work well too.
Other interesting accessories you can carry include umbrellas and of course Vintage folding fans.
Vintage Tea Party for Kids
Throwing your little ones a fancy tea party is such a great idea. Whether it’s for a birthday or just a random playdate – your kids will forever cherish these memories.
If the kids are under 8 years, I would recommend giving them a fancy Vintage tea pot for the Vintage vibes but you can opt for disposable crockery in colours that go with the theme. You can add some fresh flowers and a reusable table cloth as seen in this mad-hatters theme tea party.
Here are some more ideas for you to take inspiration from – I particularly love the concept of flower crown bands for the girls.
Creating the Vintage Tea Party Atmosphere
Right atmosphere includes everything from food to tea, to dresses or to music.
So, to play music or not?
I recommend playing some soft numbers in the background as it is easy to break the awkward silence and encourages people to have a talk.
Avoid electric guitars or drums. Choosing between piano and flute will go aptly with the vintage party theme.
Throughout the world, tea parties are cherished as a comforting chunk of your whole day, so make sure you enjoy it to the fullest with some slow background music. Since you can always steal some extra minutes from your hectic routine to calm and charge yourself.
Just sip, sit, and relax!
Frequently Asked Questions
Q. What is a vintage tea party?
Tea party is a place where people take a rest from their hectic schedules while having a light meal along with tea. It is usually celebrated as a casual or semi-formal event for holding meet-ups.
Q. Where to buy vintage tea sets?
Flea markets and thrift stores are the best places to buy vintage tea sets. Otherwise, you can check online at IKEA, Amazon, or Etsy too.