Christmas afternoon tea is a delightful and sophisticated way to immerse yourself in the festive season. You don’t need a reservation at a prestigious venue to enjoy a five-star experience. With a few tips and ideas, you can host a luxury Christmas tea party in the comfort of your own home.
1. Craft Delicious Christmas Afternoon Tea Sandwiches
No afternoon tea is complete without a selection of mouthwatering sandwiches. To embrace the holiday theme, incorporate seasonal ingredients into your fillings and opt for nutty breads. Here are some classic ideas for your Christmas afternoon tea sandwiches:
- Turkey, cranberry, and stuffing
- Smoked salmon and cream cheese
- Brie and grape chutney (vegetarian)
- Spiced falafel and roasted vegetables (vegan)
For the best results, use homemade fillings and high-quality ingredients. Prepare your sandwiches just before serving to keep the bread fresh. Cut them into delicate triangles, crustless finger sandwiches, or mini bread rolls. Aim for four sandwiches per person, each with a different filling.
2. Serve Festive Scones with a Twist
Scones are another essential part of a traditional afternoon tea. Give your favorite fruit scone recipe a festive twist by swapping sultanas for dried cranberries. You can also add a touch of cinnamon (approximately 1 teaspoon per 125 grams of flour) or freshly grated orange zest (approximately one large orange per 300g of flour) for a delightful variation.
For savory options, try incorporating sage or rosemary into cheese scones to enhance their flavor. Warm your scones in a 160°C oven for a few minutes before serving for the best experience.
3. Get Creative with Themed Sweets
Luxury Christmas afternoon tea menus usually include around four patisserie items. While this might be a challenge to replicate at home, you can simplify the process or purchase sweet treats from a local bakery. To add a personal touch, consider making Christmassy chocolate bark by combining melted chocolate with pistachios, candied ginger, and dried cherries.
When serving confections, opt for small portions that can be enjoyed in two or three bites. Individual cakes and pastries are preferable to slices. Traditional choices include mince pies, yule logs, gingerbread men, and iced fruit cake. However, feel free to experiment with endless themed recipes.
Here are some tips to elevate your themed sweets:
- Incorporate festive flavors such as cinnamon, ginger, and cloves.
- Choose a red and green color scheme with subtle touches of sparkle.
- Use cookie cutters to create festive shapes like Christmas trees and stars.
- Add miniature decorations like candy canes, fondant holly leaves, and edible snowflakes.
- Dust your bakes with icing sugar for a snow-like appearance.
4. Indulge in Champagne
Why not elevate your Christmas afternoon tea with a glass of champagne? Champagne afternoon tea has become increasingly popular, and the holiday season is the perfect time to indulge.
Laurent-Perrier is a popular choice at prestigious afternoon tea venues, but there are many other champagnes and sparkling wines that work well. Keep an eye out for the winners of the 2020 Champagne and Sparkling Wine World Championships for some great recommendations. To add a festive touch, garnish your sparkling wine with frozen red berries and a sprig of rosemary. You can also mix champagne with ingredients such as peach puree, crème de cassis, or gin for flavorful champagne cocktails like Bellini, Kir Royale, or French 75.
5. Brew the Perfect Cup of Tea
At afternoon tea, only the finest cup of tea will suffice. To create a traditional and elegant experience, ensure you have the following:
- High-quality loose-leaf tea: Opt for English breakfast or Earl Grey, or try different varieties enriched with festive spices and fruits.
- Teapot: Assign one person to handle the pouring duties.
- Teacups and saucers: Remember to sip your tea without raising your pinky finger.
- Tea strainer: Use a strainer to capture any loose tea leaves.
- Teaspoons: Place a teaspoon on each saucer for stirring, avoiding clinking the sides of the teacup.
- Milk jug: Provide fresh milk or a milk alternative for guests to customize their tea to their liking.
- Sugar bowl: Serve loose white sugar in an open bowl, allowing guests to help themselves.
6. Set the Table for Elegance
When it comes to presenting your Christmas afternoon tea delights, a three-tier cake stand is ideal. Arrange your sandwiches on the bottom tier, scones in the middle, and sweet treats on the top. Encourage your guests to work their way up as they enjoy their meal.
In addition to the tea set, set the table with side plates and napkins. While most afternoon tea food is meant to be eaten with fingers, provide dessert knives and forks for scone toppings if needed. A pristine white tablecloth will create a perfect backdrop for your elegant affair.
To truly recreate a luxury experience, explore the Burleigh x Soho Home collection. Our Green Hibiscus tableware, used at Millie’s Lounge in The Ned, one of London’s finest hotels, will add a touch of sophistication. We also offer the Blue Hibiscus collection and a variety of other intricate patterns that are perfect for afternoon tea.
7. Create the Perfect Ambience
For a truly festive atmosphere, decorate your space with Christmas ornaments, fairy lights, unscented candles, and seasonal flowers. Music plays a crucial role in setting the mood, just like at luxury venues such as The Ritz, where carol choirs accompany your meal. Enhance your at-home experience by playing a Classical Christmas playlist at a low volume.
To make your afternoon tea party even more special, consider dressing up for the occasion. Embrace the festive spirit and immerse yourself in refined sophistication.
Regardless of who you share this experience with and the menu you choose, your Christmas afternoon tea party will undoubtedly be a memorable event. If you’re looking for beautiful tableware to elevate your occasion, explore our stunning range of cake stands, side plates, teapots, and more, all handcrafted in England. Visit BDK Restaurant to discover our collections, including Christmassy tableware from our Frosted Hues and Perfect Pastel collections.