French High Tea Party Style Guide

French High Tea Party Style Guide

A Romantic French Style High Tea recreates an event from an era of opulence and luxurious elegance

A French High Tea Party inspired by The La Belle Epoque “the Beautiful Era”of the late 1800s in France. It was the French gilded age of opulence, luxurious elegance and extravagant home-based entertaining.

A French High Tea party would be hosted at home with all the opulence of the late 1800s. Guests would arrive around 3 pm and stay all afternoon and evening enjoying teas, sweet and savory food and wine. It was an elegant way to host a dinner party without the heavy food and formal seating arrangements.

The Invitations

French opulence requires over-the-top elegant invitations. Set your color scheme using the pinks, purples, reds and pastel blues so popular at the time. Heavy card handwritten invitations placed in heavy cream envelopes set the scene early. Dress code ‘the Beautiful Era” – France 1800s. Marie Antoinette can be a great inspiration for a French High Tea Party.



Setting the scene

Recreate a feeling of beauty and extravagance with your table settings. Set tables with lots of layers. Start with a long white or cream tablecloth that reaches the floor. Over this, you can lay chiffon or sheer cloth in pink, blue or white. This creates a gorgeous floaty beginning. On top of this, you can use table runners in gold, silver or pink. On top of these layer lace doilies.

Along the center of the table, large candelabras can look amazing, especially if they are draped in pearls and dripping with crystals. Bring out all the silver and crystal for French High Tea Party!

There is no way to go too far over the top with this theme. Add large vases and bowls filled with old-fashioned roses or peonies in pinks, reds, and white. Next, add glass bowls of chocolates, sweets, and chocolate-dipped strawberries for guests to nibble on.

Decorate the room with lots of pink, red, gold, white. You can use ribbons, balloons, pearls, silks feathers, fans, and mirrors. And have large vases of flowers everywhere. The theme can carry off a lot of ribbons, ruffles, and lace! And lots of cake!


Place Settings

At each place setting lay a handwritten name card and menu card.

Royal Baroque Place Holder

Use ornate Limoge style plates, teacups, and saucers at each place. Beautiful cream or pink napkins can be folded and held by silver napkin rings or tied with gold and pink ribbon. Silver teaspoons and cake forks should be set at each place. As should tall champagne glasses. Serve the food on the most ornate or decorated plates you have, best in pinks and gold. A French High Tea Party is best with lots of tiered cake stands, and glass plates.

Floral Mismatched Tea Cups by Brewed to a Tea CLICK HERE to buy

French High Tea Party Food Selections


Bread rolls, Cheese platters, cheese and thyme scones, ricotta, tomato mini tarts, quiches, Croissants, Salmon mousse,

Leilalove Macarons – Baked to Order


Chocolate Eclairs – Chocolate Eclairs by O & H Danish

Macaroons – Leilalove Macarons Mademoiselle de Paris

Chocolate Mousse – Southern Gourmet Mix Mousse Double Chocolate

Chocolate Croissants – La Boulangere Pains Au Chocolat, Chocolate Croissants

French Cookies – La Grande Galette French Butter Cookies

Creme brûlée – French creme brûlée

Strawberry cheesecake – David’s Cookies Strawberry Cheesecake

Pink meringues – Eve’s Bakery All Natural Gluten Free Meringues

Custard tarts – Southern Bakery Mini Chess Pie

French Coconut cake – Handmade Coconut Layer Cake | Savannah’s Candy Kitchen

Pink and White Coconut Ice – Mr Stanley’s Coconut Ice


Peach tea – The Republic of Tea Peach Blossom Oolong Tea

Jasmine tea – Harney & Sons Dragon Pearl Jasmine Tea

Lady Grey tea – Twinings of London Lady Grey Black Tea

Caramel Tea – The Republic of Tea Caramel Vanilla Cuppa Cake Tea

Creme Brulee Tea – The Republic of Tea Cardamom Creme Brulee Black Tea

100 Classic Sandwich Recipes in High Society Sandwiches

Items for creating your perfect French High Tea Party

Per Place setting

  • Pink, gold, purple, red Limoges teacups and saucers
  • Pink, gold, blue or red side Plates (do not need to match the teacups)
  • Tall lemonade Glasses
  • Champagne Glasses
  • Silver Teaspoon and tiny cake fork wrapped together with ribbons
  • Ornate Place markers
  • Elegant Menu Cards

For the table

  • Crystal jugs and decanters for water and lemonade
  • Many cake serving utensils (cake slice, knives) in silver or porcelain.
  • Sandwich tongs
  • Dainty silver cream spoon
  • Tea Strainer
  • Glass, crystal Cake Stands
  • Pink, white and gold Sandwich  and cake platters
  • Glass bowls and stands for sweets and chocolates.
  • Silver and ornate porcelain Teapots
  • Glass Sugar bowls
  • Ornate pink and white Milk Jugs
  • Crystal bowls for the jam and cream
  • Large vases with flowers
  • Crystal candlestick holders
  • Candelabras with white candles and dripping with pearls and flowers
  • Long white tablecloths
  • Sheer over tablecloths
  • White or gold table runner
  • Lace doilies
Victoria Antique Silver Cake Stand – Amalfi Decor
Victoria Antique Silver Cake Stand – Amalfi Decor
Gold Table Runner By TRLYC

Extra Decorations

  • Ribbons
  • Fans
  • Mirrors
  • Feathers
  • Crystals
  • Eiffel Towers
Peacock Feathers by U-House
Vintage Bird Cages with Candles by Gerson Metal

More Classic Advice on How To Host Afternoon Teas

Looking for more inspiration for your next tea party event? The Vintage Tea Party Style Guide has lots of ideas, recipes, and inspiration for your next event.

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