Summertime is perfect for hosting an intimate vintage garden tea party under the trees.
An afternoon tea format suits a garden tea party well. With guests arriving around 1 pm for a few hours of tea and treats in the garden. This means you can keep the food options lighter and make the most of the warm summer weather.
Start the summer garden theme off right with beautiful floral invitations.
Handwritten invites with crisp white envelopes are perfect, or add more of the summer vibe by using floral pop-up cards like the one below to bring summer to your guests before they arrive.
Lace gloves, pearls and pretty pastel-coloured dresses and parasols suit this type of party perfectly.
Ask for RSVPs to arrive at least one week prior to the event to allow you time to arrange the catering.
Setting the scene:
Set out tables on the lawn or on your patio. You can set up on a long table or a few little tables of four.
Ensure there is some shade for your guests. You can provide this using large umbrellas or the shade of the tree. No one wants to melt in the sun all afternoon.
Outside tables can be covered with floor length tablecloths in either white or pastel pinks or blues. You can then add a lace table runner or a bright floral runner to bring some more romance to the setting.
Add more layers of lace doilies on top of the table runner to really turn up the vintage romance style. Place one floral sugar bowl and creamer per four people
Fine bone China pieces are the daintiest type to use for this kind of tea party. They are light and fine to use.
Have each place setting marked by a handwritten place card and menu card.
At each place setting put a side plate with a teacup and saucer on top, accompanied by a dainty silver spoon on the right. Matching tea sets are not important, but floral or pastel coloured pieces look best in this setting.
Beside the plate place a knife and linen napkin.
If you are serving bubbly wine, also set the champagne glasses above and to the right of the teacup.
We are in love with these blue bubble bee napkin rings. Perfect for a summer garden party!
Serve the food on gorgeous old fashioned plates and cakes stands.
Tiered plates look perfect in this setting. When setting the food on tiered plates, remember to put savoury food at the bottom and sweet things on the top plate.
Have large jugs of iced tea and water with mint and lemon at tables for guests to help themselves to.
Add the next level of glamor by decorating the garden with white birdcages, hanging chandeliers and pearls, filling the table with old fashioned silver candlestick holders
Vintage Garden Tea Party Food Selections:
Mozzarella and cherry tomato sticks
Naked Sponge Cake with strawberries
Rose petal jelly
English Breakfast – Taylors of Harrogate English Breakfast Tea
Peppermint – Harney & Sons Organic Peppermint Tea
Green tea – Harney & Sons Japanese Sencha Green Tea
Strawberry – Fortnum & Mason British Tea with Strawberry
Ginger – Groovy Ginger
Rose petal – The Tao of Tea, Rose Petal Black Tea
Other drink options:
Pink lemonade – Country Time Naturally Flavored Pink Lemonade Drink
Sparkling wine with strawberries – In-Spirit Glitter and Gold Strawberry Sparkling Wine
Pink sugar cubes – L’ Envie en Rose Pur Sucre de Canne
Chocolate-dipped mints – Andy Anand Chocolate Mint Cookies Bites
Items for each place setting:
Floral or Pastel coloured Bone China teacups with matching saucers
Floral Side Plates
Tall lemonade Glasses
Silver Cake forks
Hand-written name cards
Bright, pretty linen napkins
For the table:
Iced tea carafes
Silver Cake knife
Silver Cake slice
Vintage Sandwich tongs
Vintage Cream Spoon
Pretty Tea Strainer
Vintage floral Sandwich plates
Floral or white Teapots
Porcelain Sugar bowls
Glass Milk Jugs
Pretty little Jam Dishes
Floral Cream Bowl
Vintage teacups for floral arrangements
Crisp white or pastel coloured tablecloths
Lace or floral table runner
White bird cages
Strings of pearls
Wide chiffon ribbons for chairs
Vintage silver Candlestick holders
Large glass drink containers with taps for iced tea and lemonade
Our The New Vintage Tea Party Book has lots of ideas, recipes, and inspiration for your next event.