Retro Tea Party Style Guide

A Retro Tea Party celebrates the glamour and glitz of the 1950s.

Design a Retro Tea Party that would be fit for Audrey Hepburn and friends. Use geometric designs and a color scheme of Aqua, Black, Red, Gold and Silver to channel a little Breakfast At Tiffany’s.

A Retro Tea Party can be a great theme for a luncheon tea, that is served with glamour in this style. Guests would come for lunch and expect to be served a selection of warm and cold finger foods of both sweet and savoury. You can add some Mad Men-style naughtiness by adding Martinis and Manhattans to the lunch menu. Who doesn’t love a little liquid lunching?!

Retro Tea Party Invitations:

Stick to your chosen colour scheme in the invitations. Handwritten cards in Aqua and Black look stunning, as do a geometric design in Red and Gold.

retro tea party - breakfast at tiffanys
Ponatia Laser Cut Invitations

Ask guests to arrive in their finest 1950s glamour style. Think Breakfast at Tiffany’s style with black pencil skirts, pearls, fur stools, large sunglasses, high heels, stockings with seams.

Setting The Scene

A Retro Tea Party can be served inside or on a patio outside in the sun.

Set a long table with aqua or pink tablecloths with lace tablecloths layered on top or make a statement with black cloths and aqua table runners. 

To the table add the 50s retro touch with retro-styled glassware and serving plates.

Orange and Green glass vases with flowers. Serve food on glass platters and cake stands.

Tiered cake stands also work well.

Place Settings

At each place setting, you can place a small side plate in your color scheme with knife and linen napkin.

Royal Albert Tea Set

Pretty teacups and saucers to bring some of that retro feel to the table. Place these cups setting with the cup ready to use. Place a teaspoon in the saucer.

If you are serving alcoholic drinks also set the table with retro glassware. Don’t forget cut glass coasters for your drinks also.

Food should be served on large glass plates and bowls.

Retro Tea Party Food Selections

Savoury Dishes

Waldorf Salad

Shrimp Cocktails

Cheese platter and crackers

Mini quiches

Raw vegetable sticks with onion dip

Lamb meatballs

Cheese straws

Chicken salad with lettuce leaves.

Sweet Dishes

Coffee cake

Banana Bread


Carrot Cake (our recipe is here)

Tea Selections

Ginger Peach Iced tea

Earl Grey

English Breakfast


Other Drinks

Classic lemonade



Sparkling wine

Sparkling grape juice

Checklist for each place setting:

Pretty teacups with matching saucers – (gold, pink, black, white)
Gold Side Plates
Tall lemonade Glasses
Champagne Glasses
Martini glasses
Retro geometric shaped teaspoons
Angular Cake Forks
Handwritten place markers in black and gold

Printed Menu Cards

Crisp Napkins in glass or silver napkin rings

Cut-Glass coasters in geometric designs

For the table:

Tall Lemonade jugs in green or yellow glass
Tall Water jugs with mint
Silver Cake knife
Silver Cake slice
Silver Sandwich tongs
Silver Cream Spoon
Tea Strainer
Glass Cake Stands- retro orange, green, cut glass
Art deco style Sandwich platters- gold, pink, aqua
Black geometric shaped Teapots
Cut glass Sugar bowls
Cut glass Milk Jugs
Geometric shaped Jam Dishes
Glass Cream Bowl
Long tablecloths- Aqua, Pink, Gold, White
Table runners white, black, Gold

Other Decorations:

Retro Tea Time Apron for the hostess
Gold and black streamers and balloons
Black sunglasses
Long cigarette holders
Strings of pearls

Large Candelabras

Silver Candelabra on the table
retro tea party
Tiffany Style Gift Boxes

Get a FREE Vintage Tea Party Recipe E-book and enjoy regular ideas and inspiration directly to your inbox. 

* indicates required