Shabby Chic High Tea Style Guide

A Shabby Chic High tea Party brings all the best elements of vintage to the table. It’s a little bit rustic, a little old-fashioned, a lot of romantic fun! With this kind of tea party, there are no rules, you get to choose the best elements to bring together.


Invite your guests to a gorgeous Shabby Chic High Tea party and set the scene early with shabby chic style invitations. Lots of lace and ruffles in pastels, pinks, coffee creams, pearl, vintage white, bashful blues, greys and chalky greens. Dress code is any type of vintage with hats, gloves and pearls.

Shabby Chic Vintage Postcard Invitation by The Card Zoo

Shabby Chic High teas suit large venues with lots of guests like old barns, town halls etc. They can also be perfect for small intimate gatherings on back porches or in the garden. Whichever venue you choose decorate it with lots of vintage bunting, lace, and flowers everywhere.

Shabby Chic lace and cotton garland by Modern Rag Quilts´╗┐


Setting the Scene

Set the tables with long flowing white cloths and run long burlap or hessian table runners or try using a bright floral table runner. Cover these with lace doilies to really amp up the shabby vintage style.

Fill vintage mismatched teacup and teapots with bunches of fresh flowers and decorate down the centre of the table.

Shabby Chic Cheese Cloth Table Runner by Boho Farms

Place Settings

Use mismatched vintage teacups and saucers to set each place. Work the mismatching by choosing a common theme or colour of the cup and saucer. Place a mismatched side plate under the cup and saucer to really show off the shabby chic style. Use pink or gingham napkins tied with lace or ribbon. If you are also serving bubbly wine set the table with tall champagne glasses. For a really lovely touch place an iced cupcake into each teacup at each setting along with a place name and a menu card.

Elegance Tea Cup and Saucer Set by Jusalpha

Serve the food on gorgeous old fashioned mismatched plates and cakes stands. Tiered plates look perfect in this setting.

Corrugated Metal Serving Stand by  Colonial Tin Works
Royal Albert New Country Roses Vintage Formal 3-Tier Cake Stand by Royal Albert
Two Tier Cake Stand by Royal Albert
Shabby Chic Gate Design Napkin Holder by Park Designs

Shabby Chic High Tea Food Selections

Savoury: Breads with herb butter, cold meat platters, cheese platter, sausage rolls. mini spinach and ricotta quiches,

Sweet: Strawberry cream sandwiches. Victorian Naked Sponge Cake decorated with fresh flowers, carrot cake, chocolate dipped strawberries, lemon tea cake, red velvet cupcakes with cream cheese icing, cinnamon scones, shortbread

25 Bite sized cup cakes baked by Melissa Cupcakes

Drinks: Tea and iced teas: Peach, strawberry, Lady Grey,

Homemade lemonade. Floral ice cubes, strawberry ice cubes

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

Equipment List

Per Place setting:
Mismatched vintage tea cups and saucers
Mismatched Side Plates
Tall Lemonade Glasses
Champagne Glasses
Mismatched silver teaspoons
Vintage Cake forks
Vintage style handwritten Place markers
Menu Cards

Mismatched Plate Set by Royal Albert
Mismatched Vintage plates by Royal Albert
Royal Albert Set of 4 Mixed Ceramic Spoons by Royal Albert
Mis-matched tea cup set by Royal Albert

For the table:
Large old fashioned Lemonade jugs or glass tanks with taps
Water jugs with floral ice cubes
Vintage Cake knife and slice
Sandwich tongs
Mismatched Cream spoons
Tea Strainer
Glass and Porcelain Cake Stands
Pink and cream coloured mismatched Sandwich plates
Mismatched vintage Teapots
Glass Sugar bowls
Mismatched Milk Jugs
Jam Dishes and Cream Bowls of all sizes and shapes
Vintage teacups and teapots filled with fresh flowers.
Long white tablecloths
Floral or burlap table runners.
Bunting from vintage lace or fabric
Ribbons, lace, flowers

Chen Mason Jar Sconces LED – Fairy Lights by Chen
Butter dish by The Pioneer Woman
Looking for more inspiration for your next tea party event? My Vintage Tea Party Style Guide has lots of ideas, recipes, and inspiration for your next event.