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. The dress code is any type of vintage with hats, gloves and pearls.

Shabby Chic Style Invitation

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.

This party theme is your permission to decorate with flowers, candles, garlands and whatever makes you happy. We love love love these hanging wisteria garlands.


Creating A Shabby Chic Table

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 teacups and teapots with bunches of fresh flowers and decorate down the centre of the table. We fell in love with this lilac colored cheese cloth as a table runner and napkins.

Shabby Chic Cheese Cloth Table Runner by Boho Farms
Floaty romantic table runner by Ling’s Moment

A Shabby Chic table needs lots and lots of flowers. If you don’t have fresh ones on hand take a look at some of the most incredible faux bouquets available and fill your table with bright floral wonderfulness!

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.

Royal Albert Mismatched Tea Set

Serve the food on gorgeous old-fashioned mismatched plates and cake 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
Royal Albert Tiered Cake Stand

Shabby Chic High Tea Food Selections


Bread with herb butter,

cold meat platters,

cheese platters,

sausage rolls,

mini spinach and ricotta quiches


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,


25 Bite-sized cupcakes baked by Melissa Cupcakes


Tea and iced teas:

Peach Tea,


Lady Grey,

Homemade lemonade.

Floral ice cubes,

strawberry ice cubes

Floral Ice Cubes add some fun to your glass

Equipment List

Per Place setting:
Mismatched vintage teacups and saucers like this fun colored set of floral teacups and saucers.

Perfectly mismatched Plates add to the shabby chic feel. We are in love with this set that is perfectly mismatched while matching perfectly. If you know what I mean.

Tall Lemonade Glasses for iced teas and homemade lemonade
Champagne Glasses if you want to bring out the bubbles later in the day
Mismatched silver teaspoons or some of these pretty ceramic spoons, that we cannot get enough of!

Shabby Chic High Tea
Ceramic Spoons by Royal Albert

Vintage Cake forks
Vintage-style handwritten Place markers
Menu Cards

We think you cannot have enough perfectly mismatched plates for any event. And we wanted to share our love of this set, which is a classic collector’s item as well as being perfect for a beautiful shabby chic event.

Mismatched Vintage plates by Royal Albert

And they have a mismatched teacup set to go with it.

Shabby Chic High Tea
Mis-matched teacup set by Royal Albert

For the table:
Large old-fashioned Lemonade jugs or glass tanks with taps bring a country vibe to the table.

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

The New Vintage Tea Party Book has lots of ideas, recipes, and inspiration for your next event.

More Classic Recipes In High Society Refreshments

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