Complete with a list of what to include in each one, these menus are sure to please any and all tastes.
When you hear the words afternoon tea, a picture of freshly baked scones with jam and clotted cream, steamy earl grey and a selection of delicate miniature sandwiches probably enters your mind. Right?
Although these are still crowd favourite classics today, there's a whole new world of afternoon tea menu selections to choose from. And we're here to help you craft the perfect one for your event, whether it's served during the break of a 1000-person strong conference, or to celebrate someone in the office's birthday.
Firstly, what even is afternoon tea?
We see it as a schmancy way of saying afternoon snack.
It fills the awkward void between lunch and dinner, when that 3pm slump kicks in and your stomach starts to rumble. Always a bit too loudly during a presentation or quiet pause in an important meeting. We've all been there!
Traditionally, there are three types of afternoon tea packages; cream tea, light tea and full tea.
- A cream tea is a simple set up with scones, jam, clotted cream and beautiful vintage tea.
- A light tea adds more sweets to the party
- A full tea is not quite a full meal, but offers a healthy mix of both sweet and savoury menu options
Remember: When you're looking to cater an afternoon tea for clients, your workplace or for an office event, always include dairy free, gluten free, vegetarian and vegan options for all the special dietary requirements you are catering for.
Afternoon tea ideas
A classic cream tea
A classic for a reason. Also called a Devonshire tea, this one is kept nice and simple. It's freshly baked scones served with jam and clotted cream and paired with a simple tea (or coffee).
What should be on your cream tea menu:
- Fresh scones
- Clotted cream (or whipped cream will do in a pinch)
- Strawberry or raspberry jam
- English breakfast or Earl Grey tea
Sweet afternoon tea
Sometimes you need just a little bit more than just a scone (but we'd definitely include that too!).
This is where the perfect sweet afternoon tea comes in, packed with indulgent treats like a classic carrot cake, mini tarts, biscuits or bite-sized brownies that pair perfectly with the cuppa of your choice.
What should be on your sweet afternoon tea menu:
- Scones with jam and clotted cream
- Tarts filled with caramel, lemon curd, passionfruit or chocolate (the options are endless, really!)
- Bite-sized brownies, biscuits and cakes for an extra sweet treat
- Mini muffins or cupcakes
- A macaron or two
- Almond cake makes a great gluten-free option
- Fresh fruit, including berries and grapes
Savoury afternoon tea
What should be on your savoury afternoon tea menu:
Quite possibly the ultimate afternoon tea spread, a savoury afternoon tea party really is border-lining on completely ruining your evening meal, but we think it's totally worth it.
- Cheese scones to go along with the traditional plain variety with jam and cream
- Finger sandwiches with cream cheese, cucumber, smoked salmon and other light fillings
- Mini quiches for both vegetarians and meat eaters
- Scotch eggs for a truly traditional British bite
- Plus as many of the above sweet items that you'd like!
An afternoon tea that's a little different
Alright, alright, we get that you may not want scones. Well, here's the menu for you then! Sure, it's a bit of a mish-mash of items but we've got all bases covered with this one.
What should be on your not-so-traditional afternoon tea menu:
- Cured meats
- Veggie sticks
- Dips and savoury spreads
Healthy afternoon tea spread
Whether you've just been serving a lot of indulgent things lately, or have a group that's rather health-conscious, you may want to consider a healthier menu than the usual scones and cakes for your afternoon tea.
What should be on your Healthy afternoon tea menu:
- Yogurt and granola cups (maybe with some fresh fruit too!)
- Fruit skewers, to add a splash of colour
- Bliss balls for a sweet, protein-packed treat
- Veggies and dip for a savoury snack option
Now that you've got food covered... What drinks to serve for afternoon tea
It's right in the name, so you've got to serve some tea this afternoon. Of course, you can stick to the traditional options or mix things up a bit.
Here's 10 teas we'd serve at our events:
- Earl grey
- Assam black tea
- Chai tea
- Green tea
- Smokey tea e.g. Russian Caravan
- Ginger tea
- Rose bud tea
- Darjeeling black tea
Tip: Be sure to include a variety of dairy and dairy-free milk selections. Also have sugar and sliced lemons on hand for people to include in their cuppas.
Of course, not everyone is a tea drinker. So you'll also want to include some other hot and cold drinks on your menu:
- Freshly brewed coffee
- Hot chocolate (as a warm, but caffeine-free, drink option)
- Champagne (if you're feeling fancy!)
Looking to get you afternoon tea delivered?
From sweet to savoury treats, and everything in-between, we'll have everyone raving about your scrumptious afternoon tea spread!
Order online now, or give our friendly catering consultants a call on 1300 851 900 for suggestions and inspiration.