Let’s talk about the table setting of one of my favorite moments: that of tea, so loved because it allows you to pause the day and enjoy the moment in company while enjoying small sweets while chatting.
If you want to welcome your guests preparing a perfect table for this afternoon appointment, I will give you some advice below.
But first a curiosity about the birth of the five o’clock tea tradition.
It seems to date back to 1800 with the seventh Duchess of Bedford, Anna, who one day, feeling a sense of hunger in the late afternoon, was unable to wait for dinner time, thus allowing herself an afternoon snack, so she asked a waiter to serve tea and sweets.
She liked it so much that she started repeating the ritual every day inviting friends and acquaintances to join her thus spreading the habit of the afternoon tea, which from 1900 became a real social event throughout England ☕️
Now we come to the perfect table setting for five o’clock tea.
Make sure you have a tea service consisting of a teapot, cups, saucers, milk jug, sugar bowl, better if coordinated, but you can also give space to imagination while always keeping the right combinations of colors and materials.
As cutlery, depending on what you offer to your guests, you will need a fork, a spoon, and if necessary a knife for each guest.
We remind you not to use plates, glasses, tablecloths and napkins of paper or plastic, the whole mise en place must be in porcelain, linen, organza or cotton.
We will then have serving dishes and backsplashes with savory sweets or whims.
If we will serve jams, remember to prepare small bowls with a special knife.
We now come to the table setting specifically. Every single position must be composed as follows (on the tablecloth):
♥ Plate in the center, to the right of the plate the small fork, to the left of the plate the folded napkin, in the upper right of the plate (in correspondence with the small fork at the top) the tea cup with its saucer and spoon. It is also not wrong to set it as if it were a meal (it also depends on the type of food offered): therefore napkin and fork to the left of the plate and knife and spoon to the right of the plate, always leaving the cup at the top right;
♥ We will then have on the table the teapot, the sugar bowl with a special spoon or tongs in the case of the lumps (the sugar will be served by the hostess), the milk jug and the saucer with ready-made lemon slices;
♥ Obviously the various sweets and appetizers will be prepared on the table: you can offer cakes, plumcakes, pies, biscuits, savory canapes … I prepared these aquafaba meringues that are perfect for tea time being in mini portions;
♥ A decorative idea to further embellish the table is to create a composition of fresh flowers in an old teapot, which will add a very romantic vintage touch.