In What Order Do You Eat Afternoon Tea?

While enjoying an afternoon tea, certain etiquette rules must be observed, from how to pour your tea to when milk should be added.

At afternoon tea, food is served on a three-tiered tray in this order: savouries, scones, and sweets. To ensure proper execution of this ritual, eating these items sequentially is vital to avoid messy encounters!

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An indispensable component of an afternoon tea experience is a delectable scone – or small baked biscuit – as an accompaniment. Though often considered an afterthought, scones have long been considered an integral part of traditional afternoon tea services and should never be skipped!

Scones are delicious treats made of light, fluffy pastry. Typically shaped into rounds or squares and lightly toasted to bring out their sweetness, scones can also be decorated with various types of icing or sprinkled with sugar for additional decoration before being served to customers.

Scones should be enjoyed warm when served on an afternoon tea tier stand, using your fingers instead of forks! They can be decorated further by adding various toppings like clotted cream, jams or preserves (or lemon curd).

An afternoon tea typically starts off with the savory components – typically consisting of finger sandwiches and savouries such as cucumber, egg salad, salmon and Coronation chicken – served on either a small plate or teacup and saucer, with fillings limited to two or three bites to allow more space for cakes, pastries and scones!

One of the major controversies surrounding scones involves when and how to add cream and jam – both Devonshire and Cornish people have different approaches, but ultimately it comes down to personal choice.

Though black tea remains the go-to selection, other types of tea may also work perfectly well for afternoon tea. Gunpowder green, jasmine green, and milk oolong are great options that pair nicely with both sweet and savoury items – the key being choosing something light with delicate flavors so as to let each part of your meal shine through.


As part of hosting or attending afternoon tea, there is an appropriate way to serve and consume the savory fare that accompanies it. Starting with sandwiches, then scones and finally cakes and pastries should be consumed first using fingers in a particular order; use of pinkie fingers may vary between individuals depending on personal preferences – however this choice should ultimately be left up to each guest themselves.

An afternoon tea typically features an assortment of finger sandwiches filled with classic fillings such as egg salad, cucumber, and smoked salmon – with plenty of variations such as vegetarian versions! To ensure maximum enjoyment from this treat, small sandwiches should be used so they can easily be dunked in tea; using a knife to cut away their crust may prevent soggy or messy results.

Tea sandwiches differ significantly from their counterparts in that their filling should be much lighter; this is due to the requirement that an afternoon tea sandwich must be consumable within 2-3 bites. When creating tea sandwiches it is crucial that ingredients are chopped finely so as to be easily dunked into tea for easy consumption.

Salt should also be added to cucumber sandwiches as it helps prevent them from becoming soggy. Furthermore, cutting your cucumbers lengthwise rather than roundly will ensure their contents don’t leak out while you dip.

When guests are ready to taste scones, it is recommended that they break them in half by hand and add their clotted cream and jam (in any order they wish). Once complete, bite-by-bite enjoyment should take place rather than cutting larger slices; also it is important to remember that scones should not be eaten using knives; rather fingers or teaspoons are ideal methods of spreading over each crouton.


An ideal afternoon tea will include an assortment of sweet treats, from fruit cake to scones. The key to creating the ideal tea experience lies in finding balance between flavors and textures; traditionally this sweet course would come at the end of a sandwich course and scones spread but nowadays many opt to put cakes first on the agenda.

If you are hosting a large number of guests, ensure to prepare enough food for all. No one wants to go home hungry! In addition, make sure to serve the appropriate type of tea such as chamomile or mint, which would help cleanse their palate after feasting on rich foods.

It is best to plan ahead for larger events with multiple teapots and cake stands, especially when serving more than three or four guests at once. That way, there will be enough time to serve each person their tea individually while having plenty of extra plates and napkins handy as backup.

At a tea table, each guest will usually find their own plate as well as spoon and knife to add milk and sugar, cut cakes and serve the teacup and saucer at the right-hand side of their plate.

At an afternoon tea, the cake of choice is typically a simple sponge cake. Though these cakes can come with various fillings, the most popular variation features dried fruits and sultanas for an irresistibly flavorful treat that pairs beautifully with black tea.

Some venues also provide other desserts such as macaroons or trifle; this option can usually be found at higher-end tea rooms or hotels.

Afternoon tea began as an antidote for hunger between lunch and dinner, but has evolved into a beloved tradition in its own right. People can now enjoy afternoon tea in various settings from cozy cafes to luxurious hotels and mansions; though its basic components remain the same, experiences vary widely based on location.


Experience an afternoon tea feast of small sweet pastries like cookies, tarts and cupcakes perfect for snacking – such as cookies, tarts and cupcakes – by indulging in cookies, tarts and cupcakes that will satisfy all your sweet tooth desires! Traditional treats like Victoria sponge cakes may feature among them; more creative bakes could include white chocolate & apricot slice or show-stopping marble cakes with unexpected chunks of caramel chocolate!

Although more widely associated with British culture, afternoon tea has become popular worldwide. A popular social gathering among friends and family alike, this traditional event serves up light sandwiches, scones with spreads, bite-size desserts and tea; today it remains much the same tradition.

High tea differs from afternoon tea by typically being held on a low table in the evening and featuring heartier foods like meat pies, pickled salmon or baked vegetables alongside tea, while afternoon tea remains very social but puts more focus on food than atmosphere.

Some restaurants and hotels may provide high tea as an option; however, afternoon tea typically takes place at regular tables with loose leaf tea selections and various treats available to choose from. Etiquette for afternoon tea can sometimes be confusing, however some basic rules exist to help make the experience feel authentic.

When choosing the type of tea to serve at afternoon tea, bold black varieties like English breakfast or Earl Grey are best. Their strong flavors pair nicely with the savoury sandwich and scone items while for sweet elements gunpowder green or jasmine is recommended.

Dependent upon the type of afternoon tea you enjoy, it could last anywhere from one to three hours or more. For formal tea rooms and hotels offering afternoon teas, it is wise to pace yourself so as to enjoy each course fully without becoming overstuffed by its end.