The English Afternoon Tea Party

The Appropriate Manners and Etiquette at An English Tea Party

Five O’Clock Tea, Tuck DB Postcards, artist Henri Tenre, circa 1906

Do you ever dream of hosting your own English afternoon tea party? Which food and teas are appropriate to serve? Is there a correct way to pour the tea? What is considered good and bad manners at the tea table? Do I really need to worry about afternoon tea party manners and etiquette?

 Come and join your hostess, Caroline Hope for an authentic English afternoon tea party. This is an excellent chance to enjoy superior English style teas, freshly baked scones and cakes, and conversation during which Caroline will impart information to help you and understand and appreciate the context and relevance of the English Afternoon Tea Party.

the politeness of AN ENGLISH TEA PARTY

What is it about a tea party that makes us sit up straighter, wear a pretty dress and worry about our manners? Caroline’s aim is to help you understand the curiosity of the English tea party and leave you feeling confident and inspired to bring your own ideas into this traditional setting.


Tea was first imported from China in the late 17th century. Today, we continue to quench our insatiable thirst for tea from foreign import, sourcing our English breakfasts, Earl Greys, and Orange Pekoes primarily from India, Sri Lanka and East Africa. How, then, did this exotic beverage come to be so much a part of the English character? How did tea make its way from porcelain in the parlours of the rich into chipped builder’s mugs?


  • Overview and guide to the manners and etiquette associated with the English tea table.
  • A discussion about the traditions of tea-taking from 1700 onwards and a background to English tea drinking.
  • History and ‘Englishness’ of tea as a part of daily life, both inside and outside the home.
  • Advice on hosting your own tea party and how to behave as a guest

 To help you understand and appreciate the context, Caroline will draw on a wealth of contemporary paintings, diaries and etiquette manuals. For this reason, we recommend that you have a good understanding of spoken English to make the most of this event.

This tea party is available on request.  Please email or call Caroline on +44 (0)20 3730 3788 to inquire about availability, or with any questions. Please note there is a minimum fee of £250 for holding a private tea party.

My mother’s invitation for tea with the Queen in 1955. The invitation is addressed to both my mother and grandmother.