Pinky up: A modern take on traditional afternoon tea

With Afternoon Tea Week (14th -20th) and the British Bake Off heading back to our screens, our thoughts are preoccupied with all of the mouth-watering treats you can think of. But we don’t mean cucumber sandwiches and every day cakes. If you’re anything like us and find yourself hungry for something a little bit different, we’ve got four tips on how to add a modern twist to the good old tea party.

Swap sandwiches for nibble plates

Afternoon Tea
Grabits’ Afternoon Tea


The great thing about hosting your own afternoon tea party is that you get all the creative freedom. Be adventurous and swap those finger sandwiches to nibble plates full of flavour, colour and texture.

The Grabits Southern Fried Chicken Mini Bites are a versatile and delicious party solution, covered in seasoning and a crispy fried coating.

But if you want to take things even further, add a taste of The Orient by trying Chinese Chicken – perfect for a more themed party food approach. For those who appreciate a traditional taste, stick with Grabits Original meaty chicken which can be easily paired with other savoury nibbles such as quiches, smoked salmon blinis or wraps.

For more inspiration, check our tempting selection of canapé recipes here.

Tea pairing with taste

Modern afternoon tea means breaking some of those unwritten rules. Instead of your usual Earl Grey and English Breakfast swap for whatever types of tea you wish to serve.

But before you run to the nearest shop, try to choose teas that pair well with the taste. Green tea and its earthy taste enhances the flavours of light chicken and seafood dishes, whereas black tea has a full and robust flavour that goes well with creamy desserts such as chocolate mousse or cheesecake.

Setting the scene

Afternoon Tea with Grabits
Afternoon Tea with Grabits


Transform your guests to another place though a theme. Think about those little details such as cake stands, folded napkins and personalised invitations which will give that extra ‘wow’ factor you’re looking for. If the weather’s on your side – take the party outside, and if not – extend your table, throw on that vintage cloth and use your finest tea set which will be the centrepiece of your table.

Think ahead

Prep for your afternoon tea
Prep for your afternoon tea


As with any party you are hosting, don’t leave all the work to the very last minute. Hosting a tea party isn’t just about serving refreshments and thinking your job is done right there; if fact, it’s quite the opposite. A good party should be accompanied by even better conversation.

Prep your fillings and creams the night before, but don’t assemble those nibbles just yet – leave them until your first guests arrive, otherwise you may risk having soggy bottoms. Once that’s done, think about games, jokes and ideas that break the ice and bring your party to life.

Now, it’s time to celebrate and applaud all the effort that is gone into mastering the perfect modern afternoon tea party.

You can find more inspiration here and don’t forget to take pictures of your creations and tag us on either Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.