We're all for traditions, and afternoon tea is one we can all get behind. We've just added a few twists and modern takes on the classic menu to bring in our favourite contemporary flavours.


If you’re a purist at heart, explore our collection of easy afternoon tea ideas for traditional inspiration that won’t demand hours of time or culinary expertise. And fear not about breaking the bank - we’ve curated our budget-friendly afternoon tea ideas so you can enjoy this luxurious experience without a hefty price tag.

Not a fan of sweets? Delight in our savoury afternoon tea ideas that cater to more savoury inclinations. Share the joy of this British ritual with your little ones by diving into our guide on hosting a charming afternoon tea for kids.

For those embracing a vegan lifestyle, we’ve crafted a plethora of plant-based recipes to ensure dietary preferences never hinder the enjoyment of this timeless tradition. Discover our array of vegan afternoon tea ideas and savour every cruelty-free bite.

Find more afternoon tea recipes and vegan afternoon tea recipes.

More like this

1. Swap scones for... bigger, boozier bakes

Giant scone cake

The classic scone is all very well and good, but it could be made infinitely better with the addition of a splash of Pimm's – add a dash to fruit and cream and pile onto scones for a true taste of summer. And for those abstaining from alcohol, fear not! Our lemonade scones offer a zesty alternative, using lemonade to create a light and airy texture that's just as satisfying. If you're entertaining a big group, a slice of our giant scone cake is bound to satisfy the hungriest of guests…

2. Swap traditional tipples for... original cocktails

A glass of espresso martini

An elegant afternoon with friends demands an elegant drink. Our Earl Grey Martini requires just three ingredients and can be assembled in minutes, or take inspiration from the hedgerow and mix up a batch of summer punch with elderflower liqueur. Fancy a pick-me-up stronger than a cup of tea? Our amaretto espresso martini is perfect for coffee lovers.

3. Swap sandwiches for... inventive nibbles

Air fryer arancini

Don't be afraid of bold flavours and modern fillings for your dainty plates. There are plenty of creative options out there that easily trump a fiddly finger sandwich. These tangy mini salt beef bagels pack a lot of flavour into a mini bagel bite and they're easy to assemble before serving.

If you want to switch up your sandwiches for an Italian-themed nibble, try these raspberry & hazelnut maritozzi for a fluffy and light sweet option. For a savoury alternative, our air fryer arancini is a surefire hit. Crispy and golden on the outside, with a rich and flavorful centre, they're guaranteed to impress every time.

Or, if you prefer the Spanish side of the Med, try these paella arancini bites, served with olives and chorizo, or traditional ham croquetas for a deep-fried hit of indulgence.

Push the boat out even further and put on a Chinese-style spread with these steamed bao buns filled with barbecue pork and pickled vegetables.

4. Swap everyday cakes for... spectacular sponges

Summer party cake

We love a Victoria sponge as much as the next person, but if you're looking for a slice less ordinary, try one of our unconventional afternoon tea options. Our stunning summer Pimm's cake will brighten up any afternoon tea, a slice at a time. Our equally festive summer party cake has everything you need to enjoy with a cuppa: buttery sponge, strawberries, fresh cream, meringues and white chocolate.

Step even further into the whimsical with our individual unicorn cupcakes, complete with pastel-swirled buttercream. Add an even brighter pop of colour with a funfetti masterpiece, sure to please kids and adults alike.

5. Swap boring biscuits for... creative cookies

Giant jammy biscuit

Ditch the digestives and go for these carrot cake cookies, a twist on your favourite cake. Or pay homage to your favourite jam-filled biscuit by making a giant version with our giant jammy biscuit. If you're a serious cocoa addict, try our black tahini chocolate cookies for a nutty, sesame-laced flavour, or try something truly nutty with our double choc peanut butter cookies.

6. Swap standard pastries for... modern patisserie

Colourfully iced eclairs

Patisserie is an essential part of any afternoon tea. It can be fiddly to master, but the end result is well worth the effort. If you're happy to take on choux pastry, give conventional eclair fillings the heave-ho and treat yourself to a salted caramel & popcorn version. Alternatively, raspberry & cardamom or lemon & passion fruit mini choux bites are great options for fans of fruity flavours. Finally, pipe yourself some afternoon tea churro bites, sprinkled with cinnamon and served with clotted cream and jam for dipping – sensational. Impress your guests with a patisserie-style delight: our hazelnut dacquoise. This exquisite dessert boasts layers of delicate almond and hazelnut meringue, indulgent praline, velvety coffee diplomat, and luscious chocolate ganache.

More on afternoon tea...

How to throw an afternoon tea party
Travel guide: The best afternoon teas in the UK
Classic afternoon tea recipes


What's on the menu for your ideal afternoon tea? Let us know in the comments below...

Comments, questions and tips

Choose the type of message you'd like to post

Choose the type of message you'd like to post