Keep festive spirits high with a Christmas afternoon tea. It’s a great way of catching up with family and friends, giving the kids a break from schoolwork and having fun with loved ones. Most importantly, it’s a good excuse for gathering everyone to share delicious treats and festive cheer.
We’ve compiled a few ideas of what you could make for your special guests, all suitable for kids to make with parental supervision. There are seasonal drinks such as hot chocolates, coffees and classic teas, savoury sandwiches, bite-sized party food and various baked goods. To make things easiest, decide on a few quick recipes to whip up alongside a main centrepiece cake or sandwich selection. You could also go with a bit of everything – traybakes and small savoury snacks are great sharing pieces, or try a mini buffet-style selection of food.
For more general inspiration, check out our afternoon tea collection and vegan afternoon tea recipes. Alongside the indulgent treats below, you might want to balance out your table with some healthy Christmas snack recipes and healthy vegan snacks. We also have healthy Christmas canapés for more fun afternoon tea ideas. For more savoury snacks to balance out the sweet ones or best suit your guests’ tastes, try out some healthy salty snacks.
Our ideas for a Christmas afternoon tea
Mocktails and fizz
An afternoon tea should always include a bowl full of flavourful punch for kids and adults alike to enjoy. This pear & rose punch is the perfect winter drink for an afternoon of fun and socialising. Packed full of ginger, cardamom, vanilla and rose water, you’ll get hints of both warmth and freshness.
Our pomegranate mojito mocktail is also very popular and can be made in batches, so it's easier to serve at a party or afternoon tea with loads of guests. For more of a classic Christmas touch, try the non-alcoholic mulled wine, which is spiced to perfection. Discover even more Christmas mocktail recipes and non-alcoholic Christmas drinks.
Indulgent hot chocolates will forever be a feature of wintertime. These hot chocolate bombs are so fun to make and are a great activity for your afternoon tea. Our wider collection of hot chocolate recipes is full of great ideas and flavours, while our slow-cooker hot chocolate is also perfect for a get-together like an afternoon tea.
Brew any tea you like, whether that be classic English breakfast or black tea. Or, for a warming alternative, try honey & lemon, smoky ginger & honey tea or rooibos & pear tea. We have also a few coffee recipes for you to try, like a cappuccino, latte, macchiato, mocha and loads more.
Not only are bite-sized savoury bites the perfect Christmas Day snack, they're also ideal for afternoon teas and parties, especially these super sausage rolls. They are even tastier paired with chutney or pickle. Follow the sausage roll recipe collection for more flavour pairings. Another afternoon tea classic is the humble sandwich – we have plenty of afternoon tea sandwich inspiration, as well as a club sandwich recipe you could recreate. For even more, look to our special sandwich and vegan sandwich collections. Scotch eggs are also a big hit, with a meaty filling and crisp breadcrumb coating.
As well as moreish savoury snacks, nothing beats the sweet treats. Rocky roads and tiffin are the easiest to whip up – just chill in advance so they're ready to devour alongside a warming afternoon beverage. We have a Christmas rocky road recipe and rocky road clusters to try too, alongside our impressive chocolate tiffin packed with milk and dark chocolate, raisins and crunchy biscuits. Our Christmassy vegan tiffin is also a big hit, made from dark chocolate, gingernut biscuits, dried cranberries and sweet pistachios.
Christmas cakes and bakes
A centrepiece cake for an afternoon tea is a must-have, especially when you’ve invited family and friends. We have a classic carrot cake that will be more than enough to go round, plus coffee cake with the perfect flavour balance between bitter and sweet. For more Christmassy flavours, we have a ginger & white chocolate cake that's great for sharing and full of warmth from the ginger and black treacle. Keep to the delicious ginger and spice theme with our selection of ginger cake recipes, perfect for seasonal parties and get-togethers. We also have a Christmas cake collection, which includes a variety of fruit cakes and more modern twists on festive flavours, like salted caramel, almond, honey and warm vanilla.
Biscuits and cookies
A big plate of cookies never goes amiss at an afternoon tea party. These chocolate fudge crinkle cookies are just the right size and perfect amount of sweetness to accompany a cup of tea or coffee. Make your table look extra-festive with these snowflake biscuits and adorable snowman biscuits. They could be made in advance and decorated by the kids as a fun activity. Our Christmas biscuits collection is a great place to look for more biscuit and cookie inspiration, with flavours of sweet spice, chocolate, almond and lovely gingerbread.
Traybakes and brownies
Making a traybake is always a smart move when catering for an afternoon filled with food and fun. We have our best ever chocolate brownies that will certainly go down a treat, and a banoffee traybake filled with chocolate, banana and gooey toffee. Our chocolate traybake collection is full of afternoon tea-worthy baked treats, as well as our wider traybake recipe collection with cakes full of fruity goodness, caramel and more.
More afternoon tea inspiration:
What would you make for a Christmas afternoon tea? Let us know in the comments below.