19 Jul 2012

DIY : Afternoon tea at home / on a budget

This isn't much of a DIY, but I just wanted to share these pictures as they're so colourful and make me smile.  The weekend before last I was planning to take my Mum to a themed afternoon tea at a hotel in Covent Garden, but as we were having some serious rain downpours, which I thought might ruin our day out, I decided to improvise and have afternoon tea at home.

If I'd not only decided this on the day, and had more than two hours to prepare, I'd have baked some of my own things.  But I didn't, so I had to rely on what Tesco had to offer.  The trip to buy the goodies was a rushed and rather torturous experience - I never normally enter a supermarket during the hours of daylight on a weekend.  What an experience it was - everywhere I turned there was a child waiting to be crushed under my trolley and oh my gosh the noise that comes out of a gang of little people wanting every damn thing they see.  Parents are very brave people indeed.

Anyway, after surviving the supermarket trip, here's what I rustled up...

I'd already had the idea of doing an afternoon tea at home a while ago and had been building up to it by accumulating pretty cups, tea pot, milk jug, cake stands etc and hello kitty was still hanging around from a couple of weeks ago.

The table cloth was picked up from Tesco for £3, as were the flowers, and all of the food and drink was form there too.  I spent £25 in total and was rather pleased with what I achieved for that.

We had sandwiches of  prawns and salad, cream cheese and cucumber, cheese and ham and cheese and pickle.  Cutting the crusts off bread was very time consuming - next time I'd buy the 'crusts away' bread instead.  Cutting the sandwiches into thin strips was pretty difficult too - not sure how they manage to get them so straight and uniform in the hotels and restaurants.

Cakes consisted of some red velvet cupcakes, vanilla cream slices, chocolate cream eclairs and mini chocolate muffins which I quickly decorated with some frosting and strawberries.  On the top tier of the cake stand are some little desserts which I whipped up in some plastic shot glasses.  They're lemon meringue pie (crushed ginger biscuits, lemon mousse and crumbled meringue pieces) and strawberry cheesecake (crushed ginger biscuits, greek yogurt mixed with light Phillidelphia and sweetener topped with chopped strawberries).

I also bought some luxury scones with sultanas and cherries and served them up with strawberry jam and clotted cream.  We washed it all down with copious amounts of PG Tips and Innocent juices.  I also put out a few little bowls of crisps as my brother was coming and he's a bit of a barbarian.

Next time I do this I'd plan ahead and make more things myself.  I'd try to get my sandwiches more uniform, maybe by freezing the bread slightly before cutting it.  I'd also buy some pretty napkins and tie the cutlery together with ribbon, but other than that, I'm quite happy with how this turned out.

Are you loving the afternoon tea trend and would you try this at home?



  1. What a lovely idea, love the little desserts in the shot glasses! :)


  2. This looks so adorable! I love making my own cakes, adds a little personal touch to a little tea party :)


  3. That's such a lovely idea - definitely one to do in future! xx

  4. wow this looks so tasty! definitely going to try this soon xo

  5. How delightful and inspirational, wish I'd been there! Looks delish! x

  6. This is so adorable - what a lovely idea! This would be lovely for birthday surprises so will need to store this idea. Thank you so much for sharing! x

  7. This looks lovely Gemma. I've been considering doing my own afternoon tea for a while now and must get around to it.

    I love your description of a supermarket on Saturday afternoon haha! My local Tesco isn't too bad but if I go down the road to Asda I end up wanting to kill myself haha xx

    1. Do it - so much cheaper and really fun too! Weekend supermarket shopping is my worst nightmare! xx

  8. Truly amazing, I would love to attend something like this!

  9. This is so cute! I will have to try and do it at my mum's house at some point as a garden party.

  10. oh this looks SO yummy! i love afternoon tea! x

  11. oh my that looks delicious xx

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