There’s nothing better than enjoying an exquisite Afternoon Tea lounging in the opulent surroundings of a luxury hotel, but it’s not an affordable regular pastime for most of us! Have you ever thought about hosting your own Afternoon Tea party at home? Cosy, intimate and something a little bit different, great for getting your favourite people round and creating lovely memories. Here are our top tips for creating a fun and delicious DIY Afternoon Tea.

Something savoury

Mini brioche hotdogs

Finely chop the shallots and toss in seasoned flour.  Fry the spices in olive oil for a minute then add the shallots. Fry for about 15 mins, stirring occasionally until crispy and browned. Make a shot of Twinings Lapsang Souchong by steeping the teabag in 60ml boiling water for 3 hours+. Once cooled, stir into tomato ketchup to make a smoky infused relish. Cook the sausages. Slice the brioche rolls and assemble the hotdogs, topping off with the fried onions and smoky ketchup. Cut each hotdog into three, and skewer with a cocktail stick to hold it together.

Smoked salmon & avocado on rye

  • 1 avocado
  • 100g smoked salmon
  • rye bread
  • a few cherry tomatoes
  • lime

Mash the avocado with a squeeze of lime. Spoon onto a slice of rye bread and top with a slice of salmon. Halve the cherry tomatoes and add a half as garnish. Serve as an open sandwich.

Mini pizzas

credit: Brioche Pasquier

So cute and such a fun ideate use brioche loaf to create canapé size pizzas! Thanks to Brioche Pasquier for this recipe, and you check out more recipes on their website.

Using a cutter, cut circles out of your brioche slices. Spread a dollop of tomato puree on each circle, then add the ham and a sprinkle of cheese. Stick them in the oven at a low heat for 3-5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted. 

Ultimate egg mayo sandwich

  • 4 boiled eggs
  • 60g mayo
  • half tsp mustard
  • 1 spring onion, chopped
  • salt & pepper
  • 1/8 tsp paprika
  • wholemeal or granary bread

Chop the boiled eggs and mix with the mayo, mustard and spring onion. Season with salt, pepper and paprika. Make your sandwiches and cut into small rectangles or squares.

Scones, scones, scones

credit: BBC Good Food

This is our favourite tried and tested scone recipe from BBC Good Food. So quick and simple, and works every time! Easy enough to make on the day so they are fresh and warm from the oven. Serve with clotted cream and the traditional strawberry jam. Or mix it up with a spicy ginger and rhubarb preserve or even a sweet lemon curd.

Something sweet

Oteas Strawberry and Cream cupcakes

  • 110g softened butter
  • 110g golden caster sugar
  • 110g self-raising flour
  • 2 large eggs
  • half tsp vanilla extract
  • pinch of salt

For the frosting:

Beat the butter and sugar together with an electric whisk until pale and fluffy, then whisk in 2 large eggs. Add vanilla extract, flour and a pinch of salt, whisk until combined.  Spoon the mixture into a 12 cupcake tray lined with cases. Bake for 15 mins in a preheated oven at 180C/160C fan/gas 4 until golden brown. Leave to cool completely on a wire rack.

To make the frosting, infuse Oteas Strawberry and Cream tea bags in 50ml of warm milk for an hour. Whisk butter until soft and then whisk in icing sugar until smooth. Beat in the cooled milk. Spoon or pipe onto the cooled cupcakes.

Lemon Drizzle cake

We put a tea twist on our favourite lemon drizzle cake recipe from Mary Berry. To top of this glorious tray bake, we made a lemon & ginger frosting.

  • 3 Clipper Organic Lemon & Ginger tea bags
  • 125g sugar
  • 60ml milk

To make the frosting, infuse Clipper Organic Lemon & Ginger tea bags in 60ml of warm milk for an hour. Whisk together the icing sugar and the cooled milk. Drizzle onto the cake.

Macarons

credit: Brioche Pasquier

This is the best part of our DIY Afternoon Tea, irresistible macarons from Brioche Pasquier. The ultimate crowd pleaser, this pack of 36 comes in a selection of Vanilla, Pistachio, Coffee, Raspberry, Lemon and Chocolate. Easy peasy and absolutely delicious!

Sherlock Holmes mini Xmas puds

As we’re well and truly in to the festive season, try these adorable Mini Puds, a perfect twist to a Christmas classic. The smoky flavour of Chash’s Sherlock Holmes tea combined with the booziness of the whisky and sweetness of the chocolate, come together to make a treat your guests will just love. This makes 20 mini puds so they can take a few home too!

Sprinkle the Chash Sherlock Holmes tea into the brandy and leave to infuse overnight. Strain your tea-infused brandy into a mixing bowl and crumble in the Christmas pudding. Melt the milk chocolate and add into the bowl then mix together with your hands. Once combined into a wet dough, make into small evenly sized balls. Drizzle the melted white chocolate and pop a glazed cherry on each of the mini puds.

Teas

Earl Grey and Darjeeling are the quintessential Afternoon Tea teas, and pair well with many of the traditional Afternoon Tea desserts. However, for our DIY par-tea we went for the beautiful Finest Japanese Sencha from The Tea Makers of London which paired especially well with the Salmon & Avocado on Rye. We doubled up on the cake-ness with a dessert tea from Ahmad Tea. Their Strawberry Velvet Cake tea is a perfect complement to Mary Berry’s Lemon Drizzle cake, just sublime! As we all know, mint and chocolate work so well together, so it just had to be Clipper’s Organic Peppermint paired with a Brioche Pasquier chocolate macaron (or few!). We brewed up all our teas using ZeroWater filtered water so that we got the full beautiful flavours coming through. 

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