Tea party etiquette


In a few weeks I will be hosting a Dream Tea party to raise money for charity Dreams Come True, a charity which tries to bring a little joy to terminally ill children by granting them wishes.

In preparation I have been looking at recipes, decorations, etc and something very useful came through from the charity – tea etiquette. TV’s etiquette expert Liz Brewer has pulled together a few tips to help inspire the perfect tea party. So take a read and take note if you too are hosting a Dream Tea event!

Pour perfectly

  • Tea connoisseurs maintain that tea drunk from bone china cups tastes better and that nothing compares to the elegance and delicacy of a china teacup and saucer
  • A teacup and saucer is served with a teaspoon on the saucer
  • The tea is poured in first. There is an old tale about the milk being poured in first to prevent poor quality china from cracking. However, by the time the tea is poured it is no longer boiling so this is very unlikely
  • Sugar is offered after the tea is poured. Again you would not dream of putting the sugar in first!
  • The Victorians injected a rule about never directing the spout towards guests. However they also had a rule about covering table and piano legs so you can probably pass on that one

Drink delightfully

  • The saucer stays on the table, unless you are standing
  • The teacup is held between the finger and thumb and replaced on the saucer between sips
  • Never point the little finger (the pinky) in the air

Eat exquisitely

  • Sandwiches are eaten with the fingers
  • Cakes are generally eaten with a small fork, unless it can be eaten without dropping crumbs
  • Scones are generally broken, spread with cream and jam using a small knife and eaten with the fingers
  • When taking jam, cream or butter use the knives supplied by the dish to put your choice on the plate. Never use your own utensils to dip in


  • Dunk!
  • Leave a spoon in the teacup
  • Clang the teaspoon against the cup when stirring
  • Wipe your nose with the napkin
  • Fold your napkin when you have finished – leave it crumpled instead
  • Talk with your mouthful

For more information on Dream Tea events, visit the website – http://dreamscometrue.uk.com/dreamtea/


Image source: eastlondoncraftguerrilla.blogspot.com

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