Your friend just called and will be by in a half an hour.  She needs to talk.  You need to listen.  Is now a good time for a tea party?  Absolutely!  If you follow these simple steps.


Afternoon tea does not need to be only for special occasions. You don’t always have to dress up. Yes, it’s more work than serving chips and soda, but with a little practice and some key items on hand, you can be prepared to serve afternoon tea easily and quickly, as I did this afternoon.


I assembled the above table in about twenty minutes. It’s important to note I have a designated corner of my home that is mostly clutter-free and ready to go. Do you have one? Here’s what I did in order:

  1. Preheated the oven and popped in some pre-made scones straight from the freezer.
  2. Filled my teakettle with filtered water and set it on high to boil.
  3. Chose the tea I wanted to serve (Mim Darjeeling) and filled my tea sac with it.
  4. Set the table with two teacups and spoons, tea plates, already ironed tea-sized cloth napkins, and a filled milk and sugar set. All these items live in my kitchen cupboards so I can easily grab them.
  5. I picked out my teapot. Since I wanted the matching warmer, I decided on the smaller pot and filled the red carafe you see in the picture with more brew. Since this was casual, I just refilled the teapot with the tea from the carafe when we ran out. Kept our brew nice and hot!
  6. I pulled the scones out of the oven, placed four on a salad-size plate, remembered I had a few pieces of toffee stashed away and added them, and cut up one beautiful in-season red pear. I quickly bathed the slices in a little lemon water so they wouldn’t turn brown and added the plate of goodies to the table.

That’s it!

What didn’t I do? I didn’t scurry around trying to figure out what to make.  I knew I had prepared my tea party pantry before hand and I reached for scones from my freezer.  Prepare before hand and a drop in tea party is no problem!

For more information about serving afternoon tea quickly, be sure to see my article, How to Build Your Tea Party Pantry.

What do you do?  Share your hints in the comment area!