This post contains some affiliate links for your convenience. Click here to read my full disclosure policy.
The simple Victorian tea party menu I’m sharing with you today has proven to be customizable yet holding true to old traditions.
And it’s delicious!
Whether your party is for 2 to 100 people, this menu is adaptable.
The menu will accommodate various dietary needs.
For a step-by-step guide to putting on a tea party, go here (coming soon), where I show you how.
Let’s get into this simple Victorian tea party menu for 2023.
Tea party menu.
I am showing you a brief layout of what this menu looks like. I will then break it down so that you can personalize it to fit the needs of your guests—a full list of sandwiches and dessert ideas is below.
- First course – Balsamic Berry Pecan Bacon Salad (recipe for salad and dressing below)
- Second course – choice of three tea sandwiches
- Scones (including lemon curd, Devonshire cream, and jam) are served with the second course.
- Third course- choice of three desserts
- Choice of three teas (list of popular teas below)
- Instant Coffee packs
Let’s talk about food!
Here is how to plan out your menu.
Choose three sandwiches, three desserts, and three types of tea from the list of foods below. (The tea list is below.)
This was how I catered tea parties by having the hostess pick from my menu choices.
It worked beautifully, and I am passing it on to you.
It takes the guesswork out and helps you choose a menu quickly for your guests.
When having a tea party, it is important to consider the variety of diet needs.
Here is a list of tea sandwiches that includes some diet-friendly ideas that will be delicious for everyone (pick three from the list below)
Gluten-free – foods with no gluten. To keep it simple, make tortilla-wrapped sandwiches since bread is off-limits. Note: these sandwiches can be served to everyone because they are so yummy! Plus, these work for people on a Keto diet by using Carb Balance tortillas. Here are some ideas.
- Roll the ingredients tightly into the tortilla wrap and cut into bite sizes. Depending on the size of the tortilla, you can usually cut it in fourths.
- Chicken salad with mayo, grapes, mustard, fresh chopped tarragon, and shredded chicken.
- Ham slices, thinly sliced strawberries, cream cheese.
- Pepper Jack sliced cheese, olives, tomato sliced thinly, mayo, mustard, and roast beef.
- For more tortilla wrap sandwich ideas, here are some recipes here and here.
Note: Tortillas are generally gluten-free, but look for the “gluten-free” label.
- Cucumber sandwich – white bread, cream cheese with dill and lemon juice, thinly sliced cucumbers.
- Tomato and cheese sandwich – red, yellow, orange, or purple tomatoes cut thin, slices of mild cheddar cheese, yogurt mayo (1/2 cup plain Greek yogurt, one tsp lemon herb seasoning (adjust to taste) and a pinch of salt if seasoning doesn’t have any.) Follow this link for more vegetarian tea sandwich ideas. Credit goes to Izzy Vegetarian Recipes.
Traditional Tea Sandwiches
Note: all links for the sandwiches below are from Teatime magazine. This is my trusted resource for finding tea party recipes.
- Croissant chicken salad sandwich (the most requested sandwich when putting on a tea party.) Here is a recipe for the chicken salad. Tip – Purchase firm croissants from a local bakery if possible, but Costco has a pack of croissants for a good price.
- Cucumber sandwich – Mint Cucumber sandwich recipe, Cucumber & Thyme sandwich recipe.
- Egg Salad Sandwiches
- Tuna or Salmon sandwiches
For a fun variety, you can use buns, dinner rolls, pumpernickel bread, wheat, dark rye, brioche, and French bread to make some delicious and unique sandwiches.
The tradition is to cut the crust off of white and wheat bread, but this isn’t required.
A sharp bread knife, like this one, will make it easier to slice sandwiches into thirds or fourths.
Linking the same trusted knife, I’ve used for over five years.
The length of this knife is like a samurai sword, but is wonderful for slicing large sheets of cake or small pieces of bread.
Here are some tips to help you know how much food to prepare.
Tip #1: When making sandwiches, the rule is one sandwich for each guest. For example, if you have 50 guests, make 50 of the three sandwiches you selected. Or any amount from 2 – 100.
Tip #2: For the dessert, plan on getting 18 lemon tarts for a party of 12, for example.
Tip #3: Same with the scones. If you have six guests, you will need 9 to 10 scones. Or if you have 50 guests, you will need 75 scones.
There will be leftovers.
But I have learned that it is better to have too much than not enough.
If you don’t want the extra food after the party, have leftover boxes to send food home with your guests.
They will love that!
For desserts, pick three from the list below.
The list of desserts below is easily found online from Amazon Fresh or your local grocery store.
- Brownies – cut square brownies into two inches for easy finger food.
- Sugar cookies
- Snickerdoodle cookies
- Pies – sliced thin
- Lemon meringue pie
- Lemon squares
For a more decadent selection, go to your local bakery.
You can find:
- Lemon cookies
- Tea cookies
- Lemon squares
- Perfectly firm croissants for sandwiches
- and so much more.
IMPORTANT: No matter where you decide to get your desserts, scones, or croissants, plan on putting in an order at least two weeks ahead of time. A month in advance is usually the norm, especially for weddings. This includes grocery stores. They need time to order the extras for the day you pick up the order so they have enough for you and their store.
Note: Most grocery stores (like Amazon Fresh) have tea party-type foods in the bakery section. I love to visit my local grocery store and look at what they have. But the best place to get delicate tea cookies, scrumptious lemon bars, and tarts is from your local bakery. They are so fresh and decadent! Talk about impressing your guests. Getting a few desserts from a bakery is simple but a winner for taste and presentation. If you like to make homemade desserts, you can do that, but in this post, I’m sharing how to do this easily. And store-bought is the simple way to put on a tea party.
Sugar-Free dessert ideas:
- Sugar-Free Butter Cookies
- Sugar-Free Chocolate Chip with Pecans Cookies
- Sugar-Free & Gluten-Free Brownie Mix – link for Duncan Hines here
- Sugar-free sugar cookies here
- Lemon scones
- Lemon Poppyseed scones
- Cranberry orange scones
- Vegan Blueberry scones
- Regular plain scones
Condiments for scones:
Note: the bakery has the best fresh scones ever! This is my suggestion. Before the party, try different scones from different bakeries and choose the best. A taste test before purchasing is so much fun. It helps to ensure everything is top-notch for your party, and the bonus is to bring a few home to let the family try. It makes planning a tea party fun. My husband and kids loved this part of my job when catering. You can do this for the desserts and croissants. Finding a good, hearty croissant that holds its shape and tastes good is worth the effort.
The star of this menu is the Balsamic Berry Pecan Bacon Salad.
Out of all the foods on this menu, this has been the #1 hit!
And if this were all I served for the party, it would have been enough.
Adding some chicken to the salad would make this a perfect meal.
But be prepared because there will be requests for seconds.
Starting your party with this salad is perfect because it sets the tone.
And the dressing is top-notch!
I’ve had requests for the recipe, which is super simple to pass on.
So, feel free to give the Balsamic dressing recipe to your friends or family.
I made up these recipes for my catering business and am sharing them with you today.
Balsamic Berry Pecan Bacon Salad
Ingredients (measurements are per plate):
Note: These measurements will help when making this salad for a large crowd. Multiply each serving into however many people you will be serving.
- 1 & 1/2 cups Spinach Lettuce (squish lettuce into the measuring cups)
- 1/4 cup blueberries
- 1/4 cup bite-size sliced strawberries
- 1/8 cup chopped bacon
- 1/8 cup feta cheese
- 1 – 2 tbs crushed pecan pieces
- Drizzle of the Balsamic Dressing (recipe below)
Directions: To begin, layer the lettuce on a dessert-size plate. Add the blueberries and strawberries, distributing them evenly on top of the lettuce. Then, add the chopped bacon and spread the pieces evenly. Add the feta cheese and sprinkle the pecan pieces on top. Serve the salad without the dressing to keep it from wilting. The dressing will be served on the side.
Balsamic Dressing Recipe
- 1/2 cup of Balsamic Vinegar – linking my all-time favorite balsamic vinegar here. It is expensive but oh so worth it! It has a thick syrup consistency and tastes sweet. The carbs are low, which is a nice bonus. The best-tasting balsamic vinegar that is perfect to drizzle on salads without anything added! It’s so good!
- 1/2 cup of Maple Syrup
- 1/2 cup of Grapeseed Oil (it has a mild taste that lets the other flavors steal the show!)
Place all ingredients in a 16 oz or more jar (This recipe makes 12 oz). Put the lid on and shake for 60 seconds until fully combined. Depending on how many attend your tea party, you can serve the dressing in two glass cruets. You can use this pour-spout oil bottle if your party is under four people. This dressing is so good! Yum!
What supplies you will need to put on a tea party:
- Teacup and saucer for each guest
- One teapot for a party of 2 – 5 | Two teapots for a party of 6 – 12
- Creamer and sugar bowl
- Coffee carafe or coffee pot
- Three serving dishes and/or 2-3 tier trays
Photos are a link.
- Dessert plates for salad
- Dinner plates for finger foods
Photos are links.
I suggest getting disposable dessert plates for a large tea party.
Link to some pretty vintage-inspired paper plates here.
And some Victorian blue & white disposable plates for special occasions, here.
The photo below is a link.
- White tablecloth for table
Photo is a link.
Tip for gathering inexpensive teacups, saucers, and teapots.
Go to your local thrift store, antique store, or Goodwill to find various vintage tea serving sets, individual teacups, and saucers.
They can be $1 to $4 each.
Different patterned teacups and saucers are a beautiful way to decorate your table.
It makes it simple for each guest to identify theirs during the party.
Another idea is to send the teacup and saucer home with them as a gift.
Teacups and saucers can also be found at Fred Meyers, Walmart, Home Goods, and Target.
Two teapots are important when having 6-12 guests.
It allows for two different types of tea.
One is for black tea, like Earl Grey, for example.
The other is for an herb tea that doesn’t have caffeine, like chamomile, peppermint, and oolong tea, to name a few.
Another idea is to use teabags only.
Loose tea is a traditional way to serve tea, as the Victorians did in the olden days.
But from experience, this can get pretty messy, and the tea sometimes tastes bitter after sitting for a while in a teapot.
My suggestion is to use teabags.
You can still have some beautiful teapots on the table filled with hot water.
A simple way to have a Victorian tea party in 2023.
Have a variety of teas that will interest all of your guests.
Note: Pick three teas from this list. Ensure to include an herbal tea for those who can’t drink caffeine.
Most popular tea list:
- Constant Comment (#1 choice)
- Yerba Mate
- Green tea
- Black tea – English Breakfast, Earl Grey, Darjeeling tea (Victorian tea party tradition served with lemon curd and scone.), and Lady Grey.
- Chai tea
- Lemon Balm
- Fruit flavored (watch out for natural flavor ingredients – can cause reaction.)
To be fancy, you can put the wrapped teabags in a wooden box lined with velvet. Like the olden days.
But to make it simple, keep them in their original box.
Side note. For the coffee drinkers. You can serve coffee in a carafe like this one here. Or have those single-serve instant coffee packs like the Starbucks Blonde Roast here. Use the same teapot filled with hot water for the instant coffee.
I hope this simple Victorian tea party menu is a success!
It is essential to connect with others.
And what is better than putting on a Victorian tea party?
Chatting over a cup of tea creates an energy that gets us out of ourselves.
Tea parties are memorable because it gives permission to dress up a bit and drink from delicate teacups.
Not to mention the bite-size tea sandwiches.
Or the scone slathered with lemon curd and cream.
And that salad! Yum!
It all has an elegant appeal to that Victorian woman inside us all. (Here’s a blog post sharing how to live like a Victorian Lady in modern times to understand my thoughts about living an elegant life.)
Use this menu for any event.
- Little Girl Party
- and just because.
There doesn’t have to be a reason.
It’s a beautiful tradition to enhance your life and those you invite to your tea party.
Let me know if you have any questions. I would love to help you troubleshoot the menu and give more suggestions.
For more inspiration, go here to read all of my stories.
For home decor ideas, go here.
Thanks for coming by Victorian Lane Farms.