11 Ideas for an Elegant Garden Tea Party

Host a garden tea party with a whole lot of class and a dash of fun.

Published March 5, 2023

Hosting a tea party in the garden is an elegant and fun way to celebrate many occasions. Whether you're gathering for a birthday party, bridal shower, or Mother's Day celebration, garden tea party ideas will give your get together a timeless feel. With the right tea party decor, food, and setting, your gathering will be picture perfect.

Set Small Tables


For a truly authentic tea party in the garden, start with a collection of small or bistro sized tables. Small, intimate settings will help your garden tea party feel regal. Set each table with two to four chairs, a pot of tea with all the additional vessels, and a plate of treats or sandwiches. You can encourage guests to move around between courses so they can socialize with everyone.

Prepare a Table for the Younger Guests


If younger tea party goers are on your guest list, make sure there is an age-appropriate table or two just for them. For very young guests, you can use play tea sets or serve juice in a plastic tea kettle with kid-friendly tea sandwiches. Have each table set with gloves, hats, and scarves so the young ladies and gentlemen can dress the part.

Dress Up the Garden


With an outdoor tea party, the beautiful scenery provides much of the decor. Elevate that beauty with a few decorative details that help the party feel more festive. Lanterns in trees, twinkle lights on the patio, a few strands of bunting, and a lattice backdrop will take your tea party to the next level of delicate sophistication.

Use Vintage Tea Cups


You can't call it a garden tea party without a proper tea set. Thrift shops, antique shops, and even yard sales are a great place to find vintage tea cups for an authentic party presentation. Mixing and matching cups, saucers, and kettles is perfectly fine and even adds character and interest to the table setting. You can always look for similar colors, shapes, or designs if you want a more cohesive look.

Serve Savory Tea Sandwiches


Tea party guests expect a first course of delectable tea sandwiches. Serve a platter of sandwiches like an afternoon tea pro. Include at least one protein-packed option like chickpea salad or egg salad. Follow that with a veggie packed tea sandwich, like the classic cucumber or mini veggie wraps. Add a fun choice, like chocolate hazelnut spread and strawberries or smoked salmon and cream cheese.

Feed a Crowd With a Tea Party Spread


If your party is providing food for a large group of people, you can plan a garden party food spread that will easily feed a crowd. Encourage guests to make a small plate before they take a seat for tea and give them an assortment of choices. Sandwiches, bite-sized quiche, savory tarts, and an impressive lineup of desserts will keep your party goers satisfied. Have a small plate of salad waiting at each table setting for an easy extra course.

Prepare Delicious Desserts


Guests look forward to the dessert course the most, so make sure you give the sweets the spotlight. A table full of tea cakes, cookies, fruit salads, tartlets, macarons, and a beautiful cake centerpiece will have your guests dreaming of dessert the moment they step into the garden.

Serve the Right Teas


The star of your garden tea party should be the tea. Make sure you have a selection that complements each course so your guests can fully appreciate all the flavors you have prepared. Pair earthy teas, like green tea, with seafood courses. Fruity teas complement poultry, pastries, and sandwiches. Look for blends featuring citrus or berry flavors. Smoky black teas work well with strong flavors and meat courses, and white teas are best served alone.

Include a Few Cocktails


Even though you're hosting a garden tea party, you can still include a selection of cocktails. Light, fruity cocktails will pair well with most of your tea party and you can even include tea in a few of your drinks for an authentic tea party drink. Make sure you have a classic cocktail option as well.

Send Guests Home With Flowers


As any classy party host would, plan a simple parting gift for guests. A small vase or bouquet is perfect for a garden party send off. You can use table centerpieces as your gift, let guests create their own flower arrangements during the party, or even send them home with a seed packet and small planter so they can grow their own flowers.

Play a Few Garden Party Games


Get your guests out of their seats for leisurely garden party games that will encourage social interaction. Prepare your garden lawn for a few rounds of croquet, lawn chess, disc golf, and horseshoes. You can even set up tables for board games like scrabble, checkers, or backgammon.

Throw a Classy Garden Tea Party for an Elegant Celebration


Treat your guests to a party fit for royalty. Tea in the garden with your closest friends, a delicious menu, and a lineup of fun games is the perfect setting for making memories you will all cherish for a lifetime.

11 Ideas for an Elegant Garden Tea Party