Not Every Day's a Tea Party

Tea party-inspired treats to serve on your tiered tray

About the 3-Tier Tray

One of the hallmarks of the beloved tea party pastime is the use of a three tiered tray, also referred to as a cake stand or tea tray. As you might imagine, we're huge fans of these picturesque pieces that, pun intended, take any occasion to the next level. They add polish and pizzazz, not to mention height, texture, and dimension, to even an otherwise uninspired spread (without taking up extra space on the table)!

As creators of these delightful serving and display pieces, we get that not every day is a tea party... far from it! But if you're like us, you're going to want plenty of excuses to use your upcycled piece. So, we’ve put together a non-comprehensive list of our all-time favorite menu items to plate on these unique serving trays to make any occasion feel a little extra special.

3 Tier Afternoon Tea Party Tray Blue and White Tranferware with Tea Sandwiches, Scones and Sweets - Served with Tea - mismatched cups, saucers and teapot
Blue and white 3-Tier Tray used to serve madelines, brownies and apple pastries on lush floral tablescape for Mother's Day. Classic mismatched transferware
vintage tiered tray made from vintage Lenox china serving cheese, olives and charcuterie for Christmas themed appetizers.. Ivory and gold with gold handle. Rosemary sprigs serve as garnish to look like Christmas tree.
Mismatched china and custom linens for a bridal or baby shower with a pink table cloth and assorted vintage and antique dinnerware. 3-Tier Tray is pastel pink, hot pink and green and serving tarts, scones and other British afternoon tea party favorites

For afternoon tea lovers and tiered tray enthusiasts

Bite-Sized Menu ideas

We've broken down our list of recommendations into two basic categories: traditional, referring to the classic menu items you have likely seen on afternoon tea menus before, and modern, referring to contemporary interpretations of classic items and other favorites that we have personaly enjoyed. We've further separated the items into savory and sweet options to help you plan courses accordingly.

savory afternoon tea party menu ideas  - traditional classic inspiration for first course - including tea finger sandwiches, quiche, savory tarts, pork pies, scotch eggs and sausage rolls

Savory - Traditional

Savory - modern

Traditional afternoon tea party desserts and sweets for the top tier or 3rd course. Ideas include French macarons, petit fours, scones with jam, clotted cream and lemon curd, shortbreads, teacakes, madeleines and more.

Sweet - Traditional

Sweet - modern

For tea parties & casual entertaining

Elevate your summer celebrations!

Shop 3-tiers

Hosting a tea party?

Helpful menu hacks & planning tips

  • Use extra thin bread slices to keep your triangles or finger-shaped sandwiches bite-sized. Pepperidge Farm makes a "Very Thin Sliced Bread" in white and wheat, which you can find at most large grocery chains.
  • Butter the inside of the bread that’s touching the filling to prevent moisture from making the bread soggy. You only need to butter the centers; you can leave the edges exposed.
  • Prepare the fillings like egg, chicken or tuna salads ahead of time and cover and refrigerate until ready. Sandwiches will keep for a few hours as long as you cover them so the bread doesn’t dry out.
  • Keep toothpicks nearby when assembling your sandwiches (especially if you're making pinwheels!) to keep them from falling apart.
  • Use a good serrated breadknife to get a clean cut that doesn't smush the bread.
  • Consider incorporating seasonal ingredients for an extra dose of festivity (e.g., pumpkin scones and apple cakes in the fall, heirloom tomatoes in tea sandwiches during the summer, etc.).

  • Serving Dips & Easy Garnishes

  • Serve dips, sauces and spreads in vessels that pair with your tiered tray—we like to serve everything from jam and lemon curd to hummus and salsa in berry bowls, teacups, and demitasse cups. Then, we put it right on the 3-Tier Tray.
  • Fresh herbs, seeds, salt flakes, grated cheese, or shaved/thinly sliced veggies make delightful garnishes—reserve these from your recipes and have them on hand before plating your dishes.

  • Food sensitivities in your group?

  • Use the tiers to separate gluten-free from non-gluten free items, dairy from dairy-free, etc.
    If there’s a serious food allergy, we’d avoid using the offending ingredient altogether.
  • Consider adding to the presentation by putting your good china to good use or browse some of our luxury vintage teaware and serving pieces.

What'd we miss?

What's your favorite bite-sized treat? Try anything new because of our list?
Leave a note in comments to let us know!

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