Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea


It’s quite a well-known fact I have a penchant for Afternoon Tea and other quintessential traditions. Who can say no to unlimited pots to tea, dainty sandwiches and all the cake you can eat? We’ve eaten Afternoon Tea in various places from Little Bettys in York to Michelin Starred tea at Northcote but I have never attempted to bake Afternoon Tea at home. Mother’s Day provided the perfect opportunity and willing participants in the form of Grandma and Mother-in-Law.

As any Afternoon Tea aficionado will tell you, there are a few essential elements – fine china, cake stand, crisp white tablecloth and sugar tongs. China I could do along with sugar tongs and cake stand but shockingly a tablecloth was harder to come by. After trawling every shop in town that could feasibly sell one, I settled on possibly the naffest 100% polyester £7 table cloth I have ever seen. It was horrible and shiny, which thankfully doesn’t show in the photos. I’m planning to replace this shocking piece of table covering with a nice cotton one in the near future.

The menu was loosely based on various Afternoon Teas we’ve eaten.

Finger Sandwiches served on homemade white bread with various fillings:
Egg & Cress
Smoked Salmon & Cream Cheese
Beef & Horseradish
Honey Glazed Ham & Mustard

Freshly baked Sultana Scones served with jam & Lubcloud Extra Thick Cream
Chocolate Buns
Bara Brith
Mini Carrot Cakes with Cream Cheese Icing

Champagne
Selection of teas including:
English Breakfast, Cranberry-Elderberry Green Tea, Pure Rooibos and Darjeeling Earl Grey

The advantage of this menu was that quite a bit of it was able to be made the day before with just the sandwiches being made up last minute and scones being quickly baked. The cream I served with the scones is amazing stuff. It comes from a dairy just over the border in Leicestershire. So thick it’s almost like butter and a perfect pairing with jam.

It turned out to be the perfect way to spend Mother’s Day. Everyone appeared to enjoy themselves and both Grandma & Mother-in-Law took home doggy bags of cakes.

As Aleena Naylor mentioned on Twitter a few nights ago the quality of Afternoon Tea in Derby is slipping, no self-respecting institution serves afternoon tea with tea bags. Maybe it’s about time teach Derby how Afternoon Tea should be done.

Post Author: Jules

Freelance food geek who's passionate about food education.

24 thoughts on “Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea

  • Deb

    (March 15, 2010 - 9:50 pm)

    looks delicious! :o)

  • Maunika

    (March 15, 2010 - 10:05 pm)

    It looks divine! Lucky guests’ who were able to sample the Afternoon tea. Love the home made white bread sandwiches.

  • Claire

    (March 15, 2010 - 10:16 pm)

    It really looks lovely Jules :)

  • Brownieville Girl

    (March 15, 2010 - 10:33 pm)

    Looks fantastic Jules.

    Love the cake stand!

  • Louise

    (March 15, 2010 - 11:01 pm)

    Looks fabulous and I agree that it seems to be something we in the Midlands are lacking in. In London there is plenty of choice and if you head further north they seem to have held onto the tradition. What happened in between, I am not too sure! I have been to one at Crewe Hall, which was nice but not something to write home about. I say we bring back Afternoon tea!!

  • Sally

    (March 16, 2010 - 3:33 am)

    I’ve been meaning to do this myself for ages – you’ve now inspired me. Have all the props except the sugar tongs. We used to have seed cake at home – I might try it out just to see the look on my children’s faces.

  • Rhyleysgranny

    (March 16, 2010 - 7:39 am)

    I wish I was your Mother. LOl. What a fabulous spread. Gorgeous pics x

  • Alice

    (March 16, 2010 - 7:56 am)

    Wow! Looks fantastic!!

  • faithy

    (March 16, 2010 - 8:50 am)

    Wow! All looks yummy and the table setup is lovely! Bet everyone had a good Mother’s Day! :)

  • Petit Filoux

    (March 16, 2010 - 9:02 am)

    That looks amazing!! I know you say a lot of it could be prepared in advance, but that looks like a lot of work to me!! So beautiful and very tasty looking! x

  • noblenourishment

    (March 16, 2010 - 10:09 am)

    I adore this!! It makes me want to go out and buy some good china, pronto! :)

  • Alex

    (March 16, 2010 - 12:02 pm)

    Drool… what tea did you serve?

  • The Curious Cat

    (March 16, 2010 - 12:28 pm)

    I love afternoon tea – though I rarely get a chance to indulge. I bet your grandmother and mother-in-law adored it! Such a nice thing to do! xxx

  • Kerri

    (March 16, 2010 - 6:17 pm)

    How lovely! I think I may do something similar at Easter, thanks for the inspiration!

  • High Tea Man

    (March 16, 2010 - 10:36 pm)

    The beef and horseradish tea sandwich reminded me of one of the best tea sandwich experiences I can ever remember. It was at The Lanesborough in London, and at their afternoon tea, they serve a roast beef with stilton cheese sandwich that is so good, it’s just off the charts.

  • Chele

    (March 17, 2010 - 10:00 pm)

    I adore afternoon tea! Or should that be tea’s???? Love the set up you have – looks like a very satisfying afternoon tea to me ;0)

  • Rachel

    (March 18, 2010 - 6:35 pm)

    Mmm…looks lovely. Cakes always look better on a stand like that!

  • Nic

    (March 18, 2010 - 10:02 pm)

    What a beautiful tea! I think that it all looks wonderful and very appetizing!

  • Domestic Executive

    (March 19, 2010 - 4:40 pm)

    I’m with you – Afternoon Tea is a must. Morning Tea is a big thing here in New Zealand but I’m a Brit abroad and so can’t help sticking with a few English traditions. There is nothing I like more than having friends up for a traditional afternoon tea.

  • Mini Carrot Cakes « Butcher, Baker

    (March 20, 2010 - 4:29 pm)

    […] Allen recipe on TheMadHouse. I made the cake a few weeks back and it went down very well so for Mother’s Day Afternoon Tea wanted to adapt it to make mini fairy cake sized carrot cake.  The mindset is that it has carrots […]

  • Antonia

    (March 29, 2010 - 5:22 pm)

    What a lovely idea for celebrating Mothers’ Day. I too am a huge fan of proper afternoon tea and love the idea of creating it all perfectly at home with the cake stand, tablecloth and fine china. All those treats sound truly scrumptious.

  • house garden

    (June 8, 2010 - 3:57 am)

    Yummy! And now I feel like making a cup of tea for myself. :D

  • The Cream Tea Diaries « Butcher, Baker

    (August 11, 2010 - 9:21 am)

    […] I’ve mentioned Grandma before, she’s a bit of a legend. One of her favourite things in life is cream cakes and she’s also the Queen of all things scone. It’s her recipe I use for scones and that I teach all of my pupils because it always works perfectly. For the last few weekends we’ve been taking her out to places for Cream Tea. For those who are not aware of this British tradition Cream Tea is essentially a pot of tea served alongside a place of fresh scones, jam and cream. A lighter version of an Afternoon Tea. […]

  • […] I’ve mentioned Grandma before, she’s a bit of a legend. One of her favourite things in life is cream cakes and she’s also the Queen of all things scone. It’s her recipe I use for scones and that I teach all of my pupils because it always works perfectly. For the last few weekends we’ve been taking her out to places for Cream Tea. For those who are not aware of this British tradition Cream Tea is essentially a pot of tea served alongside a place of fresh scones, jam and cream. A lighter version of an Afternoon Tea. […]

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