Le Cordon Bleu's guide to... creating the best afternoon tea

Whether you're new to afternoon tea culture or a seasoned pro, these tips to creating the best afternoon tea will stand you in good stead!

Brought to you by Le Cordon Bleu London


The best afternoon tea can be a great opportunity for you to reveal your creativity and ability to your friends and family. If you want to give guests the time of their lives with an amazing teatime experience, there are a few things you need to plan for.

Food preparation and production

Make sure you've planned ahead. You'll need to buy the right ingredients and it really helps to have them measured out before you start baking. It's also important to check you have the right equipment for the recipes you plan to bake. Always preheat your oven in good time and make some space in your fridge and freezer beforehand, for any recipes that call for chilling.

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Organisation and time management

It is important to plan out your timings in advance, including the time you expect your guests to arrive, be greeted and allocated to their seats. Try to plan the timings for tea, coffee and the full food service, including a slight buffer should the guests run over time. If additional activities are to take place aside from the service itself, you must account for the time in which guests are to be allocated back to their seats and the preparation for any take-home items or gifts. Overall, an agenda for the timing of the activities prior to, during and after the event should be established.


Ensure there are enough tables, chairs, dishes, napkins, china and cutlery for the guests. It's always better to present your guests with a good variety of food rather than too little. Pay attention to the textures, flavours and uniformity of the dishes as these will make a difference to the overall presentation. Le Cordon Bleu HQ Le Cordon Bleu’s Diplôme de Pâtisserie offers students the essential practical and technical baking skills needed to be a successful baker or chef in the food industry. Throughout the course, students are assessed and graded on the application of the concepts and techniques learnt in classes. This includes the preparation and delivery of a full afternoon tea event at superior level.

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