4 Tips for Creating the Perfect Room for Taking Afternoon Tea

Nowadays, taking afternoon tea is something for all the family. But to have a truly authentic and pleasant experience, you might need to make some changes to your living room.
4 Tips for Creating the Perfect Room for Taking Afternoon Tea

Last update: 04 February, 2019

Afternoon tea is a great excuse to get together with family or friends, or even enjoy a moment of peaceful solitude as you savor a cup of your favorite infusion (and maybe a cake or two).

Nowadays, getting out the chinaware (like the type you might see at your mom’s or grandma’s house) and taking afternoon tea is becoming more and more popular. Sometimes, however, we simply don’t have enough space for all the different elements that are needed to do it properly. In this article, we’ll give you some advice on how to turn your living room into the perfect English-style parlor.

Care to join us for a spot of afternoon tea?

Afternoon tea is the perfect excuse to enjoy some delicious cakes.

The British custom of taking tea at 5 o’clock dates back centuries when the working day finished at 5 pm and everyone would go home to rest and spend time with family.

While many other countries have their own traditions when it comes to tea, like Japan, in the West, we have adopted English customs. We even use cups and teapots decorated to look like those that Queen Victoria might once have used.

Whether to celebrate or birthday, or just as a perfect excuse to see them, inviting loved ones to “take tea” on a Saturday or Sunday afternoon has become really popular in recent years. And it’s no longer just something for the upper classes. Today, everyone can enjoy a spot of good old-fashioned English-style tea.

To really pull this off, you’re going to need more than just the usual utensils and crockery. You’ll also need to make sure that you have enough space in your living room. When it comes to afternoon tea, a complete set of chinaware should include several plates, cups, a teapot, and cutlery.

Tips for creating the perfect living room for afternoon tea

You don’t need to live in a palace or have an old-fashioned parlor to take afternoon tea. Even an apartment in the heart of the city can become the perfect place to take tea. But to do it, you’ll need to remember the following:

1. Decoration

Decorate your table with flowers to create the perfect setting for your afternoon tea.

It doesn’t matter if you have a small living room, but if it’s not decorated for the occasion, it won’t really feel like a proper afternoon tea. Of course, the most important thing is good company and spending time together, but if you can also create the right setting too, then so much the better.

To decorate your table, we recommend using floral tablecloths and matching cloth napkins. You can probably buy some at the store, or maybe you can borrow some from your mom or grandma. Don’t forget to add a vase of fresh flowers to the center of your table, or even a basket of fruit.

2. Lighting

Victorian style crockery is perfect for taking afternoon tea.

As well as marking the end of the working day, tea was also taken at 55 pm because of the light. Even in winter, there is usually still a bit of sunlight at this time. This was particularly important in a country that is well-known for being almost permanently cloudy.

So, to create the perfect effect, we recommend placing your table next to the window. If you’re planning on organizing many afternoon teas in the future, we recommend rearranging your living room permanently, and leaving this layout so that you can prepare tea in natural sunlight.

3. Tables

You don't need a huge table to have the perfect living room for taking afternoon tea.

When it comes to afternoon tea, you don’t need to have a large table or lots of space for all crockery. Some people prefer to sit on the sofa, putting their cups on the coffee table in front of them.

However, you could even go one step further when it comes to the furniture. For example, you could place a side table next to the sofa, or buy a trolley to serve food from. You can even find individual tables so that you can give one to each person.

4. Chinaware

The chinaware used for taking afternoon tea is beautiful and delicate.

The height of Victorian fashion, this traditional chinaware is undoubtedly the star of the show. With rococo flowers, pink tones, and all the elegance and delicacy you could imagine.

But beyond the beauty of these cups and trays, you need to remember that every element has a purpose. So, don’t leave any of it at the back of the cupboard. Use every last plate and fork, although you might have to spend hours washing up afterward…

Finally, to create the perfect living room for taking afternoon tea, buy a cabinet with glass doors. Here you can display your chinaware for everyone to see. This a fantastic way to decorate your room and store your chinaware at the same time.

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  • Villamediana González, L. (2013). La anglomanía en la prensa periódica española durante la segunda mitad del siglo XVIII. Hacia 1812 Desde El Siglo Ilustrado: Actas Del V Congreso Internacional de La Sociedad Española de Estudios Del Siglo XVIII.