How to throw a vintage tea party…

ON Saturday I hosted a vintage tea party at my house for the very first time and as it was such a success, I thought I’d share some of my top tips with you!

Here’s how to throw an amazing vintage tea party… the easy way.

1) Keep numbers small and cosy

Before you choose a date, decide numbers! Think about how many people you can realistically and comfortably cater for. How many can you sit around your table without it being a squeeze? How much crockery do you have?

Initially I invited just seven of my lovely friends realising that some people probably wouldn’t be able to make it and in the end was left with three friends who could make it and me, which made a perfect party of four.

2) Get your date and time sorted asap

Folk are busy bees these days so even with a few months notice you’ll find that some people may already have plans. Don’t leave it too late to get a date pencilled in people’s diaries.

3) Decide on your menu and if in doubt, keep it simple! 

Once you’ve got your numbers and date sorted, get thinking about your menu. Are you going to opt for something traditional or contemporary? How much time will you have to prepare / make food as the host? Have any of your guests got food allergies or is there anything that they don’t like?


You can’t go wrong with sandwiches and cake…


Personally, I always like to always things simple. So for me, deciding the menu was easy peasy. I  served a variety of kitsch triangular sandwiches (including cucumber ones of course!) as well as cake and endless pots of tea and coffee. Classic but delicious.

Also, decide if you’d like your guests to help out. Because I know that my friends all love putting their fair hands to a good challenge, I asked them all to bring a cake with them and was delighted when they all turned up with homemade goodies.

4) Dress up

Part of the fun of holding a vintage tea party is getting dressed up so do make the effort and invite your guests to do the same!


Rocking it vintage stylee….


Because I’m now heavily pregnant (eek!), I went for a blue and red spotted maxi dress by Ingenue which was incredibly comfortable to wear and bump friendly but also vintage-inspired!

I accessorised with a flower corsage and real vintage diamante earrings and my make-up (as you can see above) was all red lips and false eyelashes. Very 1940’s!

If you need some inspiration, check out some vintage hair and make-up ideas online or go and dig out some old fashioned beauty books in your local library.

5) Use vintage crockery

Modern crockery is beautiful don’t get me wrong, but for this kind of party, really, only vintage will do.

Admittedly I did already own a couple of suitable pieces (including a gorgeous yellow tea cup, saucer and plate set that once belonged to my Gran) but I did have to go on a bit of a shopping splurge to make sure I had enough crockery for all my guests!


A little family heirloom…


You can pick up some really pretty vintage crockery for just a few pounds if you look around. Visit local charity shops to see what bargains you can find, take a trip to a car boot or ask you older female relatives to see if they’ve got anything which you can borrow.

6) Have fun with the table

If you’re hosting a tea party, make sure you get creative with your table. You want to give it the ‘wow’ factor so whatever you do, don’t hold back!

Think about what look you want to create – I wanted my table to look pretty, feminine and elegant – and then go from there! Let your imagination run wild, look around to see what you already have that could be used to help keep costs low and then if need be, go shopping.

Your table could include flowers, candles, a pretty vintage tablecloth, bunting, union jack flags (perfect for the Jubilee!) or even some 1920’s art deco ornaments. But whatever you decide, don’t be afraid of going all out.


My vintage tea party table…


To decorate my table, I used a couple of plain white paper tablecloths, a red table runner, lots of paper doilies (really pretty and cheap as chips!) some cotton napkins, bunches of pink and white flowers, hen candles and my vintage crockery collection.

I also made place names using black card and wrapped up some little table presents using gold tissue paper and paper doilies.

7) Music and entertainment

Now you’ve got your outfit, menu and table sorted, you just need to think about the final touches like music and entertainment. Do you want to provide any entertainment? What kind of music will you have on in the background?

After thinking about entertainment, in the end I decided I just wanted to catch up with my friends and hear all about their news, as it’s not very often we all manage to get together. So our entertainment was the art of good conversation!

I did have some background music on but decided to keep things pretty current and varied! My trusty iPod belted out everything from Stevie Wonder to Kings of Leon.

Finally, as I’m a woman who likes her sparkle, I did chuck in some table sparklers for good measure:


Christina and Sam…


Me and Laura…


8) Relax and enjoy it! – Sometimes the very best made plans can completely go to pot, so if anything does goes wrong on the day, don’t worry about it! The important thing is to make the most of the occasion and just enjoy spending time with your special guests.

Here’s to your vintage party being a roaring success!

Till the next time,



P.S Have you got any vintage party tips? If so, please do share below.

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17 Discussions on
“How to throw a vintage tea party…”
  • Your tea party looks fab! I’m sorry that I couldn’t make it but this post has definitely inspired me to think about a vintage tea party in the future! x

    • Thanks Jen! It really was fab, I urge you to throw one!

      I will def be doing another one day in the near future, post newborn baby-era,so
      you’ll have to try and come along to that :-) x

  • I we are trying to organise a 1950’s tea party for my mums 60th birthday party, only for close family, do you have any suggestions?

    • Hi Nic, just throw an afternoon tea party with a 1950’s dress code and music. Perfect! Good luck, hope it goes well x

  • Thank you for your advice!

    It has really inspired me to hold my own tea party for my birthday.
    I hope it will be good fun. Thank you.

    • Yes, yes, yes! I’m so pleased Caitlin! It was so much fun and I’ll def be holding more in the future. I’m sure yours will be a huge success! Good luck with it x

  • Katie, your table was beautiful. I am opening a gluten free bakery in the small Texas town I live in and for my grand opening I was thinking of throwing a tea party for the local ladies. I collect vintage dinnerware so I thought it would be the perfect time to unpack some and put it to good use. Any suggestions on types of sandwiches that are best for a variety of people? Cucumber of course!

    Thanks, Cindy

    • Cindy, thank you so much for getting in touch and best of luck with your bakery! What a wonderful idea, to host a tea party!

      You sound like you’ve got it all covered (with the vintage crockery etc) but in terms of sandwich I don’t think you can ever go wrong with old British classics! So I would suggest smoked salmon & cream cheese, beef & mustard, egg mayonaise, ham salad and yes definitely cucumber sandwiches too! Good luck and do let me know how you get on :) x

  • hi really enjoyed reading your party ideas, im having a VINTAGE TEA PARTY for my birthday on aug 7th so now I have plenty of ideas

  • Thanks for sharing your ideas, I was thinking of vintage tea party as a charity event for sport relief, but your ideas on keeping numbers low has made me think again, your table looked fab, thanks For the tips

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