How to Host an Autumn Tea Party

Posted: 10/11/2019

Autumn has long been associated with celebrations and expressions of gratitude. This tradition dates back hundreds of years, when entire communities of farmers and their families would gather to celebrate the bounty of the harvest season. 

Hosting an autumn tea party is a beautiful way to keep the spirit of fall alive. Invite your loved ones to gather on a crisp autumn afternoon to enjoy spiced teas, seasonal treats and good company. Don’t forget to set out your coziest blankets and wraps for when the autumn wind brings a chill to the evening air.

Planning to host your own autumn tea party? Get inspired with these festive fall menu and decor ideas:

Autumn Tea Party Menu

The ideal autumn tea party menu honors and celebrates the flavors of the harvest season. Fragrant warming spices like cloves, cardamom, cinnamon and peppercorns are the perfect complement to ripe pumpkin, apple and other seasonal fruits.

Autumn Recipe Ideas

For the freshest flavors, head to your local farmer’s market and stock up on in-season ingredients. Fall staples like mushrooms, squash, sweet potatoes, turkey, pork, spinach and arugula can be used in a variety of classic tea party recipes. Keep your guests satisfied with savory mushroom tartlets, or crostinis layered with turkey, apple slices and goat cheese.

No autumn tea party would be complete without a selection of sweet treats. Ignite your imagination with these flavorful fall dessert ideas:

  • Pumpkin cupcakes with chai tea frosting
  • Apple cider doughnuts
  • Pear walnut rooibos biscotti
  • Cranberry and orange scones
  • Apple slices with caramel dip (Tip: Serve with bowls of chopped nuts, sprinkles, mini marshmallows, toffee bits, and chocolate chips for a DIY caramel apple bar)
  • Maple walnut scones
  • Mini pumpkin pies (Tip: Use a cookie cutter on a full sized pumpkin pie to easily create miniature single-serve pies)

Are you planning to serve a round pie or cake at your tea party? Place a colorful autumn wreath around the base of the cake stand for a beautiful and effortless centerpiece display.

Best Autumn Teas

The Republic of Tea recommends offering a selection of black tea and herbal tea at your autumn tea party. Black tea is the traditional choice for afternoon tea in England, though it is considered good etiquette to offer a caffeine-free herbal tea to your guests as well.

Pumpkin Spice Black Tea is as flavorful as it is festive, boasting notes of sweet pumpkin and zesty autumnal spices. Be sure to stock up—guests are sure to want more than one cup of this seasonal blend. Spicy, full-bodied Chai Tea is another caffeinated varietal that is commonly associated with the fall season.

Apple tea—such as Caramel Apple Tea or Hot Apple Cider Tea—is a lovely choice for your herbal tea offering. You might also consider Golden Pumpkin Tea, which blends earthy turmeric with aromatic pumpkin pie spices. 

Autumn Tea Party Decor

In order to set the right mood for your autumn tea party, it is essential to choose the proper decor. A spooky Halloween event will require different centerpieces, place settings and other decorative accents than an elegant harvest tea party.

When choosing your color scheme, turn to nature for inspiration. Deep, earthy colors like burnt orange, burgundy and amber are beautiful and festive choices for table runners, napkins, teapots and tableware. A hollowed-out pumpkin can be filled with vibrant autumn flowers for an eye-catching centerpiece.

Decorate with stacks of pumpkins and gourds, bowls overflowing with apples and pears, and sprigs of dried herbs for a setting that is reminiscent of an abundant autumn harvest. Fill mismatched woven baskets or galvanized buckets with decorative branches and rustic grasses for an easy and affordable accent piece.

If you’re planning a Halloween-themed tea party, opt for slightly spookier props like cauldrons, jack-o-lanterns, skulls and goblets. Black and orange is the classic Halloween color palette, but you may wish to experiment with shades of deep purple, silver and midnight blue.

An autumn tea party is a beautiful and meaningful way to celebrate life’s many blessings. Be sure to honor the true spirit of the harvest season by letting your loved ones know how grateful you are for their company on this festive occasion.

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