How to Host Afternoon Tea

afternoon tea dining table
Nicolas Fairford

AMARA Lifestyle Expert Nicolas Fairford shows you how to host afternoon tea. Helping you to find the joy in even the smallest details, Nicolas takes us through hosting afternoon tea in this step by step video guide...

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I’m Nicolas Fairford, a writer and tastemaker with a passion for elegant living and making life more beautiful. I first started sharing my life on Instagram four years ago when I was working as an Interior Decorator for clients in the Middle East, dividing my time between Dubai and my Country home in Scotland which I was renovating and decorating.

afternoon tea table setting
Nicolas Fairford

We are living in a sometimes strange and hectic world, and I think it’s more important than ever to find joy in the smallest details and make every day more beautiful. Living beautifully doesn’t mean spending lots of money, it’s about the simple pleasures in life - flowers cut from the garden and arranged in a pretty vase, enjoying your morning tea from a china cup and saucer, or setting the table for dinner and lighting some candles. Inspiring others to find these small moments of joy is what makes me most happy.

Nicolas Fairford
Nicolas Fairford

When Amara invited me to become their Lifestyle Expert and asked me to create a video about how to host Afternoon Tea at home I was so delighted. Afternoon Tea is such a special occasion and one of my favourite ways to spend time with friends and family.

Afternoon Tea originates from the 1800s when Anna Marie Russell, Duchess of Bedford, found that the time between lunch and dinner was too far apart. She asked her servants to bring her a pot of tea and some light refreshments including sandwiches, cakes and pastries. When she invited Queen Victoria to join her for tea in 1841, Afternoon Tea was cemented as an occasion of refinement and a great social connector.

afternoon tea setting
Nicolas Fairford

Afternoon Tea spread throughout social circles in England and soon became a means of making connections, establishing family ties, and engaging with intimate friends. The taking of Afternoon Tea no longer survives so much as a regular social event, for most of us it is a rare treat.

afternoon tea setting
Nicolas Fairford

This is a meal that deserves the luxury of time. This is no hastily drunk mug of coffee, no soft drink thrown down while waiting. Clear your schedule, put your smartphone to one side and prepare to spend a whole afternoon with friends or family indulging in sandwiches, scones, and glittering conversation.

So whether you’re reaching for the first, second or third tier - a finger sandwich of smoked salmon, a scone with clotted cream and jam, or a slice of lemon drizzle cake; or if you are simply waiting whilst the tea is poured, loose leaf of course, the very act of hosting Afternoon Tea is one of understated elegance.