4 Steps To Hosting A Beautiful High Tea Without Breaking The Bank

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Treating friends and family to a fancy event doesn’t need to be costly! We share our tips for hosting a high tea without digging too deep in your pockets…

Of all the finer things, getting together for a cuppa and a D&M with friends is one of our favourites. But as much as we love our old mugs and a mud cake from Coles, sometimes it’s nice to spoil ourselves.

A high tea is the perfect, intimate occasion for low-key birthdays, making special announcements like engagements, or for handing out wedding invitations to your bestest friends.

But treating friends to a fancy afternoon doesn’t need to sound scary or expensive. Here are our tips for hosting a high tea on a budget…

high tea zanui
Who doesn’t love fancy sweets on a Sunday afternoon? Shop Lille teaware from Maxwell & Williams or shop all coffee & tea items on Zanui.

1. Consider a Theme

This is totally optional and usually works best if your high tea is for a special event like a birthday, announcement or baby shower!

A theme helps tie all the elements of your high tea together. Your guests will feel extra special seeing the effort you’ve put in. Plus, it creates a talking point for mingling friends-of-friends!

Create E-Invitations

How exciting does it feel to find an invitation in the mail? You don’t need to go all out with paper invites in the post, but you can create beautiful e-invitations that guests will adore.

Design your own invitations with Canva. You can attach the invites in an email or ‘post’ them in a direct message, group chat or on your wall.

Cost: FREE

high tea zanui
If you choose a theme, create a mood board or a Pinterest board! This board is from H&G Designs alongside the Griffith Office Desk and Replica Hans Wegner Wishbone Chair from Zanui.

Make Your Own Table Décor

Inspire your guests with your chosen theme by creating your own table décor! If the mention of DIY makes you want to run and hide, maybe skip ahead.

Otherwise, check out our extensive Zanui DIY channel on YouTube for ideas! Here’s a teaser to get you started…

Cost: LOW

Make a Playlist

Set the mood with a little music. Go fancy with an orchestral or instrumental playlist for music that’s not too obtrusive. Or create a playlist with modern music and radio faves for a more upbeat atmosphere.

Your high tea can be whatever you want – there are no rules as long as everyone has a good time! Spotify makes creating music playlists easy, with either free or premium accounts available.

Cost: FREE / LOW

high tea zanui
Match your atmosphere with your theme by choosing the right music, table linens and decor! Featured above is the Blush teaware range from Maxwell & Williams or shop all coffee & tea items on Zanui.

2. Choose the Right Tea

What’s a high tea without the right tea? Whatever you do, don’t just serve up your Tetley’s Earl Grey from the back of the cupboard!

Peppermint and liquorice, honey and camomile, black tea and clove… there are so many to choose from! Make you event fun by picking some outrageous flavours (and provide some classic blends or espresso for the sticklers).

Cost: LOW / MEDIUM

high tea zanui
Serve exciting tea and coffee blends at your high tea! This is the Cashmere Bloems range from Maxwell & Williams or shop all coffee & tea items on Zanui.

3. Show Off Your Good China

This is where the high tea can get expensive (or not! Totally up to you!). Ditch the old mugs in favour of something a little fancy. Break out the good bone china if you have it, or splurge on all new teaware for your special occasion.

Good quality china doesn’t need to be super expensive. Think of it as an investment! Or check out our ‘Coffee & Tea’ category here to see hundreds of items under $50.

Cost: MEDIUM / EXPENSIVE

high tea zanui
Ask guests to bring their signature dishes to share with friends! Featuring the Terracotta Pitcher, White from Now Designs. Shop all teaware and servingware online at Zanui.

4. Share the Sweets

Everyone’s favourite part of a fancy high tea is the sweets! Macaroons, jam scones, custard tarts, scotch fingers… To save yourself a trip to the shops (and a cart full of cavities) have guests bring a plate!

Homemade sweets are the best. It gives guests the opportunity to feel they’ve contributed to the event and lets them show off their signature dishes. Plus, it’s a wee bit healthier! By making it yourself, you know exactly what’s going into every bite!

Cost: FREE / LOW

Kyra Thomsen is a writer and editor from Sydney, NSW. She has experience in copywriting, blogging, journalism, and social media. After completing two degrees in Creative Writing and English Literature in 2013 she began work with the content team at Zanui. Kyra was the winner of the 2012 Questions Writing Prize and her work has been published in print and online for numerous sources, including Writer's Edit, Seizure, and Fairfax Media among others.