We are independent & ad-supported. We may earn a commission for purchases made through our links.
Advertiser Disclosure
Our website is an independent, advertising-supported platform. We provide our content free of charge to our readers, and to keep it that way, we rely on revenue generated through advertisements and affiliate partnerships. This means that when you click on certain links on our site and make a purchase, we may earn a commission. Learn more.
How We Make Money
We sustain our operations through affiliate commissions and advertising. If you click on an affiliate link and make a purchase, we may receive a commission from the merchant at no additional cost to you. We also display advertisements on our website, which help generate revenue to support our work and keep our content free for readers. Our editorial team operates independently of our advertising and affiliate partnerships to ensure that our content remains unbiased and focused on providing you with the best information and recommendations based on thorough research and honest evaluations. To remain transparent, we’ve provided a list of our current affiliate partners here.

What is a Tea Party?

Mary McMahon
By
Updated May 16, 2024
Our promise to you
DelightedCooking is dedicated to creating trustworthy, high-quality content that always prioritizes transparency, integrity, and inclusivity above all else. Our ensure that our content creation and review process includes rigorous fact-checking, evidence-based, and continual updates to ensure accuracy and reliability.

Our Promise to you

Founded in 2002, our company has been a trusted resource for readers seeking informative and engaging content. Our dedication to quality remains unwavering—and will never change. We follow a strict editorial policy, ensuring that our content is authored by highly qualified professionals and edited by subject matter experts. This guarantees that everything we publish is objective, accurate, and trustworthy.

Over the years, we've refined our approach to cover a wide range of topics, providing readers with reliable and practical advice to enhance their knowledge and skills. That's why millions of readers turn to us each year. Join us in celebrating the joy of learning, guided by standards you can trust.

Editorial Standards

At DelightedCooking, we are committed to creating content that you can trust. Our editorial process is designed to ensure that every piece of content we publish is accurate, reliable, and informative.

Our team of experienced writers and editors follows a strict set of guidelines to ensure the highest quality content. We conduct thorough research, fact-check all information, and rely on credible sources to back up our claims. Our content is reviewed by subject-matter experts to ensure accuracy and clarity.

We believe in transparency and maintain editorial independence from our advertisers. Our team does not receive direct compensation from advertisers, allowing us to create unbiased content that prioritizes your interests.

A tea party could be said to be quite simply an event at which tea is served. However, the tradition of tea parties is long and hallowed, and these venerable social events are about much more than tea. Although tea is certainly served, this event also features delicate snacks, friendly conversation, and good manners. Traditionally, tea is served in the afternoon, in the hours between lunch and dinner, and in some regions, this event has been specifically the province of female hosts, although men are sometimes welcome.

A full on formal tea can be quite an event. Fine china and silver are used, and servants may assist with the tea service, although they generally withdraw once everyone has been made comfortable. Guests at a formal tea should expect things like sugar tongs and tea strainers, and they should be familiar with using them. A formal tea will also classically feature an array of tea sandwiches, scones, cupcakes, and other delicate snacks; since tea is traditionally held between lunch and dinner, most people eat lightly.

In some regions of the world such as the American South, a tea party is hosted by a group such as a church or a charity organization. At the tea, people are encouraged to socialize with each other, and opportunities for charitable service or donation may be provided. In these areas, a tea party is a common way to welcome a new member of the community, especially a religious officiant or someone who is new to public office. Such teas may also feature punch, in the summer, or coffee and hot chocolate in the winter.

Hosts can also hold tea parties in their private homes. A private party tends to be more intimate; women might welcome a new female member of the community with a private tea, for example, or a party might celebrate a select few friendships. This type of party can also accompany a baby shower or another event focused on women.

There is something appealingly genteel about a tea party, whether it is a weekly event held among friends or a child's birthday party. If you have an interest in planning such a party, numerous cookbooks are centered around the subject, and many of them also offer suggestions for service and decorations.

DelightedCooking is dedicated to providing accurate and trustworthy information. We carefully select reputable sources and employ a rigorous fact-checking process to maintain the highest standards. To learn more about our commitment to accuracy, read our editorial process.
Mary McMahon
By Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a DelightedCooking researcher and writer. Mary has a liberal arts degree from Goddard College and spends her free time reading, cooking, and exploring the great outdoors.

Discussion Comments
By pleonasm — On Dec 12, 2013

The term "tea party" always makes me think of a little girl with plastic tea cups and a circle of toys, playing the princess at the tea party. I don't know how often people actually have a real tea party these days. It seems like the kind of thing people only do because it's kitsch or ironic.

By Fa5t3r — On Dec 11, 2013

@irontoenail - They can keep all the other little cakes and things, what I really like is the scones and jam and cream. Someone, somewhere, really got that combination right.

Scones are similar to biscuits although they aren't quite so savory and they taste delicious when they are warm and have a bit of butter on them.

Combine that with strawberry jam and some whipped cream and they are practically to die for. I love them so much my friends threw me a tea party for my birthday a few years ago.

I guess I probably like them as well because it's not a common thing in the USA so I don't get to have them all that often unless I make it myself and it seems like the kind of thing that is best saved for special occasions.

By irontoenail — On Dec 10, 2013

It's become popular for fancy hotels to offer an afternoon tea event and they are quite fun if you can afford to go to one. I guess they base them around an English tea party and include a lot of little cakes and sandwiches and difference choices of teas. Women get dressed up and just go and enjoy themselves and sometimes they have a pianist playing in the background.

It's a lovely gift for a mother or grandmother if you are looking for something different.

Mary McMahon
Mary McMahon

Ever since she began contributing to the site several years ago, Mary has embraced the exciting challenge of being a...

Learn more
DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.

DelightedCooking, in your inbox

Our latest articles, guides, and more, delivered daily.