9 Do’s & Dont’s for Afternoon Tea Etiquette

Taking part in the tea time tradition is a lovely pastime to share with friends and family to relax at near the end of the day. Now that you know the difference between high tea and afternoon tea, I will share my 9 etiquette tips for afternoon tea:

  1. After sitting down, don’t put your purse on the table. Rather, place your purse on your lap or behind you against your chair back to keep it out of the way.
  2. Be aware of proper napkin placement: unfold napkin on your lap upon sitting. If you must leave your seat temporarily, place your napkin on your chair or soiled side down to the left of your plate.
  3. When preparing your tea, place sugar in the cup first, then add thinly sliced lemon. Remember,  never mix milk and lemon together!
  4. If you take milk in your tea, add it in last. The habit of pouring milk into tea came from the French. As the superstition goes, “To put milk in your tea before sugar is to cross the path of love, perhaps never to marry.”
  5. When eating on a tea tray,  enjoy the scones first while they are hot. Once finished, move to savories, then to sweets last.
  6. Split your scone horizontally with a knife. Curd and cream is placed on plate. Use your knife to put cream/curd onto each bite, eating neatly with your fingers.
  7. The spoon always goes behind your teacup on its saucer. Never leave your spoon in the cup.
  8. When drinking from your teacup, look into the teacup rather than looking over it.
  9. As for your finger, don’t put your pinky “up”! It’s not correct.

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  • Reply Carla Johnson August 4, 2015 at 8:15 pm

    Great topic & tips. Chuckling at #4…that’s something I would have never guessed!

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