Afternoon tea checklist: How to set up the ultimate Platinum Jubilee celebration

Queen returns to Windsor Castle for Platinum Jubilee

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Scones, cakes and – of course – the all important fresh brew of tea, help to make up a mouth-watering afternoon tea celebration. Britons up and down the land are expected to hold their own gatherings, to mark Queen Elizabeth II’s Platinum Jubilee this bank holiday weekend. Here’s how you can make the perfect afternoon tea for your friends and family.

Decorate, decorate, decorate

Before we get into the food, you might want to invest into some quintessential Platinum Jubilee decorations. has a number of different bunting designs and printables, which can top off your afternoon tea setting. They can be downloaded for free using this link.

Alternatively, decking out your space with some Union Jack flags can also bring a spot of royalty into your home.


When it comes to classic sandwich choices you can’t go wrong with cream cheese and cucumber, egg, and smoked salmon, according to Oliver’s Travels.

The combinations are known to be among the favourites of the Queen, and will wet your guests appetite ahead of what’s to come.

Even if you mix it up with some more unusual flavour combinations, the most important part is that each sandwich is served crustless, and never square shaped.


Since the 11th Century afternoon teas have been enjoyed up and down the British Isles.

And the debate over how you should prepare one of their main components has probably been going on for just as long.

The Queen and Royal Family adhere to the Cornish method, which sees homemade Balmoral jam spread first followed by clotted cream.

If you’re going by tradition the scones should be broken in two by hand, not with a knife, and each half eaten separately.

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Taking their rightful place on the top tier of any afternoon tea stand, your sweet treats should be the kind worth waiting for.

While it’s traditional to serve a selection of smaller desserts, don’t worry if you have more of a penchant for larger showstoppers.

Victoria or lemon drizzle sponges are a favourite amongst Britons, while her Majesty is said to favour a chocolate biscuit cake.

If you’re feeling brave you could also have a crack at making the official pudding of the Jubilee – a lemon Swiss roll and amaretti trifle.


When it comes to choosing the tea, you may opt for a tried and tested loose leaf, or perhaps some fruity, flavoured options.

However, to keep things traditional, you can always stick with the Queen’s favourite – a classic cup of Earl Grey, with a splash of milk and no sugar.

The venue

Whether you set up in your front lawn, back garden, dining room or lounge, it doesn’t really matter where you serve your afternoon tea.

As long as there’s enough space for everyone to tuck into the treats, then you should be on for a certified winner.

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