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Afternoon tea menu

(7 Posts)
paneerandpeas Wed 25-Nov-15 14:42:31

I'm planning an afternoon tea for my sister's birthday in December, would love any thoughts or suggestions on the menu I've come up with so far.

There will be about 12 adults/teens and a few young children.

Roast beef in white buns (mini ones from m&s, I want everything quite small serving so so people are able to try everything if they wish) with horseradish mayo and watercress

Ham in whole grain buns with mustard. Maybe some also with peas pudding (NE). I'm thinking I'll slow cook a little ham joint and shred the ham.

Cheese and chutney in sliced bread, cut into triangles obviously. Cheddar and caramelised red onion and Wensleydale and ?chutney.

And maybe also a chicken fajita type flavours in a wrap with salad ?fits in with the the rest of the food

Scones (homemade by my step dad who makes the best scones) with clotted cream and special jam.

Mini meringues, either with whipped cream with crushed raspberries folded in or with this lemony topping

Fruit tarts (m&s pastry cases for ease, filled with creme patisserie and topped with fresh fruit)

Choux pastry of some description, I've never made choux before so need to practice this. I was thinking maybe a hazelnutty Paris Brest type filling.

Mini cheesecakes. Undecided re flavour. Might experiment with a Malteser one though as they are the birthday girl's favourite.


Either mini chocolate brownie bites, or some kind of large chocolate birthday cake. Would quite like to get some salted caramel in there.

I don't think I want to do any other savoury elements but I'm aware there's a lot of sweet stuff, what do you think?

And it's totally all do-able in a morning right?

IHaveBrilloHair Wed 25-Nov-15 15:56:00

No idea about sweet, I'm all about the savoury but I'd leave out the wraps, I prefer traditional.
I'd add in something with salmon, smoked or plain, maybe mini tartlets, perhaps with hollandaise and a twist of cucumber on top, I don't think you need three cheeses either, even though I am a cheese fiend.
I adore pease pudding too and always make my own since I'm no longer in the North East.

dayslikethis Wed 25-Nov-15 16:26:07

Totally doable - yes
In a morning - no

However - there is plenty you can do in advance...
- Sandwich fillings prepped the night before so all you have to do is cut, butter & fill the rolls and sandwiches on the morning
- meringues made a couple of days in advance and left to sit in an air-tight box and then just filled right before the party starts (the cream could easily be whipped on the morning and left to chill - best to use whipping cream rather than double though as it is much better after it's been sitting for a while than double is, which can go over very easily)
- creme pat will need done on the morning, but with the pastry cases pre-made and with the fresh fruit pre-prepped this shouldn't take too much time.
- Choux pastry isn't actually that hard to make, but it does take a bit of practice. However, it too can be done in advance and then left to sit in an air-tight box overnight and just filled/topped at the last minute. I would personally go for mini eclairs or profiteroles as they are easy to eat. I usually just fill with a vanilla cream and then top with a choice ganache (which again, can be made early in the morning, left to set up in the fridge and then just raised to room temp when you need to actually spread/pipe it)
- brownies & florentines easily done in advance - florentines definitely several days in advance.

Personally I would add in something else which is a plainer sweet thing - like a wee mini shortbread or sugar cookie or something. Everything you have mentioned is heavily flavoured (and a lot of dairy) so a wee plain (but sweet) biscuit would be good.

I would also probably do another savoury thing - maybe wee cheese twists or mini puff pastry/goats cheese/tomato bites or something like that.

I would also think about your teas - you can buy children's teas which are not as strong as proper tea and a lot less caffeine (I think) in them. Fruit teas are also good for kids. If you have little ones then apple juice served in a tea-pot is a good alternative.

Excitedforxmas Wed 25-Nov-15 16:27:23

What time do you want me to arrive?
Sounds bloody lovely

paneerandpeas Wed 25-Nov-15 18:31:11

Thanks for the replies.

IHaveBrilloHair i wasn't very clear on my the cheese sandwiches, only two types I was just specifying.

I will have to find out if the salmon would go down well, I know me and my sister don't like it so I didn't think much further than that!

I did think about the addition of some savoury tartlets but wondered if that might be too much pastry. Will have a little think about some options.

The only issue I have with doing lots of things in advance dayslikethis is I'm working the two days before, and the four days before that I am away.

I'll have evenings after work though, I'll just have to be super organised. May arrange a supermarket delivery for the evening we get back, depending on how late supermarkets deliver. Buy bread from m&s before we go and freeze it, and pastry cases will probably have a reasonable date on them I think.

Something plainer, I could make little banana loaves as there isn't really any cake. or do think that would still be too much. Meh, don't really do plain. Wonder what I could buy, we're going to France could maybe get something there.

I always make my creme pat the night before and it's fine. Cheesecakes will also be fine the night before. Meringues, choux, Florentines, brownies can definitely be done two days before. You're right, lots can be done in advance.

I don't even like tea, I'll be on the prosecco myself. I'll leave the tea organising to my mam. Love the idea of juice in a teapot though!

Aw excitedforchristmas I hope my sister feels the same.

KitKat1985 Wed 25-Nov-15 18:53:05

Blimey you are a very good sister! Can I come?!? grin

JamNan Thu 26-Nov-15 17:38:18

I would try and simplify the menu. It's sounds like it's quite a lot of food for just 12 and you don't have a lot of time for prep. I also feel the menu is a bit top heavy with bread and pastry, and too many desserts.

Sandwiches take an age to make. Have you thought about buying ready-made sarnies from M&S tarting them up with garnish and passing them off as your own? grin

People love 'things' on sticks like grapes, cheese, pineapple, olives, gherkins, fruit wedges, cocktail sausages, ham. Look on Pinterest for ideas.

Ditch the salmon if you and DSis don't like it.

Maybe buy ready-made meringues in France and store in an airtight tin. Have you thought about doing an Eton Mess? There are lovely sweet raspberries still in season.

Elderflower or other fruit cordials with sparkling water is nice.

Please can we come round afterwards and help you finish off the leftovers? I'll bring wine

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