Office Party Idea: Today is the Perfect Occasion to Host an Afternoon Tea

Posted by on Wednesday, September 3rd, 2014 with Comments Off on Office Party Idea: Today is the Perfect Occasion to Host an Afternoon Tea Comments

Need a celebration during the work day? A professional milestone, a birthday, or how about just an ordinary Thursday afternoon at the office? A staff tea party is a fun way to show appreciation to your employees, unwind after the completion of an important project, or just provide an occasion for co-workers to get to know each other a little better, in an HR-friendly alternative to a monthly office happy hour.

high tea platter

An afternoon tea is an unconventional, HR-friendly choice for an office party! Image source: flickr user oh_darling


Today, September 3rd, is the birthday of Anna Marie Russell, the Duchess of Bedford and, more importantly, the inventor of the classic afternoon tea. Way back in the 19th century, Anna began the tradition of enjoying an afternoon pot of tea while in the country, complete with a selection of small snacks — it was an ideal way to push away that tired feeling, the afternoon slump. Soon, back in London, the Duchess began inviting friends for this light mid-day meal and a new, delicious tradition was born! Both afternoon tea and high tea (the latter is a larger, more significant spread of snacks that occurs later in the day, often substituting for supper), remain popular and still take place today.

The Food

When you’re planning your Duchess-inspired office party, think of providing a selection of traditional snacks like scones and crumpets accompanied by fruit jams and cream, small savory cucumber sandwiches, cheeses, shortbread cookies, and other small bites.

Fresh fruit is also a great way to add some healthy options, as well as provide a great splash of color to your afternoon tea spread. A tea break can provide employees with a nutritional afternoon pick-me up, so delicious bites are essential! And of course, can help you pick out the perfect assortment of pastries, small sandwiches, fruit, and more to please everyone in your office!

The Tea

Wondering what kind of tea to serve at your genteel office tea party? Well, while traditional afternoon teas generally consist of black tea blends with Assam, Darjeeling, and even the distinctively-citrus Earl Grey, consider a whole selection of black, green, oolong, white, chai varieties, and even herbal teas. That way, everyone can enjoy some tea — even those who may be watching their caffeine-intake.

(Quick note for the inquisitive: herbal teas are not true teas at all, but a blend of caffeine-free herbs and spices, also known as a tisane. All other tea varieties are from the same plant – Camellia sinensis, a native shrub of China and India.)

Because some teas should be brewed at different temperatures, you may even want to supply a few different electric kettles with different temperatures of water.

Aside from a much-appreciated work party, an afternoon tea provides staff with an easy way to come together, get to know each other, and even build morale within the company. Think of this office party as a fun, casual team-building event! And for those looking to start healthier habits, tea is simply loaded with health benefits, mainly in the form of powerful antioxidants.

Whether you’re celebrating fall birthdays, an upcoming holiday, or a work milestone like a promotion or a retirement, an office tea party is a great way to let your staff know how much you value their hard work.’s office delivery and catering service can help you with food and tea choices for a popular and fun office afternoon tea!

When it comes to feeding employees and coworkers, make your company's food program really count! If your workplace dining plan needs to take it up a notch — or if you don't have one at all — is here to help. From Virtual Cafeteria Service to diverse menus to local takeout & offers customizable dining solutions for every business and budget. Contact us today to get started!

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