Monday, February 18, 2013

THE THREE TIERED AFTERNOON TEA TRAY- WHAT GOES WHERE?







What tea foods go on which level of the Afternoon Tea Tray? (You might want to copy this post for quick reference!)

Back in 2010, I went through a big stack of my special tea books and I
was surprised how few of the authors addressed this and since I have seen photos doing it so many different ways I thought it would be good to come to some conclusions.  This is of course OPEN FOR DISAGREEMENT!  I tend to be from the school of do what you like.....

First of all, a 3 tiered tray can be used to serve 2 -3 people with plenty of food for each.....a very large tray (such as below) might serve 3 - 4 people.


I have recently changed my order, below after being enfluenced by the blog author of Downton Abbey Cooks.  I had read a number of tea books that reversed levels 2 and 3 from what she suggests..

So here is my newest preferred order of the 3 levels:  The smaller top level holds the scones.  Figure 2 scones per person unless they are huge!  The middle level which graduates in size should hold the savories such as savory tarts or finger sandwiches.  Allow about 4 - 5 savory finger size items per person.   It is nice to have variety - I like to make 3 different sweets and 3 different savories.  The largest level holds the sweets which also should have variety. Of course, some prefer to put the sweets on the bottom and the savories in the middle - thus - eating from the top to the bottom.

Another one:  Sandwiches on the bottom, scones in the middle and sweets on top!

LEFTOVERS?  I recommend giving guests paper kraft handled bags which you could decorate with stickers or art or a poem to take the leftovers home - place a couple sandwich bags inside.

15 comments:

Marilyn said...

Both tiers are very pretty, but I like the one with the lacy looking edges better! Thanks for sharing. ♥♪

Debbie@Debbie-Dabble said...

Thanks so much for this very useful info. I always wondered if there was a proper way of what to put on each tier!
Debbie

Carolyn said...

Hi Bernideen,
Thanks for the info.
Have a good weekend,
Carolyn

Martha said...

I just got the latest Laura Childs tea mystery and there is a lit of tea blogs and other online tea sites -- yours is mentioned!

Congratulations!

Donna and Miss Spenser said...

When's tea?? Donna (IA)

Joyce said...

Now that is a SMART thing to write about. So glad you did this for people. Because some may not know how to layer the foods.

Rosemary said...

This is an interesting tutorial; however, the Afternoon Teas that I attended in London placed the sandwiches on the bottom tier, the scones on the middle tier, and the beautiful desserts on the top tier. The Afternoon Tea I attended at the St. Regis in NYC did indeed place the scones on the top tier, but this is not typical. They had a special tiered tray that had a domed lid that was meant to keep the scones warm until you ate them. The dome could be suspended from the top of the tiered tray when you were ready to savor the scones. But typically, I would have to say that the majority of the teas I encounter serve the scones on the middle tier. Just another possibility! Seems to me it can go either way.
Nancy

Anonymous said...

Thank you for sharing your knowledge. The 3-tier posting was very helpful.

rozemie said...

Hello, I have made a afternoon tea tray myself, using old saucers and glasses. I put it on my blog, but I couldn't find the correct english word for it (I'm flemish, we call it een etagère) and then a friend mailed me this blogpost. Now I know : it's a three-tiered afternoon tea tray. No online dictionary came up with this ! Great blog, I'm going to follow you. I'll try the scones recipe...

Micupoftea~ said...

Hello,
so funny that different sources have different instructions! I love using tired servers. Have a great week :)

Rosewalk Cottage said...

Thanks for the info. Bernideen. I've always wondered about what goes on what tier. Thanks for sharing.
~Clara

Elizabeth said...

Very nice !

Jean | Delightful Repast said...

Bernideen, I just love reading your tea blog! I'm so all about tea! My personal preference is: scones on top, sweet treats middle, sandwiches on the bottom. Just because I prefer sandwiches to sweets and always have lots of them!

Lavender Cottage said...

I think we can put what we want on each tier, depends on what you're serving. At the Fairmont Royal York in Toronto they put the fingers sandwiches on the bottom, scones and crumpets in the middle and sweets on the top.
Judith

Melodie Lincavage said...

How interesting. We have a tea house and we always put the savouries and sandwiches on bottom the scones, jellies and creams in the middle and the desserts on top. That is the way I learned it and the way I have seen it done most often. I think it does depend on who you're serving what type of teacher you have and perhaps even what time of day they're taking tea