Serve chilled pink bubbly alongside a decadent display of fruit and a delicious creamy wheel of Brie. The best thing about this high tea idea is it doesn't take much to organise and is guaranteed to impress.
Clotted cream tea
Perfect for a lazy summer afternoon with friends, serve a traditional British tea like Earl Grey or English Breakfast alongside warm scones, home-made strawberry jam and slatherings of clotted cream.
Inject some va va voom into your tea party with a fabulous French theme. Present multi-coloured macaroons in dainty china teacups and pile a silver tea tray with oozing cream cakes and chocolate éclairs.
No high tea is complete without sandwiches - crustless, of course. Traditionally cucumber sandwiches cut into neat triangles are served, but there's nothing to stop you modernising and offering a selection of finger-shaped sandwiches, wraps and rolls. Salmon and cream cheese, or cucumber and cress make great fillings. Display them in a cute wicker basket with sprigs of mint or lavender.
Vintage tea party
The fashion for all things vintage extends all the way to tea parties. Rummage through antique and thrift stores and gather a selection of china teacups and teapots, from art deco to chintzy 50s and surrealist 60s - the more mismatched the better!
Downton Abbey style
Invite your friends for a high tea Downton-style - black tie, of course. You'll need your finest china and crystal, linen napkins, fresh-cut flowers and preferably a butler to serve up your Victoria Sponge cake and to mop up the crumbs afterwards.
Back to basics
High tea doesn't have to be a grand affair. It can in fact be a cinch to organise. After all, you're likely to have most of the ingredients already in your cupboards. All you need is tea, a cake (store-bought if you don't have time for home-baked) and basic sandwich ingredients and you're all set.
Classic 70s tea
Relive your childhood (or your parents' childhood) by recreating the 70s with this cute high tea idea. Serve pineapple upside down cake, fondant fancies, cream horns and Battenberg cake. You'll be Instagramming it before your tea has even finished brewing in the pot.
Ditch the platter of cream cakes and add a touch of class by offering guests mini cheesecakes instead. From chocolate to classic New York style or layered in gooey fruit, they make the ideal sweet treat to complement a mid-afternoon tea break.
A cheese & tea party
This unusual concept is making waves in foodie circles, replacing the traditional cheese and wine party. Have black, oolong and Green teas on hand and serve with a variety of cheeses. Great pairings include goat's cheese with Assam tea and Manchego with Sencha.