How to plan the best at-home Mother’s Day afternoon tea

What better way to celebrate your mum this year than a traditional at-home afternoon tea?

It’s perfect if you want to avoid busy restaurants and cafes, and instead celebrate your mum in the comfort of her own home or yours. 

To help you plan the most special afternoon tea experience this year we asked events planner Thérèsa Jordan, founder of Hummingbird Events, to share her top tips. From mastering the art of tablescaping, to planning your menu, here’s everything you need to know if you’re hosting an at-home Mother’s Day afternoon tea.

1. Make it personal 

Make Mother’s Day extra-special this year by creating a personalised afternoon tea experience for your mum. “Think about her favourite food and drinks, and consider what makes her special and how you can incorporate this into the day,” advises Thérèsa. You could place a few of your favourite photos with your mum on the table, add handwritten place cards or write a heartfelt toast to tell her how much she means to you. 

2. Choose a colour scheme 

Classic pastel colour schemes are always great for Mother’s Day. “Yellows and pinks are our favourites at Hummingbird Events, particularly as this special day falls in spring,” says Thérèsa “If you'd prefer something a little more decorative, spring flowers and leaf motifs and prints are a go-to at this time of year.” Alternatively, you could opt for a colour scheme featuring your mum’s favourite colour, or choose a monochrome palette and let the afternoon tea treats add a pop of colour to the table. 

3. Keep the table simple 

It’s easy to get carried away when it comes to dressing the table, but for the best Mother’s Day tablescape keep it simple. “Don't overcrowd the table, keep it pretty with a table runner and little bud vases with fresh flowers,” suggests Thérèsa. You could also scatter dried flower petals along the table, or decorate with a few vases of fresh flowers such as our Mum’s Sunshine bouquet featuring vibrant yellow roses, fragrant white oriental lilies, and alluring lilac roses or our Mother’s Day Scented Delight bouquet with blue hyacinths, purple tulips, lilac roses and paperwhites. 

4. Add a touch of glamour 

Of course, it wouldn’t be a special Mother’s Day afternoon tea without a touch of glamour. Whether you play your mum’s favourite music or light a few candles, make sure to create a lovely atmosphere for your afternoon tea experience. When it comes to your tablescape “balloons and glitter are simple yet effective,” Thérèsa says. You could also add a statement centrepiece, such as a candelabra, floral bouquet or tiered cake. To elevate your experience further, opt for tablecloths, runners and placemats made from luxe fabrics like linen and silk. 

5. Plan your menu 

Arguably the most important part of a Mother’s Day afternoon tea experience at home - the menu! “Afternoon tea has come a long way since cucumber sandwiches,” says Thérèsa. While it’s best to keep your menu simple and satisfying for your guests, it is totally down to your personal preference. Thérèsa suggests ensuring you have the classics on hand - sandwiches, scones, pastries, and, of course, lots of tea. “Think about adding some posh savouries to the menu as these go really well alongside your traditional elements,” she says. “For those with a sweet tooth, add macarons. They come in so many different colours and flavours so you can keep them completely on theme.” Thérèsa also advises picking up a selection of herbal teas, as well as classic English Breakfast Tea. 

Don’t have time to shop for your supplies? Our pre-made afternoon tea hampers are ideal for those short on time who still want a luxury and delicious afternoon tea at home. They feature Champagne, wine and cocktails, as well as indulgent nuts, nibbles and biscuits, If your mum has a sweet tooth, you can’t go wrong with the Mum’s Organic Prosecco & Sweet Delights Afternoon Tea Hamper, or you can use our Build Your Own Hamper service to ensure it features all of her favourites. 

6. Prepare in advance and consider your timings 

When hosting, preparation is key! Use the evening before or the morning of your afternoon tea to prepare everything in advance and present it on serving trays and platters that will match your colour scheme. The wonderful thing about an afternoon tea spread is that most elements can be prepped in advance, so all you have to do on the day is serve it up, pop the fizz and put the kettle on for endless cups of tea.

If you do need to prepare anything once your guests arrive, make a note of your timings. “There's nothing worse than rushing around all over the place and missing out on the fun! ,” says Thérèsa. “Many people don't gauge timings for an at-home event properly, so it's important to think about how long things will take from prep to end.” 

If you need more inspiration on how to spoil your mum on Mother’s Day this year, see our guide to the best Mother’s Day flowers, or our edit of the best gifts for every type of mum

Use discount code FDGIFT20 for 20% off all full priced bouquets at Appleyard London. Excludes delivery charges & add-on gifts, subscriptions, hampers, and alcohol