Tea party menus typically include finger sandwiches, scones, small cakes and cookies, although soups, quiches, cheese spreads and pasties are not uncommon, depending on the occasion. There are no set rules on what to serve at a tea party. At its most basic, the menu includes two or three tea sandwich varieties, a couple types of small cakes, and sugar or shortbread cookies. At a light tea, the spread may also feature sweet scones, seasoned nuts and additional sandwich selections.
Heavier foods, such as ham and cheese scones or mini broccoli quiches, are often served along with a selection of sweets at full tea parties.
Options for tea sandwiches include traditional fillings such as cucumber, chicken salad and smoked salmon, as well as modern variations such as open-faced blue cheese walnut finger sandwiches and minted radish with lemon mayonnaise.
Scones are also made in a variety of flavors. Classic buttermilk scones are often served with jam, or fresh fruits such as raspberries or currants are baked into the treat. Scones may also feature cheese, meat or both for a savory menu option.
Petit-fours, cupcakes, Madeleine's, dessert bars and little coffee cakes are featured on many tea party menus. Specialty breads, truffles and dipped fruit are other sweet options. Common tea party cookies include sugar, chocolate chip, shortbread, gingerbread and macaroons.