Fine table linens are imperative. The table must be set with a lacy tablecloth, possibly atop a solid color. Every place should be set with a cloth napkin, and tea cozies are optional.
Teapots and Teacups
For a formal tea, you will need a complete matching teapot set. Do not forget the sugar bowl, teacups and saucers and small plates for dainty finger sandwiches, tarts and fruit. For an informal tea, it is appropriate to mix and match.
Your finest silverware should be polished and set at each place. Be sure you have spoon rests so guests do not have to put their stirring spoon on their saucer.
Nothing brightens up a tea party table faster than a vase of fresh flowers. Be sure to choose a fragrant or a beautiful variety. When you sit close to the table at a tea party, it gives ample opportunity to gaze upon the flowers and absorb their sight and scent.
Your food at an English tea party should be part of the decor, with each dainty little sandwich and tart looking almost too pretty to eat. Consider carving rosettes with cherry tomatoes or serving chocolate truffles with fresh raspberries on individual dessert plates.