29 Jul 2020

How to Dress for Afternoon Tea

Women eating afternoon tea

Afternoon tea was introduced back in 1840, by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. It was well-known that she became hungry in the late afternoon, because of which she began requesting a tray of tea with bread, butter, and sandwich fillings. This shortly caught on among her peers and became what we now refer to as afternoon tea.

The occasion has now become a popular outing, suitable for celebrations, casual meetings, and a time for indulgence. If you’ll soon be partaking in this traditional English pastime, read on for a guide on how to dress for afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea Dress Code for Women

Most afternoon tea venues have a relaxed smart/casual dress code, so there are many different ways you can dress for afternoon tea. You could opt for a relaxed and easy look with a dress or skirt and shirt combination, or you can go slightly more formal with a trouser suit look. At Foxhills, we have no strict dress codes, however, our patrons often decide to take the opportunity to wear something more decorative than usual. Here are our top go-to outfits for the perfect afternoon tea attire.

Afternoon Tea Dress

Dressing for afternoon tea can be modified to however smart or casual you may feel. While you can get away with a smart top and jeans, if you don’t want to dress up, many ladies choose to take the opportunity to don a pretty frock.

All you need is a light and flowy dress, with a matching bag and either a pair of sandals or wedges. Swap these summery shoes for a pair of low-heeled boots in autumn or winter. A dress is a favored option for creating a comfortable yet feminine look.

Afternoon Tea Trouser Suits

A more formal choice of attire for afternoon tea would be a trouser suit, which would consist of a shirt or blouse, a blazer, and trousers. In recent years, suits really have shaken off their corporate reputation, you can dress them down to how you please. Examples of less-formal trouser suits would include baby blues and sugary pinks, or other pastel coloured suits perfect for afternoon tea.

Afternoon Tea Dress Code for Men 

Usually, the attire requested for guests to adhere to for afternoon tea is ‘smart casual’. This will generally mean no sports-branded trainers, t-shirts, shorts, or sportswear.

A typical outfit for afternoon tea for men would include smart trousers and shoes, with a shirt. Depending on the weather you can keep it casual with a light-coloured or patterned short-sleeve shirt, or if it’s cooler consider wearing a smart V-neck pullover or even a roll neck jumper. A suit jacket would probably be a step too far.

Afternoon Tea at Foxhills

Enjoy afternoon tea in the Manor House, a grand example of 19th-century Victorian architecture. Here at Foxhills, we have no strict dress codes in place, so where whatever you’re most comfortable in and indulge in some delicious cakes and finger sandwiches.

We offer four different afternoon tea options:

  • Traditional Afternoon Tea
  • Little Prince & Princess Tea
  • Cream Tea
  • Afternoon Delight

You can also enjoy afternoon tea with us in the Surrey sunshine on the patio in summer, with tea served from 1 pm to 5 pm daily. Get in touch to book anytime.