What To Sew For Afternoon Tea

afternoon tea collage

It’s afternoon tea week! I consider myself a bit of an expert as my sister and I love to track down a good afternoon tea. It’s the perfect occasion for dragging out your glad rags.

vintage handbag


Palm Court, The Langham Hotel, London

Just behind Oxford Circus and opposite the BBC – I always hope I’ll bump into a celebrity here. Never have. (Though I did see the Beckhams once at Claridges – another story for another day.)

The Royal, Ventnor, Isle of Wight

My favourite secret hotel on the Isle of Wight – a gorgeous place to come for a relaxed and indulgent treat.

Browns Hotel, London

This is home of the never-ending afternoon tea – they’ll keep topping up your sarnies. A detail that I love, as I have more of a savoury palate than sweet (ironically!).

Chatsworth House, Derbyshire

If you’ve never visited Chatsworth House in the Peak District, you’re missing out. Why not throw an afternoon tea in, too?


And what should one wear for the eating of one’s own body weight in cake?

Afternoon Tea Dresses

Here are my scone-friendly dresses!

B5880 My Big Vintage Sewalong Dress

Vogue 5098 – remember when we raised money for the National Literacy Trust?

Sew Over It Lace Dress, a complex make which still makes me swoon

The Sew Over It Joan Dress has become a stalwart of my wardrobe


Finally, far be it from me to point out this afternoon tea cotton, currently on sale. Do with that link what you will…

Any recommendations of your own?

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21 Responses to What To Sew For Afternoon Tea

  1. Hi Karen, I still can’t read your posts in Feedly. I don’t want to have to open a full blog or website to read them.

    • didyoumakethat says:

      I know nothing about Feedly, but shall look into!

      • Liz says:

        I also use feedly as my RSS feed manager – I wouldn’t mind going to your blog to read posts, but it doesn’t work very well on mobile! I have to zoom in a lot, and the newsletter pop up comes up every time I refresh the page e.g. if I come back after clicking a link. Just to let you know, if you’re looking into it anyway…

        P.S. nice blog! 🙂

      • didyoumakethat says:

        Good to know, thank you – that sounds uber annoying. I’m on it!

      • piakdy says:

        Strange, I read Karen’s blog on Feedly (mostly via the app on my phone) alright – full articles in my Feedly feed. Agree I much prefer reading full articles in the app rather than teasers that make me go to a website to read the rest. Too much effert! Now if only they can bring the article Liking & Commenting into the app as well… 🙂

  2. Kathy Lynch says:

    I adore The Orangery at Kensington Palace for afternoon tea. I guess it’s mostly for we tourists but I don’t care – it’s just so pretty! (A yummy afternoon tea anywhere is just such a civilized thing in my book.) 🙂

  3. patricia welch says:

    Here in North Carolina, USA, our local Walmart has a small Subway area. A person can order a soda and get a foot-long sandwich and sit in a nice, hard plastic booth. Now that I think about it, I don’t think that experience compares very well to the one in your blog post…….sorry to bother you.

    • didyoumakethat says:

      Hey, who can knock a foot-long Subway!

      • patricia welch says:

        so true! a vegetarian sub on white bread…yum. I bet it would taste even better in a swanky hotel though. Then again, what would I wear? I think I will just continue to read your blog posts and pretend Walmart is a beautiful hotel that just happens to sell a lot of cheap stuff. Yeah. That’s what I will do.

  4. Annie says:

    No, but I will be bookmarking this. I hope to make it to the U.K. again in the next year. I visited a few years ago and it was wonderful. But I never did get a real afternoon tea in England, though I have had several here in California. Somewhere along the trip I had the best scones ever, though, with strawberry jam, of course, so that’s something like.

  5. ashman.n@sky.com says:

    Got to say the royal crescent hotel in bath does an amazing savoury afternoon tea my Christmas treat

  6. redsilvia says:

    Mmmm! I adore afternoon tea – well just the snacks really. I don’t much like tea, but champagne tea is a thing and the scones go well there. I had tea at Claridges once and had to try and replicate those yummy scones at home. Haven’t managed it, but it’s nice trying.

    I’d have to wear something with room at the waist and some flat shoes (champagne…ya know).

  7. Mary Lynn says:

    Sounds like great fun. What are sarnies???

    • Lynn Barnes says:

      Sandwiches. Could also be “sammies,” but that is more usually a U.S. slang term for food encased between slices of bread.

  8. Gill says:

    I’ve made a Camber dress in the blue version of that Afternoon Tea fabric.
    Yes, I’m having the ‘newsletter’ pop up repeatedly too – and I’ved signed!
    If you haven’t been to Betty’s in York or Harrogate – give it a try. You’ll expect Miss Marple to walk in any minute!

  9. That cake with the meringue and the raspberries looks amazing. I love your dresses. They are very glamorous without being too much, I haven’t been there for ages but The Caledonian hotel in Edinburgh used to do a very nice high tea. It reminds me of my childhood as my Dad used to take me there all the time. Xx

  10. Tracy May says:

    Afternoon tea at the Royal Opera House, Covent Garden is rather civilised. Or pull a half day from work and try one of their tea dances; really good fun.

  11. where2wearit says:

    Have you been to Chatsworth while the https://www.chatsworth.org/events/house-style/ is on? Tea and inspiration and I was lucky to hit a glorious afternoon when I went there last week. In fact stay the night and get the Derbyshire breakfast and dinner too. Just remember to wear something loose. It might even be a moment for an elastic waistband.

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