A Typical Afternoon Tea: What’s On The Menu?

What is Afternoon Tea?

Afternoon Tea is the single most epic British food tradition of them all. It’s the meal of all meals for a special occasion, and one you won’t want to skip if you’re a visitor of the UK.

But how do you know if you’ll enjoy one, if you don’t even know what’s on a typical Afternoon Tea menu?

Here’s the answer:

A typical, traditional English Afternoon Tea menu involves an array of crustless sandwiches, followed by scones with clotted cream and jam, plus a selection of additional sweet cakes and pastries, all washed down with Britain’s favourite beverage, tea.

There are of course some variations, which we’ll come onto shortly, not to mention some great places to eat an Afternoon Tea if you just so happen to be visiting the UK.

Afternoon Tea: The Menu

Here’s what’s typically included in a traditional English or British Afternoon Tea:


Afternoon Tea sandwiches

The first thing served as part of an Afternoon Tea is a selection of sandwiches, traditionally served without crusts, because we Brits are all about the sophistication.

A somewhat typical* Afternoon Tea menu would usually include sandwiches with these fillings:

  • Egg mayonnaise with cress
  • Cucumber
  • Smoked salmon with cream cheese
  • Coronation chicken
  • Ham and mustard
  • Cheese and chutney
  • Prawn and mayonnaise
  • Beef and horseradish

*Other sandwich fillings may apply.

While Afternoon Tea is traditionally a light and delicate British food event, you’ll likely find that many establishments across the UK will offer unlimited sandwiches as part of their menu.



Next up on the Afternoon Tea menu are scones, one of Britain’s most famous delicacies, mainly because no one even knows how to say “scone.”

There’s often the option of both savoury (usually cheese flavoured) and sweet scones with Afternoon Tea, but the sweet scones are ever-present on the menu.

Sweet scones usually contain currants and these beauties are typically served with Cornish clotted cream and strawberry jam, one of the ultimate British food traditions.

Also on the typical Afternoon Tea menu is the question of how you eat scones with clotted cream and jam, although you might also find that other preserves are served with your Afternoon Tea scones, such as marmalades or fruit curds.

Cakes and Pastries

Afternoon Tea cakes

Perhaps the best part of a typical Afternoon Tea menu is the random assortment of cakes and pastries that follow the sandwiches and scones.

These will vary depending on where you’re choosing to eat in Britain, so there’s really nothing typical about this part of the menu.



Cups of English tea is of course the backbone of a typical Afternoon Tea experience and menu, particularly English Breakfast Tea, or the black tea, Earl Grey.

Having said that, modern British food and drink means there’s a crazy amount of different teas on offer with an Afternoon Tea these days.

Some common non-British teas include Assam and Darjeeling, but with the best Afternoon Tea menus, there‘s hundreds of others to choose from, including green teas, herbal teas and all sorts of other exotic flavours.

So that’s your typical Afternoon Tea menu. Now the job is to find the best Afternoon Tea experience… 

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