Learn How To Throw A Memorable High Tea (That’s Good For The Environment Too!)

Learn How To Throw A Memorable High Tea (That’s Good For The Environment Too!)

 Written by Rachel Watkins



High tea has a long and interesting history. Originally, it was served strictly between 3 and 4 o’clock and only to working men as they sat on high stools, thus the term high tea was coined. It has come a long way since the mid-1700s and these days, high tea is usually a call for celebration. Do you have a birthday, hens day or baby shower coming up? Here’s how to plan a stunning high tea that will not only be memorable for your guests but be kind to the environment too!




  • Good Option – Purchase invitations that are made from recycled paper and write the details of the party using vegetable-based inks.
  • Better Option– Purchase invitations that are made of seeded paper. This recycled paper is made with seeds for flowers or herbs. After the party, your guests simply plant your invitation, water it and watch it grow!
  • Best Option– Send everything electronically through email or by creating a Facebook event. Getting RSVPs will be easier from a digital invite and for guests who aren't digital natives, a simple phone or text message will do the trick!

Loose Leaf Tea

No high tea is complete without a selection of loose leaf teas to serve. By buying loose-leaf tea you are reducing the amount of plastic and packaging being used. More importantly, several tea-bag brands actually contain microplastics, which are used to hold the bag together and mean they cannot be composted.


Flower Crowns

Ditch the games and create something beautiful that your guests can take home. Flower crowns are versatile allowing everyone at the party to express their personal style. (They also add that something special to photos)  Make sure you buy native and locally grown flowers to reduce your carbon footprint. Another great option is to use succulents. These can be replanted and require very little water. 


The Table

The focal point for high tea is definitely the table. Real plates, teacups, cake stands and cutlery are always best. A visit to your local op shop will see you walk away with beautifully mismatched china and you can always donate them again after the party. If real dishes are out of the question choose biodegradable, bamboo partyware or nontoxic paper options made from recycled paper. Classic white fabric tablecloths and napkins will finish off your elegant eco-friendly look. To decorate, choose eco-friendly centrepieces like freshly cut local flowers, soy-based candles or potted plants. Add a bit of fun by using personalised biodegradable confetti!


The Food

High tea is known for finger sandwiches, petit fours, mini quiches and of course scones! Good food has a way of making people feel comfortable and gets the conversation started. Here are our five top tips to plan a sustainable menu:


  1. Serve local, organic and fair trade items (your local farmer’s market is a great place to start) 
  2. Plan your menu around what is seasonally available
  3. Bake at home (or ask each guest to bring a plate of homemade goodies!)
  4. Buy in bulk, avoid plastic and stay away from pre-prepared foods
  5. Opt for pitches of homemade lemonade and bowls of punch over individual cans and bottles


High tea is a versatile event which can be used to celebrate just about anything and by making your soiree eco-friendly you can celebrate 100% guilt-free!