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Inspiration for a vintage Mother’s Day tea

Be the hostess with the mostess this Mother's Day as we show you how to host a celebratory vintage tea party

How to throw a vintage Mother's Day tea. Photography: Sussie Bell

We’re all for celebrating any event or occasion at the moment (hello Valentines Day, Pancake Day and Easter!) but you can’t beat treating your mum, friend, sister, grandma or aunt to a brilliant Mother’s Day celebration. Mother’s Day this year falls on Sunday 14th March and regardless of whether we’re able to celebrate around the dining table or in the back garden, hosting a celebratory vintage tea party is certainly something to look forward to. Here we share our top tips for hosting a tea party that’s extra special – from creating a show-stopping floral centrepiece, to laying the perfect vintage table.

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Did you know that Mothering Sunday wasn’t originally to do with celebrating mothers at all? Originally it was the Sunday on which people returned to their mother church (or the main church in their area) to celebrate the middle Sunday of Lent. Of course, because people were returning to their local area, this also meant that people had a chance to go home and see their mums and so Mother’s Day as we know it was born.

Whatever the reason, we always love to treat our Mums. And what better way than to sit her down with a nice cup of tea and a slice of cake…

Make the front door look beautiful

We all know that few things are more cheerful than a colourful front door, and a spring wreath is the perfect finishing touch! Whether you buy a ready-made example – or get creative with willow, twigs and spring foliage – a wreath like this one will enchant your tea party guests as soon as they arrive at your door.

A handmade spring wreath with blossoms and daffodils. Photography: Sussie Bell
We love this handmade spring wreath adorned with blossoms and daffodils! Photography: Sussie Bell

Our favourite spring wreaths

Don’t fancy making your own? Here are some beautiful spring wreaths available right now…

Wildflower spring wreath, £58, Not on the High Street

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Wildflower spring wreath, £58, Not on the High Street

43cm flower spring wreath, £27.99, Lights4Fun

Buy it now

43cm flower spring wreath, £27.99, Lights4Fun

Spring wreath making kit with dried flowers, £59, Etsy

Buy it now

Spring wreath making kit with dried flowers, £59, Etsy
The best Easter eggs to buy this year. Photography by Rachel Whiting, styling by Kiera Buckley-Jones.

Source pretty vintage china

What could be more charming than a Mother’s Day afternoon tea served on antique  and vintage china? Hunt-down a complete tea set for a cohesive feel, or keep things eclectic by mixing and matching colourful cups, saucers and serve ware. It’s easy to pick up an array of vintage floral or patterned china at flea markets, charity shops or online. For investment pieces, Gentle Rattle of China has some excellent antique examples, or find updated versions of heritage designs via Spode or Wedgwood.

An eclectic array of vintage china makes a beautiful display on open shelving. Photography: Sussie Bell.
An eclectic array of vintage china makes a beautiful display on open shelving. Photography: Sussie Bell.

Buff up the silverware

Transform your Mother’s Day tea into a real occasion by laying the table with glittering antique silver! Whether you serve tea in a pretty silver tea pot, dig out the silver cake forks or adorn linen napkins with antique silver napkin rings, your guests are sure to be impressed. But don’t forget to give everything a quick clean before they arrive!

Antique silver napkin rings on white frilly napkins
Antique silver napkin rings, such as these from French Garden House, look beautiful with classic linen napkins.

Create a show-stopping tea table

Now that you’ve chosen the vintage china and polished the silverware, all that’s left to do is lay the tea table to perfection! To ensure your vintage tea party goes without a hitch, we recommend doing this the night before. Opt for linen and napkins in a single colour palette for a look that’s simple and sophisticated, or go bold with kitsch vintage florals and antique embroidered table linen. You could even get crafty with some personalised place settings, like those pictured below.

This bright spring dining table oozes vintage charm. Photography: Sussie Bell
This bright spring dining table oozes vintage charm. Photography: Sussie Bell

Create a vintage floral centrepiece

Nothing says Mother’s Day like a sweet-smelling display of hyacinths, tulips and daffodils straight from the garden! If you’re short on vases, why not raid the other vintage or antique vessels in your home? Old pudding bowls, flour bins, bread crocks or jelly moulds are perfect for creating unusual seasonal displays when stuffed with floral foam or chicken wire.

A collection of vintage bowls, vases and jugs filled with spring flowers.
A fresh bunch of seasonal blooms is an easy way to bring personality to your tea party. But why settle for a bog-standard vase? Photography by Rachel Whiting, styling by Kiera Buckley-Jones.

Bake something delicious

No vintage tea party is complete without cake! We love the look of these sweet iced fairy cakes topped with edible spring flowers, and this indulgent chocolate and ginger cake is also a real crowd pleaser.

Topped with edible spring flowers, these Mother's Day cupcakes are pretty as a picture. Photography: Sussie Bell
Topped with edible spring flowers, these Mother’s Day cupcakes are pretty as a picture. Photography: Sussie Bell

Our favourite vintage-inspired cake stands

A beautiful cake also calls for a beautiful cake stand! And we love these examples…

Cake stand by Angel Strawbridge, £25, Sainsbury’s Home and Argos

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Cake Stand by Angel Strawbridge, £25, Sainsburys and Argos.

Escape to the Chateau’s Angel Strawbridge launches afternoon tea collection

Add vintage charm to your afternoon cuppa with the latest homewares collection from Escape to the Chateau’s Angel Strawbridge.

Angel Strawbridge in the workroom at the Chateau

Skye McAlpine splatter cake stand, £98, Anthropologie

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Skye McAlpine splatter cake stand, £98, Anthropologie

V&A Alice in Wonderland 3 tier cake stand, £38, Dunelm

Buy it now

V&A Alice in Wonderland 3 tier cake stand, £38, Dunelm

Wedgwood Butterfly Bloom 3 tier cake stand, £135, John Lewis & Partners 

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Buy it now

Wedgwood Butterfly Bloom 3 tier cake stand, £135, John Lewis & Partners