A french afternoon tea setup

Throwing a French Tea Party: Your Guide to Planning, Decor, Pastries, and More.

| Delifrance Singapore

Love the French way of life and wish to transport yourself to the romantic streets of Paris or the quaint countryside of Provence? Hosting a French tea party is the perfect way to experience France in the comfort of your own home! If you’d like to indulge in French food and add a touch of Parisian flair to your gatherings, this is a sign for you to start planning a French afternoon tea party. We’ve prepared a comprehensive guide to planning, decor, pastries, and more to help you organise memorable France-inspired festivities.

1.1. The French Afternoon Tea and Tea Party


A french man enjoying tea time at home


Before you jump into planning, you’ll need to understand what French afternoon tea is and what it embodies.

The French afternoon tea, known as "Le Goûter” (pronounced “le goo tay”), is a culinary tradition and an affair in France that typically takes place between lunch and dinner. It derives its name from the French verb "goûter," meaning to taste or sample, and is the British equivalent of afternoon tea. 

Le Goûter is mostly associated with children as they are usually given a sweet snack at an after-school programme or before dinner upon returning home from school. And as dinner in France is typically served after 7:30 pm, the afternoon tea can feature more substantial treats. Think of an array of delicate pastries, decadent cakes, crunchy cookies, and other savoury bites, showcasing the artistry of French patisseries. From the best madeleines to the creamiest éclairs, you can tantalise your guests’ taste buds with exquisite flavours and textures, crafted from the finest ingredients. 

Central to the experience is, of course, the tea itself. You can expect to find a wide selection of teas at the table, ranging from classic black teas like Earl Grey and Darjeeling to fragrant herbal infusions and exotic blends. 

Beyond the culinary delights, a French tea party is a celebration of camaraderie and joie de vivre. Whether it's a birthday bash, a bridal shower, or a simple gathering of friends, the ambience is a charming one where light-hearted conversations flow, laughter fills the air, and cherished memories are made amidst the aroma of freshly brewed tea and the sweetness of pastries—warmth and hospitality are key here.

All in all, French afternoon tea is not just about eating and drinking, but about savouring life’s simple pleasures and creating moments of joy and connection that linger long after the last crumb has been savoured.

Ready to put together your French afternoon tea party? Read on!

Setting the Scene: Creating a French Ambience

To capture the essence of French culture, you can’t simply order a few French treats and call it a day. Everything—from decor to fragrance—must be perfect. Here’s how to set the scene.

1. Create a Theme

    • Parisian Chic
A round table with wrought iron chairs and pastries on it


Transform your space into one that’s akin to dining at a Parisian cafe by arranging wrought iron chairs around small, round tables, reminiscent of the iconic sidewalk bistros of Paris. Brighten up the interior with some vibrant floral arrangements, incorporating colours like deep reds, purples, and vibrant greens. Then, take it up a notch by playing some classic French music in the background. 

    • Versailles-Inspired

Celebrating a huge milestone? Consider planning a tea party fit for royalty by drawing inspiration from the opulence of the Palace of Versailles. Fill your space with extravagant table settings featuring ornate chinaware, sparkling glassware, and luxurious linens adorned with intricate patterns and gold accents. Additionally, decorate with lush floral arrangements in shades of white, cream, and gold to add a touch of romance and elegance. 

But don’t just stop there. Encourage your guests to dress in their finest attire and embrace the spirit of aristocracy as you sip tea and indulge. 

    • Provencal Charm
A rustic tea table decoration


Prefer a more rustic and laid-back ambience? Then channel the tranquil beauty of the French countryside by decorating your home with lavender bouquets, wildflowers, and potted herbs. Incorporate wooden accents such as crates, barrels, and rustic furniture to add warmth and authenticity to the setting. 

For your tables, choose linens and dinnerware in soft, muted tones featuring delicate floral prints and vintage patterns, and serve a selection of fresh baguettes, cheeses, and homemade jams, inviting guests to indulge in the simple pleasures of French country living. 

2. Decorations

    • Eiffel Tower Centerpiece

Make a statement with a miniature Eiffel Tower as the focal point of your table. Surround it with fresh flowers or miniature French flags to create a captivating centrepiece that pays homage to the iconic symbol of Paris.

    • French-themed Posters
A home with French-themed posters in the living room


Adorn your walls with vintage French travel posters or prints featuring famous landmarks like the Arc de Triomphe or Notre-Dame Cathedral. These artistic touches add nostalgia and sophistication to your ambience.

    • Candelabras
Candelabra on the tea table


Infuse your space with old-world charm by incorporating vintage candelabras. Place them strategically around the room to cast a soft, romantic glow, reminiscent of candlelit soirées in elegant French salons.

    • Artistic Touches

Elevate your decor with small art pieces or photographs showcasing the works of famous French artists like Monet or Renoir. These cultural accents not only enrich the ambience but also serve as conversation starters for your guests.

3. Colours

    • Pastel Shades

Embrace the soft and delicate hues commonly found in French tea parties, such as light pink, lavender, mint green, or baby blue. Use these soothing colours for your table settings, napkins, and decorations to create a serene and inviting atmosphere.

    • Gold Accents

Incorporate touches of gold through cutlery, table settings, or napkin rings to add a touch of luxury and sophistication. Gold accents complement the pastel palette beautifully, enhancing the overall elegance of your decor.

4. Ambience

    • French Music

Set the mood with a selection of soft French music playing in the background. Choose classical compositions or iconic French chansons to generate a romantic and nostalgic vibe, transporting your guests to the streets of Paris or the shores of the French Riviera.

    • Fragrance

Enhance the sensory experience by infusing the air with delicate fragrances like lavender, rose, or jasmine. Light-scented candles or floral room sprays can create an inviting ambience that tantalises the senses and adds an extra layer of authenticity to your French-inspired tea party.

Curating the Menu: French Pastries, Desserts, and Tea

3.1. Iconic French Pastries and Desserts

French pastries and desserts on the tea table


What’s a French-inspired tea party without some French treats? Now that you have your decor down, it’s time to curate the menu for your tea party. Here are some must-haves that will transport your guests to the quaint streets of Paris.

  • Macarons

These delicate, colourful almond meringue cookies sandwiched with ganache, buttercream, or jam are a quintessential French delight. With their crisp exterior and chewy interior, macarons offer a burst of flavour in every bite.

  • Madeleines

These shell-shaped sponge cakes, infused with lemon zest or vanilla, are light and buttery and are perfect for dipping into tea or coffee.

  • Financiers

These small, rectangular almond cakes have a rich, moist texture and a nutty flavour. They are a delightful addition to any tea party, offering a delightful balance of sweetness.

  • Éclairs

Long, slender pastries filled with cream and topped with a glossy chocolate glaze, éclairs are a decadent treat that never fails to impress. Whether filled with vanilla, chocolate, or coffee cream, these elegant pastries are sure to delight your guests.

  • Tartlets

Miniature pastry shells filled with custard, fruit, or chocolate ganache, tartlets are a versatile addition to your tea party spread. From lemon meringue to fresh berry tarts, these dainty treats offer different flavours that cater to every taste bud.

  • Croissants

    No French-inspired tea party would be complete without the iconic croissant. With its flaky layers and buttery aroma, this classic pastry is delicious when served warm with a dollop of jam. Don’t like jam? You can even enjoy it on its own.

    • Petit Fours

    These bite-sized confections come in a variety of shapes and flavours, from tiny cakes and tarts to glazed fruits and chocolates. Petit fours add versatility and variety to your tea party, allowing guests to sample an array of sweet treats.

    • Mille-Feuille

    Layers of flaky puff pastry alternating with pastry cream and topped with a delicate layer of icing, mille-feuille is a show-stopping dessert that showcases the artistry of French pastry-making. With its crisp texture and creamy filling, it's sure to leave a lasting impression on your guests.

    Don’t know where to get your hands on these French pastries? Délifrance offers halal party platters and dessert boxes in Singapore to help you feed your guests. Whether you’re hosting a small, intimate gathering or a large celebration, trust in Délifrance’s party food delivery to provide the food you need.

    3.2. Savoury Delights to Enhance the Tea Experience

    • Quiche

    A savoury tart filled with creamy custard, cheese, and various fillings such as bacon, spinach, mushrooms, or caramelised onions, quiche is a versatile and satisfying addition to any tea spread. Its buttery pastry crust pairs beautifully with the richness of the filling, creating a harmonious blend of flavours and textures.

    • Croque-Monsieur

    A beloved classic of French cafe culture, the croque-monsieur is a grilled ham and cheese sandwich elevated to gourmet status. Made with crusty bread, thinly sliced ham, creamy béchamel sauce, and melted Gruyère cheese, this indulgent sandwich is the epitome of comfort food elegance.

    • Assorted Sandwiches

    Offer a sharing platter of petite sandwiches filled with savoury ingredients such as smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber and dill, chicken and tarragon, or egg salad with chives. Cut into bite-sized pieces and elegantly presented on a tiered platter, these sandwiches are perfect for nibbling alongside a cup of tea.

    • Canapés

    Delicate and refined, canapés are small, open-faced sandwiches topped with savoury spreads, meats, cheeses, and vegetables. From smoked salmon with crème fraîche and dill to prosciutto with fig jam and arugula, these bite-sized delights are great for guests who prefer something more savoury.

    • Cheese Board

    The French love their cheese, so creating a cheese board is the best way to indulge in the French way of life. Top your wooden board with a selection of French cheeses such as Brie, Camembert, Roquefort, and Comté, accompanied by crusty baguette slices, crackers, and fresh fruit. 

    3.3. Beverage Pairings

    Beverage Pairings for French Afternoon Tea: Infographic


    Complete your French-inspired afternoon tea party menu with some beverage pairings. This selection of drinks will not only quench your thirst but also complement your savoury and sweet treats. 

    • Hot Teas

    Offer a variety of hot teas such as Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or English Breakfast. These classic blends complement the delicate flavours of macarons, fruit tartlets, and madeleines beautifully, enhancing the sweetness of the pastries without overpowering them.

    • Iced Tea

    Infuse black tea with fresh fruits such as berries and serve it over ice for a refreshing beverage option. The fruity sweetness of the tea pairs well with the savoury and sweet flavours of your tea party spread, offering a respite from the indulgent treats.

    • French Press or Espresso

    Conclude your tea party on a high note with a French press coffee or espresso served alongside chocolate-based desserts. The bold, rich flavours of the coffee complement the decadent sweetness of the desserts, creating a satisfying and indulgent finale to your culinary journey.

    • Juices

    For a non-caffeinated option, consider offering a selection of freshly squeezed fruit juices. Citrus juices like orange or grapefruit can provide a zesty contrast to the rich flavours of your pastries, while apple or pear juices offer a sweeter, more mellow option. 

    Questions About French-Inspired Afternoon Tea Parties

    1. Where can I find French pastries and desserts in Singapore?

    There are many French patisseries and boulangeries in Singapore that offer a wide selection of French treats. If you’re not a baker and wish to purchase them, you can head down to any of these stores to buy them off the shelf, or better yet, order a dessert box delivery from Délifrance. 

    2. Are there vegetarian or halal French pastries and desserts? 

    Yes, there are options for both vegetarian and halal French pastries and desserts. At Délifrance, we offer a variety of halal party platters and dessert boxes for you to choose from.

    3. How much food should I prepare for a French afternoon tea?

    The amount of food to prepare for a French afternoon tea depends on the number of guests and their appetites, but typically, a selection of three to five pastries, sandwiches, or sweets for each person should suffice.

    4. What kind of food should there be at a French tea party?

    A French tea party typically includes a variety of pastries like macarons, éclairs, madeleines, and financiers, along with finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and perhaps some savoury quiches or tarts. Tea, of course, is essential, served with milk or lemon according to preference.


    Platter of French pastries and desserts


    From the enchanting decorations and carefully curated table settings to the delectable pastries and aromatic teas, every element contributes to creating an authentic French ambience that can transport your guests to the streets of Paris or the idyllic countryside of Provence. 

    Savour the art of French tea time with Délifrance. For over 30 years, Délifrance Singapore has dedicated itself to bringing a taste of Paris closer to home with our aromatic coffee and authentic French delicacies. Choose from our variety of halal party platters to create your own French tea party and cater to every dietary requirement. Bon appetit!