The Check List: Mother's Day Afternoon Tea

Celebrate mom with a cup-full of appreciation.

mother's day tea
Shanna Shipin // Ikaroo

Welcome to The Check List,'s bimonthly roundup of completely fun no-obligation ways to enjoy the country. In a world of endless options, consider this your complete snapshot of must-haves.

Getting mom a thoughtful gift is always encouraged, but May 13th calls for something special! Celebrate her day with an afternoon steeped in tradition: Set the table, break out the china, and treat your mom (and the other special women in your life!) to a homemade high tea party for Mother’s Day.

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1 Tiered Cake Stand
royal albert cake stand
Courtesy of Royal Albert


The wonderful thing about tea parties is that the food should be small and simple, so you can set a seemingly lavish spread with minimal effort. Arrange your finger sandwiches on a tiered space-saving stand from Royal Albert.

2 Pastel Petits Fours
pastel petit fours
Courtesy of The Vermont Country Store


White gloves are optional, but bite-size cakes are not. Whether you're baking your own, or getting a little help, make sure the dessert is a treat for the eyes and tastebuds. Try these charming petits fours, topped with a candied pansy petal for a lovely springtime touch.

3 Glass Teapot & Warmer
Courtesy of Uncommon Goods


Your afternoon tea forecast calls for sunny skies that give way to a long night of talking, laughing, and reminiscing. Keep each cup hot with this handy glass teapot warmer that also serves as a glowing gold focal point.

4 Cherry Blossom Tea
cherry blossom tea
Courtesy of Harney & Sons


Try stocking up on tea that comes in a tin can to complement your spread. Ring in spring and pick a brew that smells as good as it looks, like this cherry blossom charmer.

5 Azalia Scarf
azalia scarf
Courtesy of Anthropologie


If your soiree is outdoors, make sure to keep mom’s shoulders warm with a light scarf she can throw on if the breeze picks up.

6 Spring Fling Flowers
spring fling flowers
Courtesy of Farmgirl Flowers


At afternoon tea, presentation is everything. You're probably already getting flowers for mom, but why not try a bouquet that serves double duty? This pretty arrangement makes for a gorgeous tea party centerpiece that she can take home once the afternoon is over.

7 Tea Cup & Saucer Set
dream and tea set
Courtesy of Modcloth


Herbal, black, green ... whatever tea mom likes, make sure it’s poured into a cup she’ll simply adore.

8 Songbird Teabag Rest
songbird teabag rest
Courtesy of Uncommon Goods


The only puckering this party needs is the kind mom lands on your cheek! Avoid the bitter taste from leaving a steeping a tea bag for too long by providing guests with a sachet rest.

9 Paper Chintz Plates
paper chintz plates
Courtesy of Etsy


Who said that "pinkies out" meant no paper plates? Make clean-up easier with these adorably dainty disposables.

10 Afternoon Tea Towel
afternoon tea towel
Courtesy of Uncommon Goods


Lay your pot o’ hot tea on an embroidered napkin that mom can hang in her kitchen year-round! This one is adorned with icons to remind her of your afternoon together.

11 Silvered Tea Spoons
silvered tea spoons
Courtesy of Anthropologie


No tea party is complete without a few silver spoons! Jazz up your fancy-but-not-too-formal affair with this stunning set.

12 Happy Day Card
happy day card
Courtesy of Anthropologie


As an alternative to a Mother’s Day card, Happy Day is a "flip-up" book that turns into a vase full of (paper) flowers. You can set it on the table once she’s done reading!

13 Pink Champagne Truffles
pink champagne truffles
Courtesy of Sur La Table


Keep the love of all-things miniature going when the party’s over by sharing these strawberry truffles as party favors. Pick a few in your mom’s favorite flavors to take to-go.

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