In my mind, if you're going to go to the trouble of doing afternoon tea, you should make sure it's as pretty as possible. And you should ALWAYS include macarons and finger sandwiches.
I selected items from three different collections to style the dining table:
Montauk, is brand new, and has a lovely relief rope motif, and is the prettiest off-white porcelain. The collection includes these oval side plates, which I think are just the perfect mini platter size. Platters are often too big for smaller gatherings, so I end up using plates instead (and then not having enough plates!), but these are spot-on for fruit, and of course, the aforementioned macarons and finger sandwiches. They're also perfect for cold-cuts, olives, pickles and cheeses.
The cups and saucers are so pretty with fresh mint tea, and I've added the Boston pink crystal glass tumblers (filled with fresh lemonade no less), into the mix to stop everything being too matchy, to give setting a more casual look, and of course to add a pop of colour.
And speaking of pink glass, the Coloured DeLight collection has some absolute beauties. My new favourite vase, which also doubles as a hurricane lantern, is the prettiest 'noble rose' colour, and has actually reinvigorated my love of fresh flowers.
I'd been consistently favouring muted greenery over blousy blooms, but this vase was just crying out for the latter! I filled it with pink and white tulips, sweet peas and ranunculus. So pretty! The only problem is that it seems that Cleo the kitten is quite the flower fan too, which I discovered after leaving the vase on the table unattended, only to return to a sheepish looking kitten, and lots of beheaded flowers! So I will have to keep fresh flowers on the bench where she can't get to them for the foreseeable, but I can cope with that, and the vase brightens up any space, and actually looks fab in my otherwise mostly monochrome kitchen.
Another favourite are these gorgeous little tea light holders also from the Coloured DeLight collection, which I have chosen in clear and 'berry fantasy'. A different pink to the vase and the tumblers, but they all look so pretty together. These also make the sweetest little bud-vases, and again the glass is thick and heavy - such great quality, as you would expect from Villeroy & Boch.
I really am quite taken with all these pieces, and in case you're wondering, I most definitely DID eat and drink the props, and the macarons (rose, vanilla and tonka) were delicious, as were the smoked salmon, cream cheese and cucumber sandwiches. What is it about a sandwich with the crusts cut off that make them so good?! Answers on a postcard. Or in the comments below...
I'd also love to know what your favourite pieces are, and what food just has to be on your fantasy afternoon tea table?
This post is in collaboration with Villeroy & Boch.