The British gave us the Beatles and fine literature, which we are all grateful for.
But there is one more thing that we cannot overlook.
Yes, we are talking about afternoon tea and sandwiches.
Tea with biscuits is fine, but most prefer those bite-sized finger sandwiches.
Tea sandwiches date back as far as the 1840s.
A famous Duchess came upon the idea to be taken as a light refreshment between lunch and dinner.
Tea sandwiches are usually long and rectangular in shape.
But you can cut them into triangular and other decorative sizes.
And remember to slice off the crusts at all times.
Tea sandwiches are a must if you are hosting a tea party.
But what if you want to brighten up your table with more snacks? Stick around to find out what to serve with tea sandwiches at your next afternoon gathering.
Why Consider Serving Side Dishes with Tea Sandwiches?
Often, you will find that your tea table looks a bit plain and simple.
It is just tea and a few pieces of those crust-free bread.
This is when you can serve several side dishes to make it work.
Offering side dishes with the sandwiches will add more color to the palate.
You want your table to be as vibrant as the noon sun.
Plus, you will have more to talk about with more snacks (because that’s what these gatherings are for, right?).
Tea sandwiches are usually sweet and have a mild taste.
Thus, you can add more flavors to various side dishes.
But you want to serve those that will not take away from the main attraction, i.e, the sandwiches.
What to Serve with Tea Sandwiches? 7 BEST Side Dishes
1 – Sponge Cake
Starting off this list, we have the simplest option.
We are talking about sponge cakes.
Every tea table is incomplete without a plain and simple sponge cake.
A light and fluffy sponge cake perfectly pair with your tea sandwiches.
Sponge cakes do not offer much in terms of flavor.
So, your sandwich will stand out more while providing variety for your taste buds.
Remember to keep the cake recipe simple.
You do not want those strong flavors from fruits and chocolate.
Traditional ingredients like flour, eggs, and sugar will provide the perfect balance.
But everything is up to you.
You can always use sweet and sour toppings if you like.
2 – Banana Flambé
It’s always nice to have something fancy on the table.
And you can do that with a banana flambé.
When you flambé a dish, you are essentially setting it on fire.
Yes, you have seen it on TV or witnessed it in fancy restaurants.
For this excellent side dish, you will use alcohol to “flame” the banana.
This dessert is an excellent pair with your tea sandwiches.
The soft and caramelized bananas offer a smoky and sweet taste.
You can even smear it between your sandwiches and enjoy it.
To make it better, you can mix the banana flambé with a dash of ice cream.
Vanilla or buttercream also works well.
3 – Fruit Salad
Fruits also play a starring role at tea parties.
You will find them in many forms.
For this list, we suggest a mixed fruit salad.
A neat bowl of fruit salad adds a splash of color to the afternoon menu.
Chop them up into little cubes, strings, and other decorative shapes.
Having fruits with your tea and sandwiches will be a breath of fresh air.
Fruits have natural juices that blend well with bread.
Get ready for a burst of flavors in your mouth.
A few classic favorites include kiwis, apples, watermelon, strawberries, etc.
Add a drizzle of fresh cream, mix well, and serve.
Your tea party will light up in an instant.
4 – Cheese Scones
Scones are a mainstay at every noon tea gathering.
In fact, they are the second favorite next to finger sandwiches.
So, why not have them both?
Scones also have a soft interior like any other bread. But they are slightly sweeter.
So if you make plain bread sandwiches, scones will add that sweet element.
Standard recipes also include cheese, dried fruits, nuts, and raisins.
They add a pleasant smell and texture.
And afternoon teas are all about fruity and “bready” aromas.
Moreover, scones are a native dish.
Both scones and tea sandwiches have British origins.
How more fitting can it get?
5 – Sweet Potato Fries
Fries with sandwiches are nothing new.
And for your next tea party, we recommend frying up a batch of sweet potato fries.
With a plate full of sweet potato fries, you can take your tea sessions to the next level.
They are crunchy and a bit savory compared to tea sandwiches.
But you might want to add less salt as you are having it with tea.
Preparing them takes next to nothing. Slice up your potatoes, and deep fry them.
Remember to serve them hot while they’re still crispy.
You can also add a splash of sweet and sour cream for more flavor.
6 – Trail Mix
Tea parties call for more sweet and nutty essences than savory ones.
A bowl of trail mix presents the perfect combination of these flavors.
You have plenty of options here.
Traditional favorites include cashews, almonds, corn flakes, and dried fruit.
But you can always experiment with different ingredients.
Serve a big bowl of this nutty and fruity goodness.
The sandwiches and trail mix combo is out of this world.
Besides, trail mix is easy to prepare, convenient, and healthy.
You can also add a touch of maple syrup and honey to enhance the taste.
7 – Lemon Bars
It’s always good to have bold flavors on the menu.
And what better to do that with than lemon bars.
Lemon bars offer a tangy option, a welcome addition, along with the sweet and buttery sides.
These bite-sized treats consist of a shortbread crust filled with lemon curd.
A tangy side dish like lemon bars makes your teas taste even better (surprisingly).
They look and feel similar to tea sandwiches as well.
Add a touch of lemon zest to make them stand out and taste even better.
You can host one or ten tea parties.
There is no limit. But choose your menu carefully.
Such gatherings call for more than a cup of tea and sandwiches.
There are hundreds of side dish options to pick from.
Make sure your guests have plenty of choices and get them rushing and confused (in a good way, of course).
Moreover, it adds to the overall experience of the party.
People will appreciate the effort that you put together everything with so much care.
It also calls for a neat photo for your next social media post or reel.
We hope this list helps you pick your next side dish/dishes for your next noon gathering.