I grew up in a house where we had tea the second we got home from school (or work, if you were my parents), and right around the same time on the weekends. When it was just our family, it was a simple spread of tea, sometimes with crispy crackers, usually some sort of fruit, generally toast, and when I was a little kid, pound cake would make an appearance. When we had guests, the spread ran over with sweets, all sorts of snackable, crunchy, savory things, a cornucopia of fruit, fried treats and more.

Tea time has many connotations, but at its core, it’s just a moment to unwind. While it doesn’t have to include snacks, we’ve rounded up some tasty treats that will make a great accompaniment to whatever tea you choose. And, if you’re having nice weather, you can take your tea — hot or iced — with snacks for a pleasant end-of-day excursion to your yard, porch or nearby park. See below for our favorite tea spread ideas, and if you’re looking for something else, we’ve got even more recipes in our Recipe Finder.

Cucumber Sandwiches, pictured above. When the British colonized India, they brought cucumbers back with them, but it wasn’t until the Victorian era that the cucumbers made it into a sandwich. These are classic, with just butter and cucumber on bread. I like to add a little spicy, herby-green chutney in mine.

Alfajores (Cornstarch Cookies With Dulce de Leche). These dainty, melt-in-your mouth cookies sandwiched together with sweet dulce de leche are an afternoon treat.


Savory Cereal Snack Mix. Sharing tea time with your child? They’ll love this crunchy mix.


Madeira Cake. From “The Official Downton Abbey Cookbook” comes a cake which you might find at the family’s afternoon tea. Want a loaf cake with a striking appearance? Try this Simple Sesame Cake.


Benne Seed Crisps. These elegant cookies will make your teatime — no matter how casual — feel special.


Bhel Puri. If chai is on the menu, you might want crunchy bhel as a snack with it. You might also make equally crunchy Desi Jacks or samosas.

Almond Ricotta Bars. If you’d like an especially picturesque tea, these cakey-cookies are sure to delight. Looking for a simpler almond snack that you can share? Try Almond Biscotti.


Orange Tutti Frutti Cookies. Buttery shortbread studded with candied fruit rind? An excellent accompaniment to tea.

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