The Tea Sandwiches

Tea sandwiches are just much a part of a tea party as are the scones. Both go together very well. Originally, both the scones and the tea sandwiches were kept very basic and simple. When tea sandwiches were first introduced to the afternoon teas, they were butter bread and very thinly sliced cucumbers, and that’s it. Both the scones and the tea sandwiches have come a long way since their simple beginnings.

In a traditional tea, the crusts are cut off the bread. The crusts are removed to help eliminate the unnecessary filling when there are plenty of cakes and other goodies offered that we want to enjoy as well. I confess, this time I did not cut the crusts off my sandwiches, which was brought to my attention by a well-loved, British friend of mine who will remain unnamed, because there was going to be too much waste, but normally I do. πŸ™‚

The tea sandwiches were typically the first course of a three course tea, served along with baked goods such as scones and sweets like tartlets or chocolate. Our tea party certainly met all the requirements to be labeled as a ‘traditional tea”. We had scones, we had tea sandwiches, we had scones, we had Devonshire clotted cream, we had a variety of different cakes and sweets, and we had chocolate. And of course we had a wide variety of different teas as well. Today, there really aren’t any rules, other than they must be small, bite-sized little sandwiches and nibblies.

I made two kinds of little tea sandwiches for our tea. I made egg salad sandwiches and open-faced cucumber sandwiches with herbed cream cheese and smoked salmon.

I had a little Valentine’s day them going on for the tea, so I cut my egg salad sandwiches into little hearts with a heart shaped cookie cutter.

Egg Salad

6 hard boiled eggs

1 cup mayonnaise

1 TBSP Dijon mustard

salt & white pepper to taste

1 TBSP chives, cut very small

1 TBSP fresh parsley, chopped fine

thinly sliced bread of your choice, crusts removed


I have found for boiling the eggs, this is the best, tried and true method. I NEVER vary from this. Fill a saucepan with the eggs, cover the eggs with water and about 1 TBSP of vinegar. Bring to a full rapid boil, and let boil for 12 minutes – 12 MINUTES ONLY. Then discard the water and let them soak in cold water for a few minutes before peeling.

Once the eggs are done, and peeled, chop them.

Combine all the ingredients then add to the eggs, and gently fold in together.

Butter the bread on both sides with a very light spread of butter to help prevent it from getting soggy. Them add the egg salad and cut into the shapes.

The triangles are the other parts of the sandwiches. They had to be used too. Waste not, want not you know.

The cucumber and salmon sandwiches were just as easy to make as the egg salad sandwiches. I purposely used two different kinds of bread for the different sandwiches.

Cucumber Salmon Sandwiches

I used the small pumpernickel bread slices, herbed cream cheese, smoked salmon, English cucumber sliced very thin, and fresh dill.

Again, spread the cream cheese in a very thin layer. Cut the cucumber slices very thin and add on top of the cream cheese, then add very thinly sliced salmon on top. Top each sandwich with a tiny sprig of fresh dill.

I ran out of salmon, which is ironic because at first, I thought I bought too much, so I actually had a few traditional cucumber tea sandwiches, that were not planned, but just happened.

For tea parties today, you can make them as simple or as fancy as you like. The only rules are just to keep everything small and bite-sized, and make them pretty. Serve a selection of tea sandwiches, scones, Devonshire clotted cream, tea cakes and chocolate, and you will have a perfect tea every time.

Have a great day and make everyday great. Stay safe and stay well Everyone. ‘Til next time.


Author: ajeanneinthekitchen

I have worked in the restaurant and catering industry for over 35 years. I attended 2 culinary schools in Southern California, and have a degree in culinary arts from the Southern California School of Culinary Arts, as well as a few other degrees in other areas. I love to cook and I love to feed people.

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