Okay, you’re probably wondering, just what is a modern Swedish-style tea party? What makes it different from the English or French ones we all know and love? Well, for one thing, there’s the modern aspect—that distinct contemporary look with clean lines and stylized decor that the Swedes are famed for. Quite a change from the frilly, vintage styling of traditional tea parties.
While gathering ideas for you, we were immediately smitten by how an occasion like this can blend the sleek Scandinavian aesthetic with their very own folksy charm. Sounds like a stretch, right? But take a look at the decorating details we found, and you’ll see how the Swedes pull this off in style—just as you can, too! And don’t worry, we’re sharing some Scandinavian tea party fare to help you plan a sweet and savory menu as well!
1 – What a find for your tea party ware! This is the Fifi range of quality bone china from Port Meirion that we stumbled upon via The Treasure Hunter. Aren’t its mid-century silhouette and purple and lime print just so fabulously retro? And it doesn’t hurt that the set matches the kitchen tea print’s colors, too!
2 – Every country has its iconic decor piece. And for Sweden it’s their traditional Dalecarlian horse. We found these charming pastel-painted ones at Swedish Design House, carved out of pine wood and hand painted with a centuries-old pattern. Imagine surprising the birthday celebrant with one that you’ve ordered just for her!
3 – What a great way to set the theme of your gathering! A trendy mid-century style kitchen art print by Scandinavian artist Stig Lindberg is perfect for this—particularly with that piping hot cup of tea design! Pieces like this (each one signed) are available from the etsy shop handz, which ships to anywhere in the world.
4 – For a table centerpiece, pull together a striking DIY arrangement featuring dahlias. Why these flowers, in particular? Well, we happened to find out that dahlias were named after Swedish 18th century botanist Anders Dahl (how’s that for instant online trivia?). Plus the contemporary styling of this centerpiece has that Scandinavian look, which you could also recreate using the great selection of glass containers at Ikea!
5 – What’s a Swedish tea party without Swedish meatballs, of course! This particular version from Recipe Taster brings in some fascinating ingredients like almond flour, hazelnut flour, and even Chinese rice wine. Not exactly Swedish after all, then! But certainly delish-sounding!
6 – What a treat, too, if you could serve guests some luxury teas like these from Swedish tea and coffee resellers, Johan & Nyström. How cool is their eco-friendly packaging made of bamboo! We found their products featured on Below the Clouds and on notcot.org.
7 – Sweden is also known for its salmon dishes. So do consider a tempting treat like these gravlax (cured salmon) canapés we found on Wild Salmon Recipes.com. The link presents a fascinating how-to process, from curing the fresh salmon to serving it so prettily on tiny potato pancakes. But you could probably simulate this appetizer, too, with store-bought smoked salmon on gourmet crackers, topped with creme fraiche and chopped dill!
8 – Cinnamon buns are another well-loved staple in the daily Swedish ritual known as “fika.” Fika is like an extended coffee break that is held in very high regard in Sweden even today. You can inject some of that into your tea party, by serving coffee as well as tea—plus of course these scrumptious cinnamon buns using this recipe from Honest Cooking!
9 – Of course, we must include one of Sweden’s most popular confections for you to serve: the princess cake! It features layers of cake, whipped cream, and vanilla cream topped with a typical green marzipan coating dusted with icing sugar. A great recipe to follow is this one from blogs.sweden.se. Again, the green matches. Love it!