Delicious Afternoon Tea sandwiches deserve a lot more attention than they get. It’s all fair and well indulging in sweet treats such as cakes and scones.

However, sometimes there is nothing better than savoury delights to satisfy your appetite. Which is why we’d like to show you our favourite Afternoon Tea sandwich fillings for you to try at home or on your next visit to a cafe.

The following article will give you plenty of Afternoon Tea sandwich ideas, from classic combinations to surprise sensations. These you can wash down with a nice cup of Loose Leaf Tea from The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company.

Our family-run business proudly packs its products fresh to order, thereby ensuring quality and consistency with every cuppa brewed.

Traditional Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

Traditional Afternoon Tea Sandwiches

One afternoon in 1840, Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, found herself with a rumbling tummy. Lunch had been hours ago, while dinner still seemed a long way away.

Her solution was to have an in-between meal of bread with butter, a slice of cake, and a pot of Loose Tea. And so, the idea of an Afternoon Tea was born - and it would keep getting better!

The years that followed brought about an ever-expanding range of Afternoon Tea sandwich recipes, including traditional examples such as cheese, egg, smoked salmon and ham.

These would be cut into dainty “finger” shapes, often with the crusts cut off, to fit in with the lavish style. Little has changed since. But the time has come to learn a little more about them.

Cheese Sandwiches for Afternoon Tea

Cheese Sandwiches

We’ll start by looking at vegetarian Afternoon Tea sandwiches that are all-around people pleasers. Of course, we’d be remiss if we didn’t mention one of the most popular varieties of them all: Cheese. Simple though it might be, it seldom ceases to impress.

Those wanting to jazz things up a little could consider slathering on a generous helping of pickle or adding a few slices of red onion.

Egg and Cress Sandwiches for Afternoon Tea

Egg and Cress Sandwiches

Egg sandwiches for Afternoon Tea are almost always must-have delicacies. Even more tempting, perhaps, are those with cress inside. Mayonnaise, too, is an essential factor.

Alternatively, you could rock the boat with mustard or paprika. In terms of etiquette, be aware of any guests who might not like the smell of eggs. It’s not for everyone, after all, so please be considerate with your smelly fillings! 

Smoked Salmon Sandwiches for Afternoon Tea

Smoked Salmon Sandwiches

We move on to somewhat more fancy Afternoon Tea sandwiches, looking at smoked salmon. This is the product of curing the fish with either hot or cold smoke.

It pairs extraordinarily well with cream cheese, maybe even alongside wild rocket for a bit of greenery. Anyone wanting to be adventurous could even go as far as a couple of slices of avocado - a millennial’s dream come true!

Ham Sandwich Ideas for Afternoon Tea

Ham Sandwich Ideas

Undoubtedly one of the best Afternoon Tea sandwiches for meat lovers is the textbook ham sandwich. Like cheese, it is simple yet wholesome, understated yet forever enticing.

Are you interested in a match made in heaven? Get that pot of mustard out of the cupboard! Step aside, When Harry Met Sally, there’s a new couple in town. Hopefully, it goes without saying, but, just in case, it isn’t suitable for vegetarians. 

Cucumber Sandwiches

Cucumber Sandwiches

Okay, we admit that it isn’t exactly a dramatic twist to start, but it’s no less a heavenly-tasting one! The reason it has an honourable mention as a vegetarian sandwich filling for Afternoon Tea is down to its sheer versatility. Indeed, you’d be hard-pressed to find a more refreshingly light accompaniment to the likes of cream cheese, salami, turkey, or, if the mood takes you, Marmite! 

Coronation Chicken

Coronation Chicken Sandwiches

Now we’re heading a little further into “out there” territory with coronation chicken sandwiches for Afternoon Tea. This much-loved creation dates back to 1953, having been made for a Royal banquet to celebrate the coronation of Queen Elizabeth II.

Its ingredients include chicken (surprise, surprise), mayonnaise, curry powder, cinnamon, chutney and sultanas together with some black pepper seasoning.

Roast Beef and Horseradish Sandwich

Roast Beef and Horseradish Sandwiches

Yet another beloved pairing is that of roast beef and horseradish. Despite being unmistakably popular in a plethora of settings, it has rarely made the cut for Afternoon Tea sandwiches.

Consider taking it to the next level by adding cut tomatoes, wild rocket, one garlic clove, and a pinch of dried oregano. Drizzle it in a little olive oil, and you’ll never look back again.

Other Sandwich Filling Ideas for Afternoon Tea

Other Sandwich Filling Ideas for Afternoon Tea

For much of its centuries-old history, the world of Afternoon Tea finger sandwiches has stayed the same. Could it be time for a broadening of horizons?

We think so, anyway. Whether you’re a homebody or looking for an Afternoon Tea venue near you, having something a little different could breathe new life into lunch. Here is our list of other sandwich filling ideas for Afternoon Tea.

Summary to Afternoon Tea Sandwich Filling Ideas

From cheese to salmon to beef to coronation chicken, the possibilities are almost endless when it comes to Afternoon Tea sandwich filling ideas.

No such meal would be complete without the Loose Leaf Tea itself, however, so we’d recommend that you browse our vast selection. Here you will surely find the brew for you, be it Pluckley Tea, Earl Grey or even Lapsang Souchong!

Author: Richard Smith

Partner at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company

Richard Smith is a Tea expert, entrepreneur, and owner of The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company. Part of a family of renowned Tea planters dating back four generations, he was born in Calcutta (Kolkata), India, where he spent his childhood between Tea Estates in Assam and Darjeeling.

In the late 1970s, having accumulated years of knowledge in the industry, Mr Smith and his mother, Janet Smith, moved to Kent, South East England, to establish a Tea business in the village of Pluckley. Their early days of packing Tea Bags by hand from chests of 10,000 prompted the creation of the company’s flagship infusion known as Pluckley Tea. It remains our most popular product today.

Mr Smith, who studied economics at London Polytechnic, has since specialised in over 1,000 types of Loose Leaf Tea - in addition to around 70 varieties of Roast Coffee - from around the world. These are now available at The Kent and Sussex Tea and Coffee Company, where everything is still packed by hand and fresh to order, not only to honour tradition but to ensure the utmost quality and consistency.