Autumn Afternoon Tea Menu

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Sometimes rules need to be broken. I know it’s a shock to hear that from me, the keeper of the gate of teatime traditions but this is one of those times. The bounty of the autumn season’s harvest is too wonderful to ignore and adapts so deliciously to an afternoon tea menu.  And whilst breaking tradition, as I introduced at the Plaza Hotel in the 1990s, why not an afternoon tea style luncheon?  Mix and match to complement your own dietary requirements and enjoy sharing some good conversation with your loved ones and friends.

Autumn Afternoon Tea Menu

Autumn Afternoon Tea Menu



 Recipe and Photos By Ellen Easton ©2017 – 2021 All Rights Reserved

Autumn Afternoon Tea Menu


  • 2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
  • 1 large Sweet Onion, diced
  • 1 large Shallot diced
  • 2 cloves of Garlic, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of Reva’s seasoning mix*
  • 4 stalk of Celery Hearts, diced
  • 28 oz. (1.74 pounds) roasted chestnuts, sliced (organic packaged is OK)
  • Optional addition: 1 large Portobello and six white Mushrooms, pre roasted
  • ¼ cup raw roasted pumpkin seeds, plus 8 teaspoons for garnish
  • 32 oz. Bone Broth or 16 oz. if using dairy as below (Pacific Natural Organic)
  • ¼ cup Sherry and 1 Tablespoon Lea and Perrins Worchester sauce
  • Optional Additions: 3 cups nonfat Lactaid Milk or whole milk
  • (Do not use skim milk) and 6 oz. Nonfat Plain Greek Yogurt (Fage)
  • 6 leaves of fresh Sage or ½ teaspoon of ground
  • 2 sprigs of fresh Tarragon or ½ teaspoon of ground
  •  1 sprig of fresh Rosemary or ½ teaspoon of ground
  •  2 full sprigs of Lemon Thyme or ½ teaspoon of ground
  •  1 teaspoon ground Nutmeg; reserve half for the pot & half for pumpkin seeds
  •  Optional additional garnish ~Edible flowers

(*Reva Paul’s Seasoning mix: 2-1⁄2 Tablespoons onion powder, 2-1⁄2 Tablespoons garlic powder, 1 Teaspoon salt, 1 Teaspoon pepper, Place in a jar and shake until mixed.)


  • Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Place all pumpkin seeds flat on a cookie sheet lined with parchment paper or aluminum foil. Sprinkle with nutmeg. Roast 5 to 8 minutes.  Remove and set aside.
  • In a large pot place olive oil, onions, shallots and garlic, sprinkle with seasoning mix.
  • Sauté until all are translucent. Add celery, chestnuts, (roasted mushrooms) and pumpkin seeds.
  • Sauté all of the ingredients for five minutes. Add bone broth, (milk and yogurt), Sherry, Lea and Perrins, Sage, Tarragon, Rosemary, and Lemon Thyme.
  • Add the remaining nutmeg and mix all together.  Bring to a boil. Turn off the heat. Using a hand held emulsifier to puree all of the ingredients.  If too thick, add more milk or bone broth to the consistency of your liking.
  • Return to the stove, cover and simmer for thirty minutes.

Remove and either serve hot or place in an airtight container and refrigerate.  May be served chilled or reheated over a low heat.  When ready to serve add additional roasted nutmeg pumpkin seeds on top to garnish. Edible flower is optional. Yield: 8 cups


Recipe and Photos ©Ellen Easton

Autumn Afternoon Tea Menu

To turn your own favorite pound or vanilla cake recipe or mix into a piquant treat by enhancing the batter and topping with roasted pecan chai spice.  Whether in a spring pan- large or small, sheet cake cut into squares or cupcake size- all are easy to prepare in a few easy steps. Even “ as is” the roasted chai spice nuts are a delectable snack.


  • Two cups of shelled pecan halves
  • 1/8 teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, ground cardamom, ground ginger, ground glove and ground nutmeg.


  • Pre heat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
  • Place all spices into a bowl and mix together.
  • Add the pecans into the bowl.
  • Gently toss until the pecans are dusted in the chai blend.
  • Place the dusted pecans onto a Silpat covered cookie sheet.
  • Roast on the middle rack for 5 to 10 minutes.
  • Remove and allow all to cool down.
  • Take ¼ cup of roasted nuts and place into grinder or electric mixer and pulsate until finely ground.  Set aside.
  • Take another 1/4 cup of the roasted nuts and repeat for a coarsely ground consistency. Set aside.
  • Add one to two teaspoons of the ground pecans into the batter.
  • or spring-pans, spray the bottom and sides with PAM™ Baking Spray, dust the same with Domino Light Brown granulated sugar and cover with the coarsely ground nuts.
  • Add batter.
  • Place the remaining dusted halved pecans on top of the batter in any pattern of your choice and bake as per the recipe you are using.

Extra nuts will hold in the refrigerator in an airtight container for one month.

Menu, Recipes and Photos 2021©Ellen Easton ~ All Rights Reserved



  • Ellen Easton

    Ellen Easton, author of Afternoon Tea~Tips, Terms and Traditions(RED WAGON PRESS), an afternoon tea authority, lifestyle and etiquette industry leader, keynote speaker and product spokesperson, is a hospitality, design, and retail consultant whose clients have included the Waldorf=Astoria, the Plaza and Bergdorf Goodman. Easton’s family traces their tea roots to the early 1800s, when ancestors first introduced tea plants from India and China to the Colony of Ceylon, thus building one of the largest and best cultivated teas estates on the island.

1 Response

  1. Mercedes Serralles says:

    Ellen’s pictures look like paintings and her recipies make my mouth water.
    There is no limit to her talent!!!!???

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