Tea Party Etiquette
Traditionally, those serving tea (or any other liquid) do so from the right, while holding the teapot in their right hand. Those being served hold the teacup in their left hand. In the interest of comfort, adjustments may be made for those who are left handed.
At a table for four or two - and in most circumstances - servers should place three-tiered trays in the center of the table. Plates are removed and passed from one guest to the next in this order: savories, scones then sweets.
When leaving the table for a brief period, the napkin is placed on the seat of the chair. At the end of the tea service, the napkin is neatly folded and placed on the table.
Scones should be eaten in bite-sized pieces. If cream or jam is desired, add to each piece as it is eaten.
A knife and fork are customarily used with open-faced sandwiches as well as cake with icing.
Milk is always added after the tea is poured. Those who do not follow this rule may be labeled with a rather unfortunate moniker: MIF (a Milk-In-First person)
Avoid staining one's teacup, blot lipstick before going to the table or wear light gloss only.
Inviting topics of conversation at tea time include the theater, movies, art, literature and travel. Topics that are verboten include health, illness, foods that are disliked and politics.