The Queen’s Favorite Smoked Salmon And Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

In honor of Queen Elizabeth after her passing, I believe these lovely little Smoked Salmon And Cucumber Tea Sandwiches are a lovely way to pay our respect.

Wooden platter of The Queen's Favorite Smoked Salmon And Cucumber Tea Sandwiches cut into triangles and stacked decoratively.

Egg Salad Finger Sandwiches, Country Ham And Biscuits, Fresh Strawberry Scones, Classic Strawberry Jam, Pumpkin Spice Madeleines, Sunny Lemon Cheese Tartlets, and Individual Cream Cheese Pound Cakes make for a gorgeous and delicious tea menu that’s full of fresh flavors and textures. Grab a box of Earl Grey tea and your British tea is fit for a queen!

This menu is also a great way to celebrate Mother’s Day or a Bridal Shower.

The Queen took tea every afternoon between 3 and 5 o’clock. It’s said that she preferred tea sandwiches, without crusts, cut into rectangles or ‘jam pennies’, which are marmalade or raspberry jam spread onto white bread and cut into circles the size of an English penny. 

She also liked scones, clotted cream, jam, and always something sweet – often chocolate, which she adored.

What Are Tea Sandwiches?

Tea sandwiches are small, delicate sandwiches that are served in the mid to late afternoon during ‘tea service’ to satisfy hunger until dinner.

These dainty two-bite sandwiches have been around since the late 1700s when they were popularized by the 4th Earl Of Sandwich, John Montagu, as an easy party snack.

Closeup of Wooden platter of The Queen's Favorite Smoked Salmon And Cucumber Tea Sandwiches cut into triangles and stacked decoratively.

Tips For Choosing And Making Perfect Tea Sandwiches

Popular tea sandwich fillings include pimento cheese; roast beef and horseradish; ham and swiss;  tuna, chicken, egg, or shrimp salad; roasted vegetable and cream cheese; or even buffalo chicken and cream cheese. Let your imagination go wild. You’ll have success with just a few tips!

  • Keep them small. A tea sandwich should be dainty and no more than 3 or 4 bites at the most.
  • Use good quality white or wheat bread – very fresh, thinly sliced, and crusts removed.
  • Tea sandwiches are served ‘family style’ so the fillings can’t be too ‘wet or saucy’ or the bread will become soggy.
  • When planning your tea party, figure four (4) finger sandwiches per person.
  • Keep fillings and the bread proportional. The bread is thin, so keep your fillings thin as well.
  • Don’t add messy ingredients like pickles, tomato, or lettuce to the sandwich. They should be easy to eat with one hand.
  • Be sure that the sandwiches are well seasoned. The spread, be it cream cheese or mayonnaise, should be seasoned with salt, pepper, or herbs. Any meats or cheeses should also be flavorful on their own. Each layer of flavor adds to the sandwich.
  • Use a sharp knife to cut the sandwiches and wipe the knife after each cut to ensure the slices are clean and neat.
  • Arrange them attractively on a tray or serving platter so that they look pretty. Presentation is important, especially for tea service.

Glass bowl of herbed cream cheese with a bowl of minced chives on the side.

Ingredients Needed

For the best results, use the best ingredients that you can find or afford. Each element adds significantly to the sandwich.

  • Cream cheese – I used full-fat Philadelphia cream cheese.
  • Fresh dill weed and fresh chives
  • Lemon
  • Salt and pepper
  • Thin sandwich bread – I like using Pepperidge Farm Thin White or Thin Wheat. Be sure that it’s very fresh.
  • Smoked salmon – if you have one in your neighborhood, it’s worth a trip to the local Kosher deli. If not, there are some pretty good brands in the grocery store. You may want to do a taste test to determine which one you like most.
  • English cucumber

Wooden platter of The Queen's Favorite Smoked Salmon And Cucumber Tea Sandwiches cut into triangles and stacked decoratively.

Steps To Make This Recipe

  1. Whip together all of the ingredients for the herbed cream cheese.
  2. Spread half of the bread with ½ of the cream cheese mixture.
  3. Top with either smoked salmon or English cucumber slices in an even layer.
  4. Spread the remaining slices of bread with the remaining cream cheese. 
  5. Place the bread cheese side down, on top of the fillings. Press down lightly.
  6. Cut off the crusts and slice each sandwich diagonally in half.
  7. Arrange on a serving platter or tray.

The Queen’s Favorite Smoked Salmon And Cucumber Tea Sandwiches

Queen Elizabeth’s favorite smoked salmon and cucumber tea sandwiches with homemade herbed cream cheese in honor of her passing.

  • Author: Millie Brinkley
  • Prep Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 20 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Main Dish
  • Method: Assemble
  • Cuisine: British



8 ounces cream cheese, room temperature

1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh dill

1 tablespoon very finely minced fresh chives

Juice of ½ lemon

Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

16 slices of thin white sandwich bread (I used Pepperidge Farms Thin White)

8 ounces smoked salmon

1 English cucumber, unpeeled and sliced very thin


Make the herbed cream cheese.

In a medium bowl, beat together the cream cheese, dill, chives, and lemon juice until light and fluffy.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. Set aside.

Assemble the sandwiches.

Lie 4 slices of bread on a flat surface.

Spread one-quarter of the cream cheese among the bread slices.

Layer one or two slices on each bread slice, pressing it gently into the cream cheese.

Spread another quarter of the cream cheese mixture in an even layer on four more slices of bread.

Gently press them, cheese side down on top of the salmon.

Use a sharp knife to slice off the crusts and diagonally cut each sandwich in half.

Arrange on a plate.

Make the cucumber sandwiches.

Lightly toast eight slices of bread. Cool completely.

To assemble the sandwiches, repeat the process of spreading half of the remaining cream cheese over four slices of bread.

Arrange a thin layer of cucumber over the cream cheese.

Spread the remaining cream cheese on the last four slices of bread and top, cheese side down, on the cucumber.

Cut off the crusts and cut in half diagonally.

Arrange on serving platters.

Keywords: Queen's favorite smoked salmon and cucumber tea sandwiches, tea sandwich recipes, smoked salmon and cream cheese, cucumber sandwiches, finger sandwiches, classic English tea, British tea, tea party food, tea party recipes