Will you be celebrating Afternoon Tea Week?
Shavonne and Andy Harris
- Credit: HARRIS
One of the many things that England is globally famous for is afternoon tea.
With so many hotels, shops and tea rooms offering beautifully stacked floating plates, is it any wonder why this great British tradition has been given a whole week in proud tribute?
From August 9-15, people across the nation can dedicate any or every day of that week to fill up on sweet treats, fresh sandwiches and a spot of tea.
What many don’t know is that this quintessential British custom originated quite locally with a young woman named Anna, who was the seventh Duchess of Bedford.
Having a long delay between lunch and dinner meant that Anna would request tea and snacks in the late afternoon and eventually would invite guests to join her giving birth to the social afternoon tea as we know it today.
To pay homage to this rich tradition, we ourselves ventured out and purchased crisp white tiered plates, a patterned ceramic tea pot and, of course, went overboard on food and bakes to pleasantly decorate our tiers.
We even made our own scones and covered them with lashings of clotted cream and jam.
- 1 Police dog helped find drugs and knife in Ramsey
- 2 Small community café in St Neots "just hanging on"
- 3 New Toolstation branch to open in Huntingdon
- 4 Three dogs including pregnant Jack Russell stolen from Wimpole kennels
- 5 Great honour for two men awarded the freedom of Huntingdon
- 6 Come and see Huntingdon's Beacon lighting ceremony for the Jubilee
- 7 Find out what's happening in Huntingdonshire for the Queen's Jubilee?
- 8 St Neots Street Food Fest promises to be "bigger and better"
- 9 Nursery rated inadequate after inspectors said safety was 'compromised'
- 10 Pupils enjoy early jubilee celebration with all things royal
We decided to keep to tradition in our choice of menu, adding a few little twists here and there and having carried out some inspirational research, it would appear that afternoon teas have evolved over the years with many establishments and creative individuals venturing on some interesting themes.
For example, a hotel in London has imaginatively created a Mad Hatter’s Tea Party theme. Another venue boasts a Charlie and the Chocolate Factory theme which includes webbed balls of candy floss.
One restaurant has devoted their idea of afternoon tea exclusively around various flavours of chicken wings!
So, while the traditional may dominate, many people have been unafraid to deviate and modernise giving rise to a wealth of new experiences.
To truly enjoy an afternoon tea, one must consider the menu thoughtfully and present with an element of sophistication and style.
Why wouldn’t you swap out the humble cucumber sandwich for a salmon blini with crème fraiche and a sprig of dill?
As well as opening your doors to a choice of tea, maybe even the mesmerising Chinese flowering tea.
Then of course, there are only two questions left to ask – scone or 'scon'? Cream first or jam?