It is a tradition that’s so quintessentially English. For me it’s a real treat and a must have when away from home. Just the idea of sitting down in beautiful surroundings to take tea, sandwiches, scones and cake, prepared and so tastefully arranged by someone else, is my secret luxury!
The idea of Afternoon Tea was first started by Anna, Duchess of Bedford in the 1830s. At the time you were only expected to have two meals a day – breakfast and dinner in the evening. The gap between meals being such a long time Her Grace complained of ‘that sinking feeling’ come 4pm. So the solution was to order tea, bread and butter and cake.
This became her regular habit and so she started to invite her friends to her rooms at Woburn Abbey during the summer season. It proved so popular that on her return to London it continued and soon society ladies were following suit. Afternoon Tea was born.
By the 1920s and 30s the practice had become the height of fashion, now luxury hotels and department stores such as Fortnum and Mason were offering the ideal place to meet with friends and par take in this social event.
Whilst times have changed a little, our love of tea, cake and vintage tea sets has not waned. My cupboards at home are full of these vintage finds. So on birthdays and high days, out they come, for life isn’t complete without Afternoon Tea!
my favourite places for afternoon tea are …..
Betty’s of Harrogate www.bettys.co.uk
The Savoy, london www.fairmont.com/savoy-london
Sharrow Bay Hotel, Ullswater www.sharrowbay.co.uk
Kinloch Lodge, Isle of Skye www.kinloch-lodge.co.uk
National Afternoon Tea Week is 10- 16th August 2015 check out you local events www.afternoonteaweek.com