Cinderella Afternoon Tea at The Tea Terrace
I love a good afternoon tea. There is something about the act of getting together with loved ones over that cake tier with cakes, scones, desserts and sandwiches and tea and talking the day away that I love. As it is Afternoon Tea Week, I thought I would share with you about why Afternoon Tea as an act in itself is so fascinating, what you should look for in good afternoon tea and some of current favourites.
What is Afternoon Tea and why does it exist?
The tradition of Afternoon Tea goes back to the 1840s. It entailed having a mini meal to stave off those hunger pangs until dinner at 8pm. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is meant to have started the tradition after she complained of having a ‘sinking feeling’ in her stomach between meals. In the 1800s, meals were only eaten twice a day, breakfast and dinner at 8pm. She ordered her cook to give her a pot of tea and a light snack privately in her boudoir. Later she invited friends to join her for tea at Woburn Abbey and it proved so popular that she bought the tradition back to London.
Afternoon Tea usually consists of finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam and mini sweet pastries and desserts. Interestingly, scones were not originally a part of afternoon tea and were only introduced in the 20th century.
Afternoon Tea was became a tradition of the well off with social ladies who were attempting to climb up in society. It was only when Queen Victoria had Afternoon Tea that it turned into a ‘tea reception’ often consisting of over 200 guests, with an open invitation to come to tea between 4pm and 7pm.
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz
What makes a good afternoon tea?
Tea – It is important to ensure that a good afternoon tea has a great selection of teas, from herbal right the way through to traditional Earl Grey tea. Some hotels often have their own blends which I think is a nice touch.
Sandwiches – Though sandwiches are not often the first thing you marvel at when your afternoon tea arrives at the table, it is important. The sandwiches should made on fluffy bread with fresh ingredients in the fillings and definitely should not leave you feeling that you haven’t had a dry sandwich either.
Scones – For one of my friends, having bad scones is a BIG no no and it ruins the experience for her. Scones should be fluffy and warm when they come to the table. The clotted cream and jam have to be fresh too, to create the perfect combination!
Service – I cannot say this enough, afternoon tea is a luxury and it requires a level of service. You should be waited on, checked up on and pampered with y0ur requests. Hotels that can’t offer that level of service really should be not be serving afternoon tea.
Aladdin Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge
My favourite afternoon teas
I have been lucky to go and have afternoon tea in some of the most magical places in London. These are the afternoon teas which have all been wonderful experiences:
- Afternoon Tea at TING at The Shard
- Royal Afternoon Tea at St Ermin’s
- Afternoon Tea at sketch
- Afternoon Tea at the Ritz
- Aladdin Afternoon Tea at Cutter and Squidge
Afternoon Tea at sketch London
My review for the Aladdin Afternoon Tea is not up yet but will be up tomorrow at the start of Afternoon Tea Week. As part of the week, I will be posting up a review of a new afternoon tea every day next week so keep an eye on it.
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