“The most trying hours in life are between four o’clock and the evening meal. A cup of tea at this time adds a lot of comfort and happiness.” ~Royal S. Copeland
”My dear if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.” ~ Charles Dickens
A visit to London is incomplete without a typical English afternoon tea. Freshly made sandwiches, light fluffy scones with jam and clotted cream, delicate cupcakes, handmade petit fours and selection speciality teas are just the treat you need to keep you going.
The History Of The English Afternoon Tea
The birth of the afternoon tea is ascribed to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 19th century. The custom at the time was to partake of just two meals in a day, breakfast in the morning and then dinner as late as 9pm. Understandably this left many a person feeling rather faint. The Duchess came up with the solution of pairing the popular drink of the time, tea, with a light snack such as buttered bread and cakes. This is how the quintessentially English tradition of afternoon tea was born. This was thought a grand idea and soon caught on with the fashionable set. The term ”high tea” is said to come from the height of the serving tables at which high tea was served. A “low tea” was taken just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park at around 4 o’clock. A more substantial “high tea” was taken later at around 5 or 6 o’clock in place of dinner.
The traditional English high tea has evolved over the years and now many fine establishments serve exciting variations on the theme. These include chocoholic afternoon teas and champagne afternoon teas. An English afternoon tea has also become very popular to celebrate a baby shower, bridal shower or similar special occasion.
Join us at Flemings Mayfair for the English afternoon tea of your choice.