Monday 10th through to Sunday 16th August is Afternoon Tea Week. These seven days celebrate a famous British tradition that travels back centuries! Whether you go out to enjoy afternoon tea or savour in it at home, it’s a great way to wind down and relax either alone or in a group. But how did afternoon tea originate and why is it so special to us Brits? Coinadrink Limited takes a look.
When did afternoon tea originate?
Tea first appeared in Great Britain back in the mid 1600’s, but the concept of afternoon tea arrived later in the 19th century.
It was actually 1840 that its history can be traced back to, if the story is to be believed. Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, would become hungry at around 4pm. The evening meal in her household was served rather late at around 8pm, so she asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter was brought up to her room during the late afternoon.
It was at this moment that afternoon tea first originated.
What does it entail?
And from that moment, the tradition really took off. It soon became a social affair for the upper class in particular, where women would change into long gowns and wear fancy hats and gloves.
Historically, it has always consisted of a dainty selection of sandwiches, scones, cakes and of course a pot of tea. You can still find places that stand by these traditions today, and it is a great opportunity to catch up with friends and family.
As time moves on and the world gets busier, though, the tradition has turned into somewhat of a rushed affair. A mug of tea and a biscuit may suffice now, but for true enthusiasts this will never quite cut it!
There are certain locations around the country that are believed to “do it best.” Devon, for example, is supposedly home to the some of the best scones and cream tea around, whilst places in North Wales have also forged a solid reputation.
What is the best afternoon tea you have ever had, and where was it?
10-11, Maple Leaf Industrial Estate, Bloxwich Ln, Walsall WS2 8TF