Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten in the late afternoon, either after or instead of lunch.
The meal usually consists of sandwiches, scones, and cakes.
Afternoon tea originated in England in the 1840s, quickly becoming a popular social event.
Today, this light meal is often enjoyed as a casual affair at home or on a picnic blanket in the park.
It can also be a more formal occasion, complete with table linens, china, and Sterling silver.
Regardless of the setting, this is an English tradition that is perfect for any summer day.
Booking Tea At Stanmer House
We’d be delighted to welcome you to Stanmer House to enjoy your very own traditional afternoon tea.
To make a booking simply reserve a table online or give us a call on 01273 977667.
The Origins of Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is a British tradition that dates back to the early 1800s.
While the exact origins of the meal are uncertain we do know that it was Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who is credited with making it fashionable.
In those days, tea was typically served with cake or sandwiches in the late afternoon to stave off hunger until dinner was served at 8pm.
The Victorian Era and Afternoon Tea
By the mid-19th century, afternoon had become an important social ritual for the upper classes in Britain.
At this time, most people worked long hours and dinner was often not served until 8pm or later.
As a result, many people began to experience “afternoon slump” around 4pm.
In order to combat this fatigue, Duchess Anna began inviting friends to Woburn Abbey for sandwiches and cake in the late afternoon.
As the trend became more and more popular, tea rooms began to pop up all over Britain.
These establishments offered a wide variety of teas as well as dainty sandwiches and cakes.
High society ladies would often gather at these tea rooms to gossip and show off their latest fashions.
How People Enjoy Taking Tea In The Modern Day
The popularity of this meal has enjoyed a resurgence in the past few years and is still enjoyed by many people across the UK.
If you’re interested in trying it out for yourself, there are still plenty of places to enjoy it.
Indeed, some of the most famous locations in London still offer a top-class tea service and these remain extremely popular.
Whether you’re looking for a traditional British experience or something a little more modern, this classic meal is definitely worth trying if you never have before.
What’s Included In Afternoon Tea?
While the menu has evolved over the years, the traditional tea menu typically includes:
- a choice selection of sandwiches, often with the crust removed from the bread
- fruit, cheese or plain scones served with clotted cream and preserves
- an assortment of small cakes and pastries
These dishes are often served on tiered cake stands with a choice of coffees and different teas.
Popular sandwiches include classics like cucumber, cream cheese and salmon and dill.
A traditional English Afternoon Tea remains wildly popular to this day. Visit us at Stanmer House for the best afternoon tea Brighton has to offer.