Afternoon Tea is something we hold dear to our hearts within Hand Picked Hotels, a significant part of the day rooted in British history which brings together friends and family.
There is something truly special about this quintessential tradition of which we thank Anna Maria Stanhope, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, for creating in the early 19th century; she found herself becoming peckish in the afternoon and, after asking her servant to sneak her tea and biscuits, found that it provided the perfect revitalisation.
Whilst afternoon tea has become more of a social event in which we indulge ourselves with afternoon delights and relax in the comfort of grand lounges overlooking acres of peaceful countryside, there are a number of behaviours believed to be the best way to enjoy afternoon tea.
1. How do you like your tea?
One should always prepare their preference of tea starting with sugar followed by tea and finishing with milk
2. Blended, not stirred
Tea should be blended using a gentle backward and forward motion, as if moving from 12 to 6 on a clock face
3. Starting from the bottom
You should always consume your delights starting with the bottom tier which usually presents an array of delicate finger sandwiches. Only once these have been devoured should you move onto scones…
4. Talking of scones
A scone should never need to be cut with a knife, it should be torn in half neatly by hand
5. Cornish or Devonshire?
Whether you choose to load your scone with jam followed by cream in the Cornish manner or do as they do in Devon and begin with cream topped with jam is your preference and there is no right or wrong way to do it – just make sure you don’t sandwich the scone halves back together!
6. Pinkies away
When holding your tea cup you should be sure to keep your pinkie fingers firmly with the rest and avoid letting them creep up – it can be tempting!
We'd love to invite you for tea where you are free to enjoy it however you choose!