Afternoon tea in England is a traditional affair that owes its ancestry to a young woman called Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 1800s. Anna lived at a time when two meals were the norm, an early breakfast, and an evening dinner. However, heeding to her hunger pangs, she scheduled a time for tea and a snack each afternoon in her bedroom, where it all started.
Today, many hotels around the world and in England offer permutations of this century -old tradition. Below are some of England’s best afternoon tea venues for those who want to make their high tea a grand affair.
The Ritz is a favourite place for ‘afternoon tea’ as the English call it and has been in existence since the hotel opened in 1906. The food is very much traditional with freshly cut sandwiches, warm scones accompanied by dollops of strawberry jam and clotted cream, macaroons, chocolate cake and fruit tarts.
Claridge’s – Claridge’s Art Deco is the ideal setting for their traditional afternoon tea, with an extensive range of 24 types of tea, sourced from every corner of the world. The highlight here is the raisin and apple scones accompanied by clotted cream and Marco Polo jelly.
The Ting Restaurant, Shangri-La at the Shard – experience a touch of the Orient, as you enter with the musician who plays on a Chinese guzheng zither. The Asian-inspired afternoon tea is delicious and light and features a selection of Asian favorites such as dumplings, gyoza and scones infused with Earl Grey tea and mango jam. The traditional favourites are given a subtle touch of exotic flavours. It’s easy to forget you’re in London!
Mad Hatter’s tea party – The location is disclosed by the host Christabel just before the day, adding an element of mystery. It is far from traditional afternoons teas that feature a dress-up box. A glass of fizz accompanied by neon pink egg sandwiches and glittery popcorn, brownies with beetroot dip and mini ginger and cinnamon cheesecakes, just to name a few are served.
The Delaunay – this is the place to go for Viennese Afternoon Tea. The spread includes assorted savouries, poppy seed Gugelhupf with apricot jam and whipped cream, a range of traditional Viennese cakes with a choice of teas, ice cream coupes, milkshakes, and floats.
Apart from this, there are many more new and modern tea rooms something to look forward to that make afternoon tea.
|An affair [əˈfɛː]||a tart [tɑːt]|
|an ancestry [ˈansɛstri]||extensive [ɪkˈstɛnsɪv]|
|to heed [hiːd]||a raisin [ˈreɪz(ə)n]|
|hunger pang [ˈhʌŋɡə pæŋ]||jelly [ˈdʒɛli]|
|to schedule [ˈʃɛdjuːl]||ting [tɪŋ]|
|a snack [snak]||a shard [ʃɑːd]|
|a permutation [pəːmjʊˈteɪʃ(ə)n]||to orient [ˈɔːriənt]|
|a venue [ˈvɛnjuː]||a zither [ˈzɪðə]|
|a scone [skɒn]||to feature [ˈfiːtʃə]|
|to accompany [əˈkʌmpəni]||a dumpling [ˈdʌmplɪŋ]|
|a dollop [ˈdɒləp]||to infuse [ɪnˈfjuːz]|
|to clot [klɒt]||subtle [ˈsʌt(ə)l]|
|a macaroon [ˌmakəˈruːn]||flavour [ˈfleɪvə]|