“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James
Before I moved to the UK, I had no proper knowledge of how important tea is here. You see, it’s more than just a beverage, it’s an institution, a whole process that requires a lot of attention to detail.
The idea of the afternoon tea started in the 1840s in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. In the late afternoon, around 4PM, the Duchess would get hungry but she didn’t want a full meal since dinner was just four hours away at 8PM.
So she started with a small snack and a cup of tea but eventually, it developed to how we know it today with small bites of tea sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and sweets. The whole concept of afternoon tea grew once she started inviting friends over and it became a social gathering for women in the wealthy social class.
People often mistake the afternoon tea, with high tea which is not the same thing. The afternoon tea, also called low tea because it’s usually served on low tables with comfortable chairs, is a light meal and it’s served between 3PM and 5 PM. High tea is more like a dinner meal and it’s usually served between 5Pm and 7PM.
Because it’s such a lovely social activity, for me, as an expat, this was the perfect opportunity to make friends and get to know more about the British lifestyle. If I had to describe the perfect day for me, then I would definitely choose to enjoy afternoon tea in Cheshire with my friends.
The afternoon tea can also be a great party theme! I mean, if you think about it, the possibilities are endless. Either you choose to make it for your daughter, mother or even yourself, the event will surely be something everyone will talk about and enjoy. Who doesn’t love a good cup of tea? And if you’re still struggling with what to get your mother for Mother’s Day this year, then here you have your answer.
If you’re still not convinced about why the afternoon tea is the perfect social activity, then take a look at the infographic below and remember, a cup of tea makes everything better!