Fit for the Queen, A modern Guide to Afternoon Tea


What is it about drinking tea that we love so much? Is it the novelty of drinking out of a china teacup while sticking our pinkies up? Or do we just love having a good old chin-wag over a cuppa?

Sipping on a cup of tea while perched on a big gilded armchair has always been a fine British tradition. I have to admit there is something slightly magical about drinking tea from a pretty little cup. It definitely gives you that feeling of being “proper”.

Believe it or not tea is one of the most popular drinks in the world. Research has also shown that it is actually good for you – how amazing is that!! I assume the researchers are referring to the real fresh grown tea leaves kind of teabag tea but what the heck – I better stick the kettle on…

TEA

China is actually by far the largest tea-consuming country, at 1.6 billion pounds a year. But hang on a minute just to clarify Turkey, Ireland, and the United Kingdom are home to the world’s biggest tea drinkers! (Including me of course). In general British people are very passionate about making tea. When visiting a British household you are more likely to hear “fancy a cuppa”? or “shall I pop the kettle on?” before you have even sat down.

In fact, there are so many types of tea (natural and artificial). Some of the most popular tea types are Green, Black, white, herbals and Fruity. Each person has their favorite tea flavor and their own special way of making and/or drinking it. Some people prefer black tea and some people prefer adding milk, honey or lemon. My go to everyday teas are Twinning’s English Breakfast Tea (I add milk and sugar) and Green Tea.

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British Tea cup
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Green Tea with pretty biscuit
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Just keep swimming, just keep swimming

AFTERNOON TEA

Afternoon Tea is a tea-related customary, which was actually initiated in Britain in the early 1840s. It is usually served between 3-5pm. Note: High tea in the U.S. is usually served between 5-7pm and is more of a supper like meal.

It was designed to be a light meal (actually after all those scones and mini sweet treats its not really that light – so be warned!) composed of sandwiches which normally sit on the bottom tier.

Followed by mini treats on the second tier (an assortment of small cakes and petit fours (this means small confectionary for those who don’t know – look at me being ‘posh’).

Finally the top-tier is normally filled with freshly baked warm scones served with two small pots of clotted cream and jam. My tummy is rumbling already and its only 9.30am.

Extra Facts for those who are curious…

What is a scone?

A scone is a small unsweetened (or can be lightly sweetened) biscuit-like cake. It is made from flour, fat, and milk – you can add fruit too. I personally like the plain ones. They taste the best when you slab a layer of clotted cream and jam on top. Sheesh this is a hard blog to write. British scones are very different from the American scones you’ll find in coffee shops. American scones are based on the biscuit technique. American scones also have a higher ratio of fat-to-flour than British scones do. The biggest difference is the butter! You don’t add a lot of butter to British scones. Any one interested in making a yummy home-made scone – try out this recipe:

https://www.cooksillustrated.com/recipes/7776-british-style-currant-scones

Clotted Cream – also known as Devonshire cream

All you need to know that it tastes deliciously good! Clotted cream in a nutshell is mixing butter and whipped cream together. The thick cream is made by indirectly heating full-cream milk using steam or a water bath. It is then left to cool. During this period, the cream content rises to the surface and forms “clots”. P.S. it’s very fattening but who bloody cares. It tastes too good.

Types of Sandwiches

For a proper afternoon tea sandwich, the crusts of the bread are normally removed giving the finger sandwiches that extra bit of elegance. Sandwiches are usually cut delicately into ‘fingers’ or due to the arty and posh restaurants these days, they can be moulded and rolled into any shape you like. The most popular sandwich fillings are cucumber, egg and mayo, ham and mustard and smoked salmon and cream cheese (these are just a few by the way). Yum!

Quick Note: One of my all time favorites are my Green Chutney, Cheese and Cucumber sandwiches accompanied with a cup of Masala Chai. Stayed tuned, for an up coming new blog “DIY afternoon tea parties with an Indian twist” (from my very own pre-wedding afternoon tea party).

I love Afternoon

I just adore the whole Afternoon tea experience. The ambience, sipping on tea and eating the miniature food fill me with joy. I constantly admire how beautiful everything looks and of course I take pictures from every angle (yes of course I do this). I even organized my very own Pre-wedding afternoon tea!

DeepsMak blogging with a Cuppa x

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My Pre-Wedding Afternoon Tea Party
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Kathleen’s Tea Room, NY
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Palm Court Plaza, NY

Posted by

Hi there, my name is Deepa Makwana and if you hadn’t guessed already, I LOVE all things food, travel and lifestyle. Since moving from London to New York, I have been wanting to write about my recipes and travel however I was a little afraid to share! But as my mother always says ‘if you don’t try, you will never know’. So I have finally decided to create my own little outlet on anything and everything involving things like where to eat, travels, home recipes, my fav home products or even the best shows I am watching! If I can help in any way – I have achieved my goal! Come on in and have a peak! DeepsMak x

6 thoughts on “Fit for the Queen, A modern Guide to Afternoon Tea

  1. Loved this, I had afternoon tea at the Berkeley in Knightsbridge…. Check out the menu, this season cakes are based on fashion designer’s… Pretty cool and importantly tasty. There was a huge selection of teas and what did I go for… English breakfast… Strong…dash of milk and no sugar and Andrew had earl grey. We later went tea shopping so like you am a tea lover and it has to be served in fine bone China. Question for you … Do you know the difference between Devonshire afternoon tea and Cornish afternoon tea. I do !!!

    Liked by 1 person

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