Vintage Tea Party

Let’s have a tea party, delicate china teacups with silver teaspoons, a vintage teapot and pretty cake stands laden with the sweetist cakes and home made scones. Clotted cream and strawberry jam in little glass bowls, along with dainty triangles of cucumber sandwiches.

Afternoon tea became fashionable when the Duchess of Bedford, Lady Anna Maria Russell. Introduced the habit of a light snack and tea drinking in the afternoon to British high society, at the beginning of the 19th century. People generally ate only two meals a day, breakfast of ale, beef & bread and a later evening meal.

Anna had complained of a “sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. The answer to the problem of her rumbling tummy? A selection of light nibbles and a pot of tea around threeish. Friends would join her for this small afternoon meal in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. Over time, the menu evolved to include fancy cakes, bread and butter sandwiches and plates of assorted sweets.

When Anna returned to London, she invited her friends to Woburn Abbey for a sophisticated afternoon of “tea and a walking the fields”.

And that is how the ritual began spreading quickly across high society, it was normal for the upper classes to have an afternoon tea before their daily promenade in Hyde Park.

And here at Serendipity, we like to high tea at anytime of the day and with who ever comes to visit, I hope you have chance to high tea too.