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An English Afternoon Tea

Having a proper afternoon tea is a picture book experience. A must for anyone who wants to live the dream of romantic England fantasies, or who just likes a nice break with good food and a chat with friends. An Afternoon Tea is truly about high quality food and exquisite presentation. It is a quintessentially British ritual and the experience just feels so luxurious and comfortable at the same time.

Cream Tea describes a light meal of tea (usually with milk or cream) and scones with clotted cream and jam. An Afternoon Tea is the big thing: tea is served alongside usually a 3-tier cake stand. The bottom and largest tier features small sandwiches including cucumber sandwich which needs to be there in any good traditional afternoon tea. The second tier usually presents scones, clotted cream and strawberry jam, alongside a topic for conversation: cream first or jam first? The top tier usually holds small patisserie items such as macarons, small cakes and sweet pastries.

This is the traditional setup but of course every café, restaurant, artisan, and pastry chef can use their creativity to give the experience a unique twist. I’ve also had a tiny bowl of pumpkin and glazed onion soup served alongside the sandwiches which was lush.

An Afternoon Tea is also something that can be made at home and that looks and is indulgent while it need not be too much work. It is possible to make all food items at home of course but sometimes there just isn’t the time in a busy hectic week. Sandwiches can be prepared relatively quickly, scones and macarons or cake slices bought at a local shop. The classic tea would be a good old-fashioned Earl Grey (named after a British Prime Minister in the 1830s) but Darjeeling, Lady Grey, or Jasmine are popular too. In any form, it is a wonderful cosy break to relax and unwind. In my next post, I will talk with you about independent tea suppliers in England whose products I enjoy every day.

Now the obvious question remains to be asked: milk first or tea first? I'm a tea first kinda gal because then I can judge better how much milk I'm adding but I admit I have done it the other way a few times.

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