Afternoon tea is a beloved British tradition, steeped in ritual and propriety. And to honor Wimbledon on this side of the pond, we’re showcasing this genteel daily ritual.
The custom of afternoon tea became popular in the 19th century when dinner was often served at eight. Today, tea time is a moment to gather and revive, transforming what is often a low point of the day.
In Britain, you can take your tea between matches at Wimbledon, or drink it in splendor at Claridge’s. To host a tea yourself, a silver tea service and bone china are lovely additions, but the food and the company are the main attraction.
In fact, the menu for afternoon tea hasn’t changed much since the days of Jane Austen. Delight your guests and yourself with fare as simple as delicate finger sandwiches, warm scones with jam and clotted cream … and of course, tea.
Clear and strong, the steaming “cuppa” is the centerpiece. Serve a variety from loose leaves – fragrant Earl Grey, floral Darjeeling, herbaceous green, wild rooibos – then relax and enjoy the company. Because it’s the moment of pause and act of gathering that really make the tea party so delicious.
Create a gorgeous tablescape, indoors or outside. Get inspired by ideas from our Pinterest board.