Afternoon tea: A history
Afternoon tea is a tradition that people all over the world enjoy – but just where does it originate from? It is widely held that afternoon tea began in the early 19th century, when the seventh Duchess of Bedford complained of feeling hungry in the middle of the afternoon. This was at a time when it wasn’t unusual just to dine twice a day – in the morning and the evening. As a result, she decided to have a pot of tea and a light snack in the afternoon, which has now become known as afternoon tea. Over the years, it became more common for people to join in with the drinking of tea – friends and relatives would join the Duchess and so it became a regular addition to everyday life.
Afternoon tea in the modern day
Of course, the days of the Duchess are long gone, but that’s not to say that afternoon tea has fallen by the wayside – in fact, quite the opposite! These days, afternoon tea is held in homes, hotels and coffee shops all over Australia and beyond – and it’s often considered a luxury. Whether you decide to visit a five-star hotel for an opulent afternoon tea or decide to recreate it at home, this is a ritual that really has stood the test of time.
Creating your own afternoon tea
If you’re planning on holding your own afternoon tea party, there are several ingredients you will need to make it a success. Firstly, make sure you have your tea service sets to hand – pouring from a teapot is as much a part of the ceremony as drinking the tea itself! You will also need a few cakes or pastries to keep the hunger pangs at bay and perhaps even some sandwiches. Remember that presentation is essential – follow these steps and you and your friends will dine just like the Duchess!