This charming ritual can provide an opportunity to spend a relaxed afternoon with close friends. Afternoon tea is served between 3:00 pm and 5:00 pm. To follow the English tradition, there are three distinct courses: Sandwiches, scones and sweets. The only real requirements are a teapot, pitcher of milk, sugar cubes/sugar substitute and possibly lemon. Always serve milk with tea, never cream.
The choices are limitless. Use the finest china and silver or more casual pieces along with festive napkins. However, strive for consistency in style so that the atmosphere is calming and harmonious. The setting can be in the living room, office, family room, patio or garden. Provide comfortable seating for your guests so they will relax and enjoy the calming experience.
Four Forms of Tea Service
According to British custom, there are four forms of the tea service.
- Afternoon Tea Three courses: Savories (Tea Sandwiches) Scones Pastries or sweets
- Cream Tea Scones served with jam and clotted cream
- Royal Tea Four Courses: Savories Scones Sweets Dessert Champagne or sherry.
- High Tea. This originated in the 19th century and includes a hearty meal along with the tea. It got its name because it was served on a high table like a dining room table.