History of Good British Afternoon Tea

History of Good British Afternoon Tea

Afternoon tea has a long British history that dates back to the 10th-century.  Served to locals helping rebuild the Abbey in Devonshire war damage of 997AD, it soon become a hospitable British tradition not only for the locals but also for visitors.

The British were known for a strong custom of tea drinking as the popular saying goes ‘there is nothing like a good British cup of tea’ and that is just so true.

Tea custom

  British Cup of Tea

Afternoon tea

The addition of scones, strawberry preserves, clotted cream, curds and butter to the tea custom, became known as afternoon tea. What started as a brand of after launch snacks has continued long after the Abbey was rebuilt. It is still believed today that the afternoon tea support workers after lunch breaks and is gradually becoming a substitute for supper because of the wealth of snacks at the table. 

Strawberry Preserves

Clotted Cream


Duchess of Bedford

Although well known to have originated from Devonshire, many counties in west of England have laid claims to creamed teas served with curds. Today’s idea however, has been made popular by the Duchess of Bedford in 18th century. She started a tradition of being served with a tray of tea, bread with fillings and cake after at 16:00 when it was the custom to serve dinner at 20:00hrs. The obvious the reason was the long hours between lunch and dinner as it was a long wait for the Duchess to have her dinner.

This habit began to find takers amongst friends who come around for the privilege as we now have this passed down as the afternoon tea today.

  • Comments
  • 0