Afternoon tea isn’t just boiling the kettle around 3pm and raiding the biscuit tin, it was introduced in the 1840s by Anna, The Duchess of Bedford. The Duchess would become hungry around 4pm, but dinner was not served in their household until later in the evening. The Duchess requested that a tray of bread, butter, tea and cake be brought up to her room in the late afternoon to ward off her hunger before dinner. This soon became routine and the Duchess began to invite friends to join her.
Creating an Occasion
The tradition spread and it was common to send announcements to friends and relatives inviting them to afternoon tea. The lady of the house would receive her guests and serve tea, sandwiches and cakes. It was a very social event. In the late 19th Century, women would dress up for the occasion wearing gowns, gloves and hats. Afternoon tea became such a fashionable pastime for the upper classes that English china manufacturers, linen manufacturers and silversmiths made items specifically for afternoon tea.
Many years later, afternoon tea is still seen as somewhat of a luxury with many restaurants and hotels offering fine dining afternoon tea experiences. To follow a traditional format, afternoon tea is often a selection of dainty food, served on elegant cake stands, delicate plates with the quintessential teapot and teacups.
Bringing High Society to Home
What if you could have all this in the comfort of your own home or garden? Hosting a small party, a special occasion or just tea for two? Anna Baker Cakes offers afternoon teas, made to order. Just as they did back in the Victorian era, entertain your guests with an array of homemade cakes, biscuits, sandwiches, scones, mini tarts and mini desserts.