My Style Stories

Traditional British Afternoon Tea

a very British afternoon tea

traditional afternoon tea selections

There is no more quintessential British ritual than the ceremony and serving of Afternoon tea. This traditional English custom is believed to have begun back in mid-1840s by Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. During this time, it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o’clock in the evening. The long afternoon with no refreshment at all left people feeling very hungry, the solution for the Duchess was a pot of tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey, and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London. Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all fashionable society would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea, sometimes entertainment was provided but more often it was simply conversation and a little idle gossip over tea and cakes. The taking of tea gradually spread from the home and out into society in general. Tea parties became the norm and tea rooms, and tea gardens quickly sprang up everywhere. Nowadays, traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves, and of course, miniature cakes and pastries. In an average suburban home, afternoon tea means biscuit or a slice of cake and a cup of tea.

origin of traditional afternoon tea

vintage tea

vintage vibe

how to style vintage

In this outfit post, I wore a peach with white polkadot vintage style dress I bought from a carboot sale. The bag was a Christmas present from my grandma in law, shoes from H&M and sunnies from Asos. And oh, that cute little teacup ring was purchased from a vintage festival I’ve been to last year.

styling a vintage dress

outfit for afternoon tea

I have been living in the UK for seven years now, and it has been a privileged to have been indulging in this unique British tradition. I have been to London’s finest, The Ritz Hotel and Betty’s tearoom in Harrogate,  both are known to provide the most quintessential afternoon tea experience. Not that I go all the time to these places for my afternoon tea, as it doesn’t come cheap… but I thoroughly recommend it to tick off your bucket list if you’re visiting the UK, or as a treat for someone special on a special occasion maybe.

The Ritz Hotel afternoon tea experince

-The Ritz Hotel Afternoon Tea Experience-

Bettys Afternoon Tea experience

-My Betty’s Afternoon Tea Experience-

There’s nothing quiet like a nice cup of tea and biscuit (or cake!) in the afternoon, sometimes I even have it earlier… mid-morning LOL!

black and white photography

Lots of love,

Chew - My Style Stories

and Thanks Ahlea for taking the photos x

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