Dolphin Square SW1
 

The Anatomy of Afternoon Tea

There aren’t many people in the UK/world that don’t enjoy a spot of afternoon tea.  Whether it’s the practice of taking time out to sit down and enjoy the art of conversation over a delicate brew or the tower of sweets and finger sandwiches that get you salivating, the quintessentially British tradition of afternoon tea holds a place close to many peoples hearts.

flickr courtesy of jon smith.

There is however a lot of confusion about Afternoon Tea and High tea. The only similarity between the two is that tea is offered at both; otherwise, they could not be more different.

dolphin afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is taken (not eaten) between three and 4.30pm. According to the Tea Council Anna 7th Duchess of Bedford is mistakenly credited with inventing afternoon tea but its origins are more humble than everyone thinks.

flickr courtesy of Brian Harrington Spier

Back in the middle Ages aka from the 5th to the 15th century, people relied on natural light only for everything, including meal times. The usual occurrence included two meals per day, one at 10 to 11 am called dinner and one at sunset called supper. However (this is where it gets good), when Humphry Davy  created artificial light and then Thomas Edison took commercial glory for it and made it available to the masses, the rich began to take their evening meal later and later subsequently following in the French footsteps and calling it dinner. This then left a long gap between what became lunch and dinner. Ladies then thought it proper to have a cup of tea and usually a cake or something sweet at around 3pm to stave off any hunger inbetween meals known formerly as Tea Parties.  

flickr courtesy of anneh632

Tea Parties became so popular amongst the upper-class that the women took it upon themselves to regularly invite their friends round and hold these sugar infested events as a means to pass time and socialise whilst their men were out at Business in the city, attending to their estates, in The House (Parliament), or ruling the Empire!

flickr courtesy of Anyaka

Like our NEW! Afternoon Tea we are serving (introducing picture 1 of this blog post) traditional Afternoon Tea is usually comprised of  tiny triangles of cucumber sandwiches made with the thinnest of slices of bread without any crusts, miniature scones 1inch in diameter, slivers of feather light sponge cake and more.

Fun fact from us; Ladies took tea was always served at  low occasional tables, hence its other name “low tea”

flickr courtesy of Ewan-M

For a touch of true elegance and spot of quintessentially British Afternoon tea, head down to Dolphin Square, where you can emerse yourself in delicacy and sweet toothed delight including use of gym, sauna, steam room and indoor swimming pool from 10:00am, a choice of 25min treatment (up to the value of £42) at The Spa at 12:00pm  and delicious traditional afternoon tea at Bar & Grill at 2pm.

To book and find out more click here

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