Friday, May 13, 2022

Afternoon tea

Afternoon tea time is around 4PM, between lunch and dinner. Afternoon Tea was initially developed as a private social event for ladies who climbed the echelons of society. Due to increasing urbanization and the rise in industrialization (including the spread of gas lighting in England), the evening meal was becoming later and later.

The concept of afternoon tea started in England in the 1840s when The Duchess of Bedford wanted a small bite between lunch and dinner. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner.

She requested that some tea, bread and butter and cake was brought to her room in the late afternoon – and with that one request of a lady’s grumbling stomach, an afternoon ritual was born.

The popularity grew then she started inviting her 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, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for "tea and a walking the fields."

Lifelong friend Queen Victoria loved the idea and began to enjoy having light cake with buttercream and fresh raspberries – later known as Victoria sponge – to accompany her precious cup of tea.

During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.
Afternoon tea

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