The English Tea Room

Exterior of a traditionally styled tea room: Newens, the Original Maids of Honour, Kew. The Tea Room; tea tables outside the domestic home In the latter part of the 19th century a new eating establishment began to appear, the Tea Room. The concept of the English Tea Room evolved from the implicit family values of…… Continue reading The English Tea Room

Tea, the evening meal

Tea the evening meal: Oil painting, ‘A Cottage Interior, an Old Woman Preparing Tea’, William Redmore Bigg, 1793 © Victoria and Albert Museum, London Tea, the daily meal of one social group The majority of the population in Great Britain enjoy tea as the daily evening meal. This commonplace term is used by the wage-labourers…… Continue reading Tea, the evening meal

High Tea

Balliol College Dining Hall, Oxford. Photo by DAVID ILIFF. License: CC BY-SA 3.0. High Tea growing up as a child High Tea was not an everyday meal in our family. It was a treat on Sundays evenings, having had a large Sunday Roast in the middle of the day. It was the one meal of the…… Continue reading High Tea

English Tea and polite manners

“The afternoon tea table is the same in its service whether in the tiny bandbox home of the newest bride, or in the drawing room of Mrs Worldly of Great Estates.” Emily Post, Etiquette in Society, 1922 Tea in the afternoon – the 300 year social ritual Tea, the old-fashioned ritual, still takes place in…… Continue reading English Tea and polite manners

The Cream Tea

A West Country Delicacy The Cream Tea is a regional delicacy associated with the south west England (colloquially known as The West Country). Clotted Cream is the essential ingredient of a Cream Tea. The components of a Cream Tea are very simple. Clotted Cream, a luxurious freshly-produced replacement to butter provides the unique quality of…… Continue reading The Cream Tea

Victoria Sandwich Sponge Cake

The Victoria Sandwich Cake: the classic sponge cake There has been a resurgence of interest in this deceptively simple Victoria Sandwich sponge cake in recent years. It lacks the dazzle and photogenic qualities of the highly-decorated, richly-iced cup cakes. It is only when you taste a well-made sponge cake that we can understand the skill…… Continue reading Victoria Sandwich Sponge Cake

Afternoon tea party sandwiches

Sandwiches at tea-time Sandwiches have been a strong favourite for the afternoon tea party. They are what I classify as being a variation of the staple core carbohydrate, bread. Bread and butter has been evident on the English tea table from the early 18th Century. It has remained there, in a variety of forms, to…… Continue reading Afternoon tea party sandwiches


The Scottish Scone: the ultimate quick bread I think many people forget that the scone is really a version of bread. It is a simple food that you can rustle up at the last minute if uninvited guests suddenly turn up for tea. They can be served either just with a good butter or butter…… Continue reading Scones

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