|A bit of history:
Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s.
At the 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 7th Duchess of Bedford found the solution to stem her hunger between meals with a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.
If you visit Woburn Abbey (Bedfordshire) you can try an afternoon tea as the Duchess had for 60 pounds.
Why is it called high tea?
Traditionally, the middle and lower classes would have a substantial ‘high’ tea (high,as it was served at the high dinner table) at five or six o’clock, in place of dinner, while the upper clases would have a “low” tea (low,as it eaten in low sitting room sofas) around four.
Afterwards upper clases created their own variation of high tea which included veal,salmon and fruit.
What is a traditional Afternoon tea?
A meal composed of finger sandwiches (named like this by the size of its cut): cucumber, egg mayonnaise, ham&mustard and smoked salmon, scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes.
1) FORTNUM & MASON:
For over 300 years, this Piccadilly institution has been sourcing and selling superb quality tea. In 1926 this famous grocery store was transformed into a unique department store with a restaurant that offered afternoon tea.
The restaurant has been refurbished and renamed ”The Diamond Jubilee Tea Salon” by HM the Queen on March 2012.
Don’t miss the trademark aqua-blue porcelain and its more tan 70 teas! (£34 per person)
2) THE RITZ:
At the ultimate luxury London hotel, find the most elegant of all afternoon teas, served at the opulent Palm Court where jacket and tie are mandatory for men. It is a must experience.
Don´t miss the apple scones. (£40 per person)
Claims to be the city’s first hotel, first opened in 1837. Its afteroon tea is served at its sophisticated and stylish “English Tea Room” with a clever mix of both tradition and contemporary style.
Dont miss its strawberry jam (the most delicious on earth) and his spanish maitre Andrés who will answer any queries you may have. (£38–£52.50 per person)
You will find fashionable clientele, and amazing interiors by Artists Carolyn Quartermaine and Didier Mahieu, that have created an enchanted fairy-tale forest for this bohemian luxury spot.
Don’t miss itssignature cake collection to die for. (£27 per person)
The Dorchester in Mayfair is another high-falutin’ high tea experience at its “Promenade” with well-mannered staff, delightfully luxurious surroundings, beautifully-prepared delicacies and superb teas served in fragile bone china.
Dont miss their delicate pineapple financiers on a coconut mousse (£38.50 per person)