Afternoon Tea Etiquette

Afternoon Tea was first introduced in 1840 by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. Her hunger arose around 4 o’clock yet dinner wasn’t until 8’oclock. This left a large gap between lunch and dinner and there born was Afternoon Tea. As one of the most quintessentially British activities and with Afternoon Tea week approaching, it’s only right that we provide you with the correct Afternoon Tea Etiquette.

1.)    What do I wear? During the 19th and 20th century the Tea Gown was popular amongst women when having lunch or Afternoon Tea. Whilst the garment was deemed smart but casual during that period, the style is undoubtedly a smart design for today’s fashion. Today, there is no set dress code for an Afternoon Tea but it may be a good idea to leave the trainers at home. The general theme is smart casual, men are not required to wear a jacket but why not if it’s a special occasion? Ladies, Afternoon Tea is always the perfect excuse to dress up!

2.)    Can I dunk my biscuit? As a general rule, dunking a biscuit is a big no no for the hard core Afternoon Tea go-ers. However, we at One Warwick Park Hotel won’t mind, dunk away!

3.)    How long should my tea brew? From the black teas to the 3 sugars and loads of milk teas, the strength of your tea is down to your personal preference. Different types of tea can require different brewing times, for example a black tea should brew for 1 -2 minutes whilst a herbal tea can go for 3-6 minutes. Some also say that in terms of health, the longer the brew the better. 

4.)    Milk or tea first? As time has go on, society today would be horrified to think that milk would enter a tea cup first but in fact, this was the correct order of procedure many years ago. Pouring the milk in first protected the porcelain tea cups from cracking from the hot water. As our modern day tea cups have become sturdier, this is no longer necessary. How you make your tea is up to you but today, and in many top hotels, the milk comes last. 

5.)    Pronunciation of scone Who cares? You’re hungry and just want to eat!... There is no correct way to pronounce the word. Sc-on or s-cone, the debate lives on forever.

6.)    Eating the sc-on or s-cone. Eating a scone should not require a knife. Breaking the scone is traditionally done by hand and then the butter, jam and cream can be applied by a knife.

7.)    Afternoon Tea at One Warwick Park Hotel Now you’re fully equipped for an Afternoon Tea, visit us and enjoy our delightful Afternoon Tea. Our areas to enjoy our selection of sweet and savoury treats include the stunning setting of SEVENTEEN overlooking Chapel Place, or in the comfort of The Lounge & Snug. We also have many Afternoon Tea options.

Classic Afternoon Tea: £18 per person

Prosecco Afternoon Tea: £24 per person

Champagne Afternoon Tea: £30 per person

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