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Afternoon Tea Around The World

Depending on a country's customs, tea can refer to any of several different meals or mealtimes. As a meal typically eaten in the afternoon or early evening, it is ubiquitous. - Our afternoon tea party around the world.

Afternoon tea at the famous Authors' Lounge, Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Afternoon tea at the famous Authors' Lounge, Oriental Hotel, Bangkok, Thailand

Afternoon tea at the famous Sofitel (Railway) Hotel, Hua Hin, Thailand

Afternoon tea at the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai


The Origins of the Afternoon Tea Party

We have to thank Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford for having the idea of asking her butler to bring tea, bread and butter to her chambers at 5pm, as she found herself a little peckish before dinner, and soon started inviting her friends to join her in her sitting room for this new social event. Eventually, the beverage tea became generally affordable and the growing middle class imitated the rich and found that the meal tea was a very economical way of entertaining several friends without having to spend too much money, and afternoon tea quickly became the very popular if not the norm in the middle classes and transferred itself around the world with the British Empire. Today afternoon tea can include the option of coffee as the beverage for those who don't take tea!

Afternoon tea is a light meal typically eaten between 3pm and 5pm and although it originated in the UK, though various places that used to be part of the former British Empire, or where Britain had influence, also have such a meal. However, changes in social customs and working hours mean that most Britons only take afternoon tea on high days, holidays or special, formal occasions such as birthdays or anniversaries.


Afternoon tea at the famous Sofitel (Railway) Hotel, Hua Hin, ThailandTraditionally, loose tea would be served in a teapot steeped in boiling water with milk and sugar as an accompaniment. This would be presented with various sandwiches, customarily with light savoury fillings, typically of cucumber, egg and cress, fish paste, ham, and smoked salmon, scones may also be served with butter, clotted cream and jam, usually strawberry jam together with small, 'fairy' cakes or cake slices and sweet pastries. Popular versions may include Battenberg cake, fruit cake or a Victoria sponge cake. The food would be often served on a tiered stand or stands.

An afternoon tea consisting of a pot of tea, scones, butter, clotted cream and jam are known as Cream Teas, sometimes referred to as "Devonshire or Cornish Tea".



Whilst afternoon tea used to be an everyday event, nowadays it is more likely to be taken as a treat in a hotel, café, or tea shop, although many Brits still have a cup of tea and slice of cake or chocolate at teatime. In recent years as the afternoon tea has become a treat or occasion, many hotels now market an upmarket version 'The Champagne Cream Tea'.

Without anything added to it, tea has no calories! So technically that means you’re entitled to another of those cream cakes.

TMUK apologise for the repetition of some place or proper names with different
spellings, but where this happens there is either no definitive spelling translation
of these words or the place is known by different names by different peoples.

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Afternoon tea at the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

Afternoon tea at the famous Sofitel (Railway) Hotel, Hua Hin, Thailand

Afternoon tea at the famous Burj Al Arab Hotel, Dubai

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