All The Essential Elements of a British Afternoon Tea

Let's delve into the essential components that create the perfect afternoon tea experience.

3 minute read

The British afternoon tea is a time-honoured tradition that exudes elegance, charm, and indulgence. It is a delightful occasion where friends and family come together to enjoy a leisurely afternoon filled with tea, delectable treats, and captivating conversation. But what are the key elements that make a British afternoon tea truly special?

The Finest Tea

At the heart of any British afternoon tea is, of course, a selection of exquisite teas. The choice of tea is a crucial element, ranging from classic black teas like Earl Grey and English Breakfast to more delicate options such as Darjeeling or green tea. The tea should be brewed to perfection, allowing the flavours to develop fully. The rich aroma and warmth of the tea provide a comforting backdrop to the entire experience. Serve with or without milk, and be sure to provide sugar for those who like a sweeter tea.

Delicate Sandwiches

A staple of the afternoon tea, delicate finger sandwiches add a savoury touch to the occasion. Typically served on soft white bread with the crusts removed, these bite-sized creations are filled with a variety of delectable ingredients. Classics like cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill, or egg and cress are perennial favorites. Or, stick to the simple fillings like cheese and pickle, or ham and mustard.

Scones, Clotted Cream, and Jam

No British afternoon tea would be complete without scones, served warm and accompanied by clotted cream and your choice of jam. These tender, buttery delights are traditionally split open and generously slathered with clotted cream followed by a dollop of sweet strawberry jam - but all flavours are equally delightful! The scone ritual is a cherished tradition, and the interplay of flavours and textures between the scone, cream, and jam is a true delight for the palate.

Assortment of Cakes

The sweet treats on an afternoon tea tray are a visual and gastronomic delight. A selection of miniature cakes and classic biscuits add a touch of decadence to the experience. Fruit pies, luscious bakewell tarts, and fluffy cake slices are just a few examples of the delectable creations that may grace the table. Each sweet bite is to be savoured slowly, tantalizing the taste buds and creating a sense of indulgence.

Beautiful Tableware

Presentation plays a significant role in the elegance of a British afternoon tea. Beautiful teacups and saucers, delicate silverware, and elegant tablecloths create an atmosphere of sophistication and refinement. We'll understand if you don't want to crack out the best china, though, so you could always settle for some paper plates and bowls!

The essence of a British afternoon tea lies in its ability to transport you to a world of elegance, refinement, and indulgence. A well-crafted selection of teas, delicate sandwiches, warm scones, an assortment of cakes, and the finest tableware all contribute to the charm of the experience. So, gather your loved ones, steep a pot of tea, and savour the delights of a British afternoon tea, celebrating the timeless essence of this cherished tradition.

Gabby Wood profile image
Author: Gabby Wood
Gabby is British Corner Shop's very own Marketing Executive. If you follow us on social media or receive emails from us, you'll likely see…