We have been very busy at The Mill for the last two weeks preparing for our afternoon tea and classical recital launch. It was a lovely afternoon with a classical recital from Alison Sparrow on violin and Simon Ireson on piano accompanied by mini sandwiches, lots of cakes and of course tea, coffee and champagne. Alison was wearing the most beautiful sequinned dress and the most stunning shoes covered in diamantes and with Simon in his tuxedo it really was beautiful to watch. Check out Simon and Alison performing. They were both unbelievable and we are planning another afternoon tea classical recital very soon!
I worked very hard on getting the afternoon tea menu just right with the perfect balance of flavours and portion size. Over the next few days I want to share that menu step by step.
History of Afternoon Tea
Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. 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 solution for the Duchess was a pot a tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.
Later friends were invited to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for “tea and a walking the fields.” Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.
Classical Recital Afternoon Tea Menu
6 Finger Sandwiches – choice of ham and mustard, smoked salmon, egg and cress and cucumber on brown and white bread with crusts removed.
1 Buttermilk Scone served with homemade jam and cream
1 Mini Individual Sponge Cake
1 Edi-bug filled with homemade lemon curd
1 Lavender Shortbread Tower
1 Bakewell Slice
1 Mini french tartlet
Choice of tea’s, coffee or champagne.
Next – Lavender Shortbread Tower
- Afternoon Tea Menu … (bakewithclaire.wordpress.com)