The idea of afternoon tea dates back to the 18th century, specifically in the 1840s when finger sandwiches, scones and cakes are served normally between 3 or 4pm.
In this short blog, we will explain how to host the perfect afternoon tea and what key components you need to ensure that your event goes off without a hitch.
The perfect afternoon tea starts with the perfect setting and that means having beautiful and delicate tableware. You will need a pretty teapot, teacups, saucers, sugar bowl and cream jug. A cake stand is also a nice touch to show off your scrumptious cakes and scones. Don't forget the all-important teaspoons! Another beautiful touch is a Crackpots tray which can stand your teapot. Our most popular of which is the Gold Chatsworth Tray. This is sure to bring some quality to the event.
Now that you have your tableware sorted, it's time to move on to the food. As we mentioned before, afternoon tea traditionally consists of finger sandwiches, scones and cakes. For the sandwiches, you can fill them with anything you like but some classic afternoon tea sandwich fillings are cucumber, salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise, and ham and mustard. Make sure to cut the crusts off! It's typical to allow 3 to 4 sandwiches per person.
For the scones, you can't go wrong with a classic plain scone or a fruit scone. A rather large bone of contention is whether to have the scone the Cornish or Devonshire way. The Cornish way is to put the cream on first and then the jam whereas the Devonshire way is to do the opposite. We say, why not try both ways and let your guests decide for themselves!
And finally, for the cakes, why not try a delicious Victoria sponge cake or some Battenberg cake? Yum!
Of course, afternoon tea wouldn't be complete without the key component - a nice cup of tea. When it comes to tea, there are so many different types to choose from. If you're not sure what kind of tea to go for, why not try a classic English Breakfast Tea or an Earl Grey?
If you're feeling a little more adventurous, you could try a Darjeeling or a Lapsang Souchong. These are both black teas but have very different flavours. Darjeeling is light and floral whereas Lapsang Souchong is smoky and intense.
It's typical to have loose tea leaves as opposed to tea bags but if you're using tea bags, make sure to use good quality ones. With loose tea, you will need a tea strainer and milk jug.
So there you have it, everything you need to know to host the perfect afternoon tea. Just remember to have fun and enjoy spending time with your friends and family!
Do you have any afternoon tea tips that you swear by? Let us know on social media using the hashtag #CrackpotsAfternoonTea! And don't forget to check out our website for all your afternoon homeware needs.
Crackpots is a company specialising in handmade trays, tissue box covers, trinket boxes and waste paper bins. Take a look around our website today for more afternoon tea inspiration!