The tradition of afternoon tea first began in the mid-19th century, when Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford found herself always hungry between her mid-day lunch and fashionably late dinners. She began to request sandwiches and cakes as a late afternoon snack and then started to invite friends to join her for this novel event. The idea spread through fashionable society, a new meal was born and its popularity has continued to grow to the present day.
In honour of this great British tradition, it's National Afternoon Tea week this week, so we thought we'd share a nice selection of recipes from the web to help you enjoy it to the full. Just remember to only do it once in a while; stopping work for an hour at 4pm every day for sandwiches, cakes, scones and tea probably isn't going to go down too well with your boss, and it'll likely be even worse for your waistline.
The ever wonderful Jamie Oliver has a host of recipes for afternoon tea here. Everything from cakes, buns, muffins and biscuits through to savoury treats like scotch eggs and breads.
This selection of recipes will leave you drooling, with a wide range of interesting ingredients, flavours and textures on offer to really mix up your diet.
If you fancy a more savoury scone, this cheese and pickled celery option from Great British Chefs may be more your thing.
You may of course want to put on a fancy spread, maybe the queen is coming to visit, or your mother-in-law! Whoever it is you're keen to impress, here are a few options fit for royalty:
- try these fancy salmon sandwich stacks from Good Housekeeping magazine
- or this range of healthy afternoon tea recipes designed for a queen from Body and Soul
Twinings tea also have some helpful tips on how to stay balanced whilst indulging in a few of your favourite treats.
Whatever you choose, remember the golden rules, keep it balanced and enjoy it to the full!