No longer just for the social elite, Afternoon Tea is a popular past time for those that love to catch up with friends and family over a cuppa tea and a selection of bite-sized delights.
Afternoon Tea dates back to the nineteenth century, when the norm was to have just two meals per day, and many folk would find themselves a little peckish whilst waiting for dinner at eight o’ clock.
Today, it’s a frequent favourite for social circles, cosy couples and even business professionals, who enjoy a little strategy over warm, freshly baked scones.
TRADITION OR TWIST?
The format of Afternoon Tea has changed over the years. Some like to keep it traditional, others love to inject a little creativity and add a twist to the tradition.
Afternoon tea is one of the best bits of being English and at Fishmore Hall we have to admit, they do a pretty amazing one. In fact it might even be one of the best afternoon teas in Shropshire.
THE ‘PROPER’ WAY
These days, there are no hard and fast rules. So, it’s best enjoyed the way that makes you the happiest. Though, should you find yourself taking Afternoon Tea among royalty, we thought you might like to learn how traditional etiquette goes…
Sugar is placed in cup first, then thinly sliced lemon (unless you’re having milk).
Milk goes in after the tea (though many will debate this!) You won’t know how strong the tea is before pouring it into the cup, and so adding the milk last allows you to control the strength.
A light flick of the teaspoon above the cup when finished (to shake off the drips) is elegant. Bashing the spoon on the side of the cup is just pretty noisy.
Leave that pinky down.
The correct order is to eat sandwiches first, scones next and cakes last. Though the order has changed over time, as Fishmore Hall tell us many of their bguests love to enjoy their scones first while they are hot from the oven.
Tea sandwiches must have their crusts cut off, and be cut into triangles, rectangles or, as the royal household prefers, small squares.
Finger sandwiches are made small enough to be enjoyed with the hands, so cutlery isn’t necessary.
Fillings are of course, up for discussion. Though less mess is best. We love Fishmore’s Cray Fish with Marie Rose Sauce, Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese and a classic Ham and Pommery Mustard.
The Jam Or Cream Debate
There’s been much debate over which goes first… the jam, or the cream? It depends on whether you consider yourself to be more Cornish or Devonian. The Cornish are proud of their clotted cream, and so like to show it off, placing it in pride of place, on top of the jam. Devonians reportedly like their cream seeping into the softness of the warm scone below. Whichever way you top your scone, Fishmore Hall will ensure you do so with fluffy clotted cream and our homemade Red Berry Compote. Delicious!
As we say, we don’t live by the rules. So, enjoy your Afternoon Tea in whichever way suits you best. So, go ahead and have your scones before your sandwiches, and slurp your tea.
Fishmore Hall serve Afternoon Tea every day from 3pm until 5pm. Take a look at their sample menu here.
Wordsmithery by Siân | Perception Sales & Marketing