Sunday, 5 March 2017

How to put together the best Afternoon Tea

I've been out for my fair share of afternoon tea. I've tried the fancy establishments, the casual and the unusual. I love the ritual of venturing out to enjoy copious amounts of tea, filling up on sandwiches and scones and finishing with sickly treats. I know some don't 'get' afternoon tea and that's fine but I like chilling out for a few hours with some delicious grub and a warm cuppa.

Recently I went for afternoon tea at a local venue and was so deeply disappointed. I try not to be an afternoon tea snob, but I'm afraid that's what I've turned into. Following this, I wanted to lay out what I would say makes the best afternoon tea experience.

1. The first is the most important in my eyes. There must be unlimited tea. I don't like to go out to afternoon tea, be handed a cup of tea and then after I've slurped that, be told I need to purchase another. No, thank you. I need a teapot full, will additional hot water, and if this runs out I want to know I'm okay to ask for more. To be honest, it's the cheapest part of the afternoon tea, so why shouldn't we have as much as we want?

afternoon tea elements

2. Fresh sandwiches with flexibility in the fillings. There is nothing worse than getting to your booked afternoon tea and discovering it features sandwiches you despise but you can't change it because they were pre-made hours ago. I think there should always be an option to change the sandwiches if you like as it's your afternoon tea. I'm not saying that they should let you have egg mayo even if it's not an option, but maybe to double up on sandwiches you like and ditch the ones you don't. This also ensures that the sandwiches are freshly made and haven't been sitting around getting soggy developing crusty edges.

afternoon tea elements

3. Warm, homemade scones with the fillings on the side. Having a toasty, freshly-made scone arrive on your platter is the dream. It just adds that little extra to your afternoon tea which makes you feel giddy inside. Leaving the jam, cream (and butter if you're like me) on the side is an absolute must. There is enough controversy around what goes first, the jam or the cream, that you can't be deciding that for people. Also, how do you know how someone likes their scone? I don't like cream so if I see a scone already filled up coming my way, I feel sorely disappointed.

afternoon tea elements
afternoon tea elements

4. Cake. Cake. Cake. Having a good cake selection is a must. I love to see at least three different cakes adorning the top tier of the platter. The variety just adds options to the afternoon tea and ensures that people will like a bigger majority of the cakes available. Also, there must be one of each available for everyone partaking in afternoon tea. Making people fight over cake is a no-go. This is a relaxing past time which I don't want spoiling when someone takes the last piece of chocolate cake and I'm left with Victoria sponge cake!

afternoon tea elements

This may sound a little over the top, but for people who enjoy afternoon tea, I think we all understand the elements that go together to make the best ones.

Who else agrees with my points and what other musts are there for a great afternoon tea?


  1. I couldnt agree with you more!
    Its annoying when they pre-top your scones, but running out of tea and havign to pay for more makes me genuinely a bit cross!

    1. Isn't it just! I want to enjoy afternoon tea not get angry when I can't have more tea!


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