There is no more quintessential British ritual than the ceremony and serving of Afternoon tea. It is believed that credit for the custom goes to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford in the early 19th century. The usual habit of serving dinner between 8 and 9 pm left the Duchess hungry and with a ‘sinking feeling’ by late afternoon. To stave off the hunger, she would order tea, bread and butter and cakes to be served in her room. Later on she would invite friends to join her at her home and the light tea was such a success the habit caught on and it seems just as popular all these years on!
When the clock strikes four everything stops for tea – well that is according to a UK tourist report that claims we love nothing better than to sit down and enjoy delicately cut sandwiches, followed by scones, buttered crumpets, fruit cake, victoria sponge, chocolate eclairs or shortbread. Afternoon tea today, can be served in very weird and wonderful ways and I love how it has been re-invented for todays market. The Mad Hatters afternoon tea (The Sanderson Hotel) takes you on an epic journey of discovery with menus hidden inside vintage books, teapots adorned with Kings and Queens and sandwich plates laiden with whimsicle culinery treats. Another favourite of mine is the Prêt-à-Portea afternoon tea at The Berkeley with its creative twist to the classic elements with cakes and pastries resembling the latest catwalk designs for the style conscious. Pure genious!
I suppose you could say that I too have taken elements of the tradtional afternoon tea and paired it with a vintage caravan to create a vintage tea caravan that is both modern for todays’ demands and yet traditonal in style.