If you’re a regular reader of our blog, you’ll know how much we love afternoon tea. We’ve enjoyed the British tradition all over the world, from Berlin to Shanghai; but nothing beats the feeling of afternoon tea right here in the UK. Over recent years afternoon tea has grown in popularity, not only amongst us Brits, but for the abundance of tourists who visit the country each year.
Gone are the days where only a traditional afternoon tea was on offer, as venues across the UK now provide everything from Rock ‘n’ Roll afternoon teas, to those with an alcoholic twist. One thing is for sure, when it comes to afternoon tea in the UK, there is a never ending list of places you can go to enjoy the much-loved tradition.
As part of their recent campaign, Age Co have selected a number of venues across the UK, which offer some of the country’s best afternoon teas. As well as this, they’ve also partnered with Eileen Donaghey, also known as ‘The Afternoon Tea Expert’, to understand the correct etiquette when it comes to enjoying afternoon tea.
The best UK venues for afternoon tea
Whether you’re high in the sky celebrating a special occasion with afternoon tea in London’s The Shard, or in the one of the world renowned Betty’s Cafe Tea Rooms in Yorkshire, some of the country’s best locations feature on Age Co’s afternoon tea map. If you’re looking for a regal setting in a prestigious hotel or a more laid back experience in a family-friendly setting; there’s no denying that afternoon tea is perfect for all ages and preferences.
In the midst of enjoying your delightful pastries and sandwiches, it’s probably never crossed your mind as to what the etiquette is surrounding afternoon tea. From the ‘correct’ way to stir your tea, to how a scone is supposed to be broken; here are some of Eileen Donaghey’s suggestions.
How do you stir your tea?
It’s probably correct in saying that the majority of people stir their tea in a circular motion and don’t pay much attention; but is this the correct way? According to ‘The Afternoon Tea Expert’, tea should be stirred by moving the spoon in a forwards and backwards rhythm, from a 12 o’clock to a 6 o’clock position. I’m sure just like ourselves, there’s a good chance this has come as a surprise to you.
When preparing a scone, how do you break it?
For the majority of people it would probably be between a knife and using your hands. Eileen reveals that a perfectly baked scone can be broken with your hands, although like everything, it comes down to personal preference. So, next time you go for afternoon tea, don’t be afraid to leave the knife on the table and use your hands when it comes to eating your scone.
The chances are the ‘correct’ etiquette has never even crossed your mind when it comes to afternoon tea. With hundreds of hotels, cafes and restaurants across the UK offering some of the finest afternoon tea experiences, it’s important we use this to our advantage.
We’d love to hear where your favourite place to enjoy afternoon tea is. Share your suggestions in the comments below.
Written in collaboration with Age Co.