If there is one nation who has perfected the afternoon tea, it’s the English!
As Oscar Wilde so famously said: “tea is the only simple pleasure left to us.” And let’s not forget the infamous English writer Lewis Carroll, who let Alice tumble down the rabbit hole just so that she could enjoy an afternoon tea party with the Mad Hatter, March Hare and a very sleepy Dormouse.
This afternoon ritual requires nothing more than for you to take a breather from the day’s chores with a good ‘cuppa tea’ and some of your favourite light finger foods. Unlike the more stringent ‘high tea’, where you are served at the table, or seated on high backed dining chairs, an afternoon tea (generally starting at around 4pm), is an informal affair, where you happily sip away on a low, comfortable chair or sofa, enjoying the company of friends.
In South Africa, ‘Afternoon Tea’ has evolved into an occasion to be celebrated with family, to catch up with work colleagues, and for special occasions like bridal showers and stork teas.
Today we would like to offer a few of our own tips on how to set the table for afternoon tea – combining the traditions and elegance of the English, with the spirit of South Africa!
Let’s start with the most important aspect – the tea. We suggest offering a variety of teas – English breakfast, earl grey, peppermint, chamomile, fruit, and herbal – add some South African variants like rooibos and five roses. For more sophisticated flavours, and a fun twist to your afternoon tea, use tea leaves instead of teabags. With a glass infuser teapot, guests can create their own unique flavours, and watch the tea leaves infuse for the perfect cuppa!
When it comes to afternoon tea nibbles, compliment your tea display with some finger foods and light delights. We suggest a selection of open sandwiches, scones accompanied by clotted cream and a selection of jams, and of course, an abundance of pastries, petit fours and biscuits. Not only will the visuals of the food provide interest, but the delicate aromas of your teas will transport guests to their very own wonderland!
SET THE TABLE FOR AFTERNOON TEA
If your afternoon tea is a special occasion like a bridal shower, take your guests on an adventure down the rabbit hole with an “Alice in wonderland” table theme. Make them feel welcome with delicious personalised place settings using homemade cookies and icing. Add colour to your tea table with folded napkins, beautiful doilies and finish off your display with an elegant cake stand and Eetrite cake forks, teaspoons and cake servers.
“there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea” – henry james
No matter your preference to morning or afternoon tea, Eetrite has a range of beautiful teapots, cup and saucer sets and tea infusers to suit the occasion! LET’S Set the table for afternoon tea!