Celebrating with an Afternoon Tea

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One of my favorite things to do is to go to an Afternoon Tea. This past weekend, Tom and I celebrated our 3rd anniversary together at the Langham Hotel in Boston, MA.

If you’re unfamiliar with Afternoon Tea, it’s an English tradition that started in the 1840’s when the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell, invited her friends over for tea and food.

These days, Afternoon Tea is a lovely meal that usually includes a pot of tea, tiny sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and petite desserts.

Going to an Afternoon Tea is one of the things that makes me feel really good. It’s a special treat that allows me to slow down, relax, and enjoy spending time with others.

Here are some photos from our Afternoon Tea.

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The Top Row (Left to Right): Cucumber and Butter Sandwich with Radishes, Lobster Sandwich
Bottom Row (Left to Right): Ham and Pickle on Brown Bread, Chicken Salad Sandwich

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Included in Photo Above: Chocolate Profiterole, Strawberry Mousse Tart, Lemon Meringue Cupcake with Blueberry, Cherry and Milk Trifle

DIY Afternoon Tea

If you’re looking to save money, I highly recommend that you host an Afternoon Tea in your home. This is something Tom and I are planning to do at some point over the summer.

If your friends enjoy dressing up, this could be an occasion that they can fancy it up for. Or if your group is more casual, have a relaxed dress code, and everyone can enjoy Afternoon Tea in casual clothes. You don’t even need to have a teapot. You could simply boil water in an electric kettle or on your stove top. If you don’t have tea cups, mugs will likely do just fine.

A DIY Afternoon Tea is a great way to spend time with your friends and take a break from the boozy bar scene. Though, if alcohol is a must, tea pairs very well with sparkling wine.

Tea Sandwich Recipes

To make sure your guests are well fed, be sure to provide them with a few kinds of tea sandwiches.

Here are some awesome recipes that I’ve found online:

Cucumber and Butter Sandwich – This is the classic Afternoon Tea sandwich. It’s surprisingly delicious for something so simple. This recipe calls for a vegetable peeler, but if you don’t have one, feel free to just thinly slice the cucumbers.

Strawberry Cream Cheese Sandwich – Who doesn’t love a sweet sandwich? Strawberries and tea go together like peanut butter and jelly.

Sharp Cheddar & Branston Pickle Sandwich – This sandwich includes a British pickled relish, made with several kinds of vegetables.

For even more suggestions, The Food Network has an extensive list of 50 Tea Sandwiches.

Scone Recipe

Finally, no Afternoon Tea is complete without a good scone. I recommend making plain ones and providing clotted cream, lemon curd, and strawberry jam. I’m going to try my hand at baking the Classic Scones Recipe by the King Arthur Flour company. This recipe combines 2 cups White Flour with 1 cup Whole Wheat flour.

Have you hosted or attended an Afternoon Tea? Let me know in the comments. 

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