“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

Henry James

Afternoon tea, that most quintessential of English customs is, perhaps surprisingly, a relatively new tradition. Whilst the custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China and was popularised in England during the 1660s by King Charles II and his wife the Portuguese Infant Catherine de Braganza, it was not until the mid-17th century that the concept of ‘afternoon tea’ first appeared.

Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter (some time earlier, the Earl of Sandwich had had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread) and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.

This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.

Afternoon Tea at Legacy Hotels

Treat yourself to a scrumptious homemade Afternoon Tea in one of our hotels with wonderful surroundings and soak up the ambience (and a perhaps some sunshine). This traditional English occasion is the ideal way to entertain close friends, relatives or colleagues.

To see the hotels menu’s please follow the below links.

Best Western Chilworth Manor – Southampton
Rose and Crown – Salisbury
Hotel Victoria – Newquay
Best Western Angel – Chippenham
Wychwood Park – Crewe
New Place – Southampton
Hilton Garden Inn – Sunderland
Mercure Bridgwater – Bridgwater
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