Things You Didn’t Know About Afternoon Tea

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

Indeed, is there a more quintessential English treat than the Traditional Afternoon Tea?

This age old ritual actually dates back to the 19th Century, but recent times have seen its popularity grow and evolve into a plethora of sweet treats, scones and lashings of clotted cream.

Afternoon Tea at Reed Hall in Exeter is by no means an exception to the rule. Whether you choose to take tea on the lawn or in the cosy surroundings of the house, you’ll certainly not be disappointed with your cake stand laden with treats.

I bet you didn’t know

It may have evolved into a cake lover’s heaven but did you realise just how Afternoon Tea became Afternoon Tea?

Credit must be given to Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, who appears to be responsible for the creation of this wonderful English tradition.

Back in 1840, she would often complain of hunger and a ‘sinking’ feeling, late on in the day when breakfast was but a distant memory.  Most afternoons she would request that a pot of tea and a light snack be sent to her room. And it wasn’t long before her friends were in on the act too.

Thanks to Queen Victoria

But, let’s not forget Queen Victoria’s role in all this. She was responsible for taking this afternoon ritual to the next level. And so, it was to become a large, private social event for ladies who climbed the higher rankings of society.

Before too long they were all at it: Sipping tea and nibbling delicate finger sandwiches.  It was hugely fashionable for ladies to don a long gown, gloves and hat and make their way to the drawing room – often alongside 200 others.

Afternoon Tea in Exeter

At Reed Hall, we won’t make you don your long gown for Afternoon Tea, and we certainly won’t restrict it to ladies of a certain ranking. Delicate finger sandwiches, home-baked scones adorned with clotted cream and jam, an array of sweet treats and a selection of the finest teas all await your arrival. If it’s good enough for Queen Victoria then it’s good enough for you.

To find out more about Afternoon Tea at Reed Hall, Exeter or to make a booking please visit our website