Afternoon Tea Week
09/08/2017Week commencing 14 August is Afternoon Tea Week
Afternoon Tea Week was established to help secure a tradition that has graced British afternoons since the 1840’s. In those days, dinner often wasn’t served until 8pm, and lunch wasn’t actually a thing, so what was a hungry person to do? Create a new mini-meal in the middle of the day of course! Traditionally this meal contains tiny finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, and sweet dainties like cakes and pastries to help lift the spirits, bolster energy, and see you through the rest of the day.
This simple afternoon meal grew into a social event, especially for those who spent their lives in the upper echelons of the day’s society. This became even more prominent once Queen Victoria herself took part in this tradition. At that point the concept of the ‘tea reception’ was born, lavish and fancy afternoon repasts that could host anywhere from a close collection of friends to a couple hundred of society’s most important faces.
As the name suggests, tea was a central part of this meal, a tradition started by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford. She often found herself feeling weary or worn down in the middle of the day, and a pot of tea with a snack just seemed to be the best way to take care of it. She soon invited friends to join her for walks in the field, and the snowball that would become Afternoon Tea began.
Here in Dorset you will find some fantastic arrays of treats at these superb locations:
Summer Lodge Country House Hotel
There’s something special about taking tea in a country house hotel and Summer Lodge has all the boxes ticked when it comes to luxe vibes and location. This Grade II listed 5-star hotel sits in glorious Thomas Hardy countryside near Dorchester and serves its sumptuous cream tea wherever Sir or Madam cares to take it: in the conservatory, whiskey lounge or drawing room, or if the weather’s fine in the beautiful gardens.
Located in Weymouth, Moonfleet Manor is a beautiful,historic 18th century building that offers one of the finest afternoon teas in Dorset. Having seen a conversion in 1945, and a one-million-pound refurbishment in 1997 the atmosphere and ambience found there today will certainly give you an afternoon to remember. Sat in such sophisticated surroundings, you will get a truly delectable English afternoon experience, and if the weather is permitting, why not take your lunch on the terrace and bask in the warm rays of sunshine?
Downhouse Farm Café
This delightful cafe is worth seeking out on foot or by car. It's based in a farm cottage garden just back from the Jurassic Coast and an excellent reward for a hearty walk on the hills they serve beautifully light, warm homemade scones, homemade jam and lashings of Dorset clotted cream with a pot of tea. The also serve lunches made with fresh local produce all washed down with local juices or an alcoholic drink if you prefer
These are just 3 of the many places whereyou can treat yourself to an afternoon of luxury during National Cream Tea Week whilst on your Dorset self-catering holidays!