Afternoon Tea Week, 7th to 13th August, commemorates the delightful and cherished British tradition, presenting a splendid opportunity to relish the company of loved ones and their live-in carers while indulging in a cup of tea and a delectable array of treats.
British afternoon tea dates back to the early 1840s and has since become an integral part of our culture. Its origins can be traced to Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, who is credited with popularising the concept.
During the 19th century, the British social structure underwent significant changes. The custom of having only two main meals, breakfast and dinner, left a long gap between the two. Feeling hungry during this time, the Duchess of Bedford began requesting a tray of tea, bread, and butter with some small cakes or sandwiches to be brought to her private quarters in the late afternoon.
This simple habit quickly caught on, and Anna's friends began joining her for tea and light refreshments. The trend eventually spread to other social circles, and the afternoon tea tradition was born. It soon became a fashionable social event among the upper classes, allowing people to gather, socialise, and enjoy a light meal together.
By the mid-19th century, afternoon tea had become a popular practice across Britain. It was served in both private homes and public venues such as tea gardens, hotels, and tea rooms. The menu typically included a variety of teas, such as black tea, green tea, or herbal infusions, accompanied by an assortment of delicate finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a selection of cakes, pastries, and biscuits.
The ritual of afternoon tea was further refined during the Victorian era. Elaborate tea sets, fine china, and silverware were used to serve the tea, adding an element of elegance to the occasion. It also became customary to observe specific etiquette rules, such as holding the teacup with the little finger raised!
Over time, afternoon tea became associated with a more formal and sophisticated atmosphere, reflecting the elegance of British society. It was an opportunity for people to dress up, showcase their best manners, and indulge in a leisurely afternoon treat. The popularity of afternoon tea endured through the 20th century, although its prevalence declined during the post-World War II era due to changing social habits and the rise of fast-paced lifestyles.
However, in recent decades, there has been a resurgence of interest in afternoon tea, particularly as a choice for celebrations, special occasions and family gatherings.
Many of our live in carers often love sitting down with our clients to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a chat! We take pride in being pioneers of 24 hour live in care. Our founder was truly ahead of the curve, recognising the need for a private in home care service for the elderly. With us, arranging elderly in-home care is a breeze and can be done within 48 hours, often even faster. Our bespoke elderly care service offers excellent value for money, ensuring that your loved ones receive the utmost care and support.
If you have any questions about Live-in Care, how you or your loved one can benefit from it or for tips on afternoon tea!.....Call 01264 319 399 to speak with our friendly live-in care team.