Afternoon tea was introduced by the seventh Duchess of Bedford in 1840.
As the evening meal in her household would be served at eight o’clock, it left a long period between midday luncheon and evening dinner.
Duchess Anna would become hungry at around four o’clock and would request that a tray of tea, bread, butter and cake be brought to her room.
This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her. This pause for tea soon became a fashionable social event.
During the 1880s the upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which would be served in the drawing room.
Today afternoon tea has seen a resurgence in popularity, and as Afternoon Tea Week (13th-19th August 2018) draws to a close, we take a look at how it’s served across Cheshire.
The Mere, Knutsford
“The format of Afternoon Tea has changed over the years. Some like to keep it traditional, others love to inject a little creativity and add a twist to the tradition.
“We love to add our own Mere touch to our Afternoon Teas, so you won’t be surprised to find man-sized bites and beer shots in our Gentleman’s Afternoon Tea, and cute cake pops with milkshakes in our children’s version.”
The Art Cafe, Macclesfield
Located on the ground floor, in the elegant surroundings of Charles Roe House in Macclesfield, The Art Cafe exhibits the work of local artists and is open for you to pop in for breakfast, a delicious meal or just simply a coffee and cake.
Afternoon tea is available too (24 hours notice is required when booking) and you needn’t feel guilty afterwards as there are yoga and Pilates classes held throughout the week in the Copper Room upstairs.
The Lost & Found, Knutsford
“Few can resist the temptation of The Lost & Found’s Afternoon Tea. Fans of the traditional can sample delicate sandwiches of smoked salmon, Hendrick’s-infused cucumber and cream cheese; and sweet-and-salty feta, red onion and honey pastries.
“The essential top tier of petit fours features fragrant Earl Grey panna cotta and a bittersweet popcorn tiffin, all served alongside warm fruit scones with clotted cream and jam.”
The Townhouse, Chester
Served in the recently refurbished Brassiere 1699, with its teal and gold pallet giving a relaxing environment in which to enjoy afternoon tea, it’s the fashionable way to catch up with friends and family.
You can opt for The Townhouse Afternoon Tea or upgrade to either the Sparkling Afternoon Tea or the Bottomless Afternoon Tea (to enjoy two hours of free flowing Prosecco).
The Courthouse, Knutsford
The Courthouse in Knutsford has launched a new afternoon tea menu, modelled on the adventures of Lewis Carroll’s timeless classic Alice in Wonderland.
The Mad Hatter’s Afternoon Tea is filled with tasty and imaginative treats and is being served in The Courthouse’s historic Grade II listed building, designed by renowned architect George Moneypenny.