Afternoon tea for the MD

Jul 08, 2016
Milton Keynes copywriters The Words Workshop stopped for afternoon tea to celebrate MD Steve Jordan's birthday ... any excuse for cake!

As American writer Henry James said, "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." 

Afternoon tea - The Words Workshop, Milton Keynes copywriters

The history of afternoon tea

In 1840, Anna Russell, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, is said to have complained of "having that sinking feeling" at around 4pm in the afternoon.  At that time people usually only had two main meals a day: breakfast, then dinner at around 8pm.  To stop her afternoon “sinking feeling” the Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake be brought to her in her private rooms during the late afternoon.

Afternoon tea - bone china tea setThis became a habit and soon friends were invited to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey and it soon became a fashionable social event.  Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room.  Soon all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.

Afternoon tea - silver teas etTraditionally, the upper classes would serve a 'low' or 'afternoon' tea around 4pm. The middle and lower classes would have a more substantial 'high' tea later in the day, at 5 or 6pm, in place of a late dinner. Apparently the names come from the height of the tables on which the meals were served, with high tea being served at the dinner table.

Traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves, cakes and pastries, and tea being poured into delicate bone china cups.

Top photo: Simon Taylor, Designer; David Jordan, Director; Nikki Gee, Administration Manager; Steve Jordan, Managing Director