Afternoon tea is one of those pleasures that always feels a bit fancy but is actually not that hard to replicate at home. So whether you enjoy it with your household or have a Zoom afternoon tea with your friends, why not use our guide to put together a simple spread? Remember, you can make it suit your tastes so have fun!
Step 1: The Tea
As it's in the name, the tea is kind of the non-negotiable bit! A traditional brew, like an Assam or Ceylon will stand well next to the sweeter elements of an afternoon tea. However, a lighter Darjeeling would also be a delicious accompaniment to cake as well as sandwiches. If you really want to channel your inner-aristocrat, you might choose an Earl Grey, but be mindful of the perfumed nature of the tea when planning the next stages. Some people enjoy a smoky Lapsang Souchong, although this is less commonly found in 'traditional' afternoon teas.
Step 2: The Sandwiches
Traditionally, the sandwiches on offer in an afternoon tea are: cucumber, smoked salmon and cream cheese, egg mayonnaise and cress, ham and mustard or coronation chicken. Not brilliant if you're a veggie! However, there's nothing to stop you from making your favourite sandwich afternoon tea-worthy, although it's probably polite if you're in company to not go for anything too pungent... As long as they're cut into delicate finger sandwiches (with the crusts cut off), who says you can't have cheese and pickle? You're the boss!
Step 3: The Scones
Scones are possibly the best bit of an afternoon tea and super easy to make- you can find a straightforward recipe here. Obviously they should be served with clotted cream if you can get it and a good jam (strawberry is the traditional choice, but if you're mad for raspberry or blackcurrant jam, go for it. Be happy. Have your favourite.) Now, as a Cornish company, we would strongly recommend that the jam goes on first.
Step 4: The Cakes
It's probably quite tricky to recreate the teeny tiny cakes so beloved of the high end afternoon tea offerings, so we recommend bake what you like- we're fans of having biscuits for dunking, as well as lovely cakes. We have recipes for tea bread and afternoon tea biscuits, both of which are easy to make and customisable, or our popular oaty biscuit recipe. Traditional choices might be a Victoria sponge or lemon drizzle cake, but we recommend having a look around and maybe dusting off some favourite recipes and having fun!
Remember, afternoon tea is something that should be fun, so enjoy yourself and let us know what you make!
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