“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, introduced afternoon tea in England in the year 1840. History is that the Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal aka dinner in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock. Finding herself understandably peckish in the gap between lunch and dinner, the Duchess began inviting her friends to enjoy tea and ‘light refreshments’ in her rooms at Woburn Abbey. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.
This pause for tea became a fashionable social event called the “Afternoon Tea”. Traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches (including of course thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches), scones served with clotted cream and preserves. Cakes and pastries are also served. Tea grown in India or Ceylon is poured from silver teapots into delicate bone china cups.
Nearly 200 years after the Duchess of Bedford’s innovation, sitting down to afternoon tea remains a byword for girlfriends all over the world.
Apparently in Britain, “Tea rooms” were all the rage in the late 19th Century – quickly becoming THE place for meeting friends and sharing gossip. They were considered one of the few respectable places for women to meet without a chaperone, so the out-of-home Afternoon Tea took off like a social network.
Back to the modern present, we invite all ladies young and mature to come share a cup of chai and house made treats during our afternoon chai sessions. Biscotts is the perfect place to meet and greet, socialize and celebrate food. A sip of chai and pleasantries go a long way.