"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea."
Well, quite! Who wouldn't want to have afternoon tea? In fact, it's such a popular British pastime that there is even a National Afternoon Tea Week dedicated to this very subject, during which plenty of tea establishments offer special promotions and guess what? It's this week! Hurrah!
When did afternoon tea become such a popular meal?
This is hotly debated, although widely attributed to the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who grew weary between breakfast and supper and started the habit of taking light refreshments in the afternoon.
When tea was introduced to England in the 17th century, it was an expensive commodity but over time it became the drink of the British people and more importantly, of women. Coffee houses were establishments for men only, where gambling and subversive discourse took place, certainly not places for women to be seen. Tea houses started up and swiftly became popular meeting places for women. The custom of having afternoon tea became 'a thing' and this glorious tradition was firmly entrenched in our culture.
Happily today you may choose tea, coffee or even champagne with your afternoon tea and men, women and children can all partake.
Cotswold Life published this very helpful list of the best afternoon teas in the Cotswolds >
One of our team personally recommends The Old Swan & Minster Mill in Minster Lovell, Cotswolds, which is located along a very scenic river >
Visit Afternoon Tea Week's website to discover an afternoon tea near you >
Where would you recommend for the best afternoon tea? We'd love to hear from you!
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