Where Did Afternoon Tea Begin?
There is no more worldwide known British ritual than the ceremony and serving of Afternoon tea.
In the early 19th century Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford had a habit of having tea not only between usual 8 and 9 pm but later in the afternoon too.
The Duchess felt hungry by late afternoon. To stave off the hunger, she would order tea, bread and butter and cakes to be served in her room. Later on she would invite friends to join her at her home and the light tea was such a success the habit caught on.
The Duchess continued the custom and soon the 'At Home' tea tradition quickly spread throughout England.
Relatives and friends announced about tea and stated the hours of tea serving.
Guests entertained, conversed and gossiped over tea and cakes.
Tea Parties became the norm and Tea Rooms, and Tea Gardens quickly sprang up everywhere.
Tea was served at four o' clock in the tea lounges. Light music sounded and sometimes even guests danced.