Afternoon Tea can simply be a cup of your favourite tea and a slice of cake, but if you want it to be more of a ceremony – you have to embrace it. Make it a celebration. Whatever you do, don’t hold back.
I am super lucky that my friends here in Switzerland hail from all over Europe. Their knowledge of Afternoon Tea mainly comes from Downton Abbey, so when I said I was going to host a tea party – the bar was set pretty high. Not by them, but by me. I wanted them to experience the true glory of a perfectly executed Afternoon Tea, and that meant absolutely no dry scones or soggy sandwiches in sight!
I decided to keep it simple and traditional… Well, maybe there were a few contemporary embellishments. But the core elements were there: an array of delightful finger sandwiches, fluffy scones with jam and clotted cream, sweet little fairy cakes and buttery, crumbly shortbread. Just for a hit of cheeky chocolate, I made some truffles as well.
Add to that, some good quality loose-leaf tea and sparkling conversation and there you have it: the perfect Afternoon Tea.
And afterwards? We did some embroidery. Downton Abbey – eat your heart out!
P.S. The contemporary embellishments?
- Well, the truffles for one.
- I probably broke an olde obsolete law by serving some of my homemade Raspberry & Chocolate jam with the scones.
- The music playlist I chose was called The 80’s Were Rad! – I’m not sure the Dowager would have approved.
- The conversation was less Downton Abbey, more Sex and the City. If anyone had overheard us, we’d probably have needed to fetch the smelling salts!
- Cheese and Rhubarb Chutney sandwiches
- Coronation Chicken sandwiches
- Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Sandwiches
- English Scones (with jam and clotted cream)
- Persian Cupcakes (I used this recipe and divided it into cupcakes) with Honey Cream Cheese Frosting (I subbed the maple syrup for honey in the linked recipe)
- Custard Shortbread
- Fig and Ginger Truffles
- Selection of teas including Assam, Earl Grey, Caramel, Coconut, Vanilla and Green.