A pot of tea is, of course, a requirement, and might be served in a china or a silver pot, with milk and sugar. Some restaurants also offer a glass of sherry or wine.
The food, typically served on a two-tiered cake stand, consist of small sandwiches (cucumber, egg, salmon or ham are all common), scones served with butter, jam or fruit preserves and Devonshire cream, an assortment of pastries, such as small chocolate cakes, lemon or butter tarts and shortbread, and an assortment of fresh fruit. The fruit may be served in a nappy or arranged on the tiered stand.
This is me, about to indulge. And no, I did not eat all that food. That was tea for two, I so only ate half of what you see!
One of today’s giveaways is a copy of If Teapots Could Talk by Muriel Moffat.
This delightful little book looks at the history and etiquette of Afternoon Tea, and includes a chapter on Afternoon Tea at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, BC, and some great recipes if you decide to make and serve your own tea.
Cucumber sandwiches are my favorite and, in my opinion, tea isn’t complete without them.
Cucumber SandwichesI’m giving away some great prizes today. To be eligible to win one, simply post a comment. Winners will be announced tomorrow on The Writer Side of Life.
2 slices of white bread
English cucumber, peeled and thinly sliced
salt and pepper, to taste
Lightly spread butter and mayonnaise on one side of each slice of bread. Place slices of cucumber on one slice of the bread, and season with salt and pepper. Top with the second slice of bread. Trim off the crusts and cut the sandwich into four triangles or four rectangles.
Optional: The chef at the Empress adds a dash of horseradish to the mayonnaise, but this is not traditional.
Ready for more tea? Please follow these links to a chat about tea parties on The Writer Side of Life, and some interesting tidbits about exotic teas on the Wet Noodle Posse blog.