Etiquette Guide for Enjoying Afternoon Tea

Etiquette Guide for Enjoying Afternoon Tea

Welcome to the luxurious world of Afternoon Tea! Whether it’s your first time or you are a seasoned afternoon tea enthusiast, there's always something new to learn when it comes to this cherished ritual.

History of Afternoon Tea

The tradition of Afternoon Tea dates back to the early 19th century in Britain when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, started the custom to ward off hunger between lunch and dinner. It soon became a fashionable social event among the aristocracy.

Choosing the Perfect Tea

When hosting or attending an Afternoon Tea, selecting the right tea is crucial. Opt for classic choices like Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or English Breakfast to complement the delicate flavors of the assorted treats.

Setting the Scene

The ambiance plays a significant role in the Tea Time experience. Use elegant tea sets, table linens, and fresh flowers to create a charming setting that evokes the traditional spirit of High Tea.

Dress Code

Part of the allure of Afternoon Tea is the opportunity to dress up. While not mandatory, many venues have a smart casual dress code. Ladies may opt for tea dresses or chic separates, while gentlemen can don suits or smart casual attire.

Etiquette Essentials


When seated for Afternoon Tea, it is proper etiquette to wait until everyone at the table has been served before beginning to eat. This shows consideration for your fellow guests.

Tea Pouring

When pouring tea, hold the teapot handle with one hand and support the lid with the other to avoid spillage. Offer to pour tea for your neighbors before attending to your own cup.

Using Utensils

Use the smaller spoon provided for stirring your tea and the larger one for adding sugar or scooping jam onto scones. When enjoying pastries or sandwiches, use your fingers or small tongs if provided.

Savoring the Selection

During Afternoon Tea, take your time to enjoy each bite-sized delicacy. Start with savory sandwiches, then move on to scones with clotted cream and jam, and finish with an assortment of sweet pastries and cakes.

Engaging in Conversation

Tea Time is not just about the food and drink; it's also an opportunity to engage in delightful conversations. Keep discussions light and pleasant, avoiding controversial topics.

Proper Posture

While indulging in the delectable treats, remember to sit up straight with both feet on the ground. Avoid leaning on the table and use your napkin graciously to dab at any crumbs or spills.

Thanking the Host

After the Afternoon Tea concludes, it's courteous to express your gratitude to the host. A simple thank you note or message goes a long way in showing your appreciation for the delightful High Tea experience.

Celebrating Traditions

Embracing the customs and etiquette of Afternoon Tea allows you to partake in a time-honored tradition that celebrates elegance, refinement, and camaraderie. So, gather your friends and loved ones for a delightful Tea Time experience to cherish forever!

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