Beginning of afternoon tea

Speaking of England, I think that the image of tea is strong.
In Japan, there are drinks called "Gogo-no-Kocha" and chain cafes called "Afternoon Tea" that are popular.
In Britain, which actually leads the world's tea culture, tea is a custom that can be said to be part of life.

The custom of afternoon tea began around 1840.
It is said that it was first started by "Anna Maria Russell", the wife of Francis Russell, the 7th Duke of Bedford.
It is a model of the illustration of the woman drawn on the label of "Afternoon tea".
At that time, oil lamps became popular in England, and along with that, it became a custom to eat dinner late after social events such as theatergoing.
Since he rarely had lunch, he began to eat tea and baked goods as a snack in order to relieve his hunger until dinner.

Anna Maria's mansion, Woburn Abbey, was always visited by many guests.
While the Duke was enjoying the hunt with the male guests, Anna Maria invited the female guests to the drawing room and held a tea party in the drawing room around 5:00 p.m.
The custom spread rapidly among the upper classes, as Anna Maria herself was influential among the upper class women of her time and was well-liked by Queen Victoria.
"Wooburn Abbey" is still visited by many tourists as a sacred place for afternoon tea.

History of afternoon tea

Tea came to England relatively late, around 1650.

At first, it was a luxury item and was reserved for a few aristocrats, such as the royal family.
However, in the 18th century, the East India Company began exporting tea to England in earnest, and it gradually penetrated into the lives of other upper and middle classes.

When Anna Maria first started afternoon tea, it was for guests staying in the mansion, so it seems that it was held in loose clothes in indoor clothes.
Gradually, however, foreign visitors began to participate, and it became a wider social gathering place.
As it became a full-fledged social gathering place, it seems that clothing and etiquette became stricter and furnishings were arranged.

In the course of the Victorian era, the upper and middle classes had a social rule called ``home invitation party'', and once or twice a week, each family decided on a day of the week, and this day was the day when the host entertained the guests. It was possible to enter and exit freely if it was a close relationship.
A visitor who visits without an appointment stays there for about 15-20 minutes, drinking tea and talking.
Afternoon tea spread as such a place.
Afternoon tea is served buffet style due to the unpredictable number of guests.
Sandwiches, scones, and cakes were the standard meals, and the venue was a reception room called the "drawing room."
Afternoon tea was also called "Law Tea" because tea and meals were served at the low low tables placed here.

A similar practice to afternoon tea is called 'high tea', but this is a slightly later time accompanied by a full meal of meat or fish.
It is called high tea because it uses a high table for eating.
Originally it was a custom of the working class different from afternoon tea, but it seems that it was confused when tea culture spread to the United States and other countries.

Afternoon tea is now a common practice among the general public, and can be enjoyed casually without being obsessed with etiquette.


There are many things related to afternoon tea in British antiques.
Not only teapots, teacups and teaspoons used for tea, but also tea caddies for tea leaves and biscuit warmers for storing biscuits are the main category of British antiques.
There are many things that are easy to incorporate into your current life, so please try using them.

Click here for a list of our afternoon tea products