Afternoon Tea is one of my all time favorite tea rituals.
What is Afternoon Tea?
Afternoon Tea is a tea ritual introduced in Britain in the early 1840s – it evolved as a mini ‘meal’ to curb ones hunger before the evening meal at 8pm. It is typically served anytime between 3pm and 5pm. It is composed of three courses, along with, tea, of course!
- Savories – finger sandwiches or appetizers
- Scones – served with jam and clotted (or Devonshire) cream
- Pastries – cakes, cookies, shortbreads, sweets, etc.
Afternoon Tea is a social activity whereas the Japanese Tea Ceremony is one influenced by Zen Buddhism and more meditative by nature.
While I have been lucky enough to have enjoyed Afternoon Tea at some pretty fantastic places including:
- Claridge’s (London)
- Fortnum & Mason (London)
- Savoy Hotel (London)
- The Dorchester (London)
- Mandarin Oriental (Hong Kong)
- The Peninsula (Hong Kong)
- The Intercontinental (Hong Kong)
- Four Seasons (Hong Kong)
I haven’t been to as many places in New York City (only Tea & Sympathy, The Palm Court at The Plaza Hotel, The Mandarin Oriental). I guess since I live here, I tend to take what we have in the city for granted. Plus, it is so easy to get caught up in work, school, and everyday life that we often forget to take time out for ourselves when we are not on vacation.
However, I did find a great resource for me to start my exploration of afternoon tea in NYC – “The 8 Best Places for Afternoon Tea in New York City“. While I am not sure The Mandarin Oriental (maybe The Mandarin Oriental in Hong Kong set my bar too high?) should have made it on the list, I do respect this blogger’s opinion as I have been following her for a while now. I will have to check out some of her other picks on this list! I plan on visiting Lady Mendl’s later this week, please stay tuned for my post! If you can’t wait, here is her review from March 2011.