Afternoon Tea is a British institution that gained popularity amongst the aristocrats' way back in 1840. It has its own code of etiquette. Follow the guidelines below and you'll look at home in all the great Tea rooms across the United Kingdom.
Never slouch and no elbows on the table, please fold your napkin crease facing towards you on your lap.
Use a tea strainer for loose tea leaves, offer to pour for others first. Tea followed by milk. Rather than a circular motion, stirring must be done in a back and forth motion, six to twelve o'clock. This helps to dissolve the sugar cube, reduce noise, splash, prevent whirlpooling sugar cubes and undissolved sugar at the bottom of the teacup.
To hold the cup, place your thumb and index finger through the handle and rest the cup on your middle finger. No protruding pinkies. If you're seated on a low height table, pick-up both the teacup and saucer. On a high table, you only need to pick up the teacup.
Always start with the sandwiches, these should be eaten with your fingers. Moving on to the scones. Use your fingers to break the scone into two. Take a portion of cream and jam and place on the edge of your side plate, before loading onto your scone.
Fun Facts; Scone is often miss pronounced, the correct pronunciation is 'sk-on'.
You have two options for scone layering; the Devonshire way is to first layer the cream, followed by the jam, and the Cornish way is to first layer the jam, followed by the cream. Both are delicious! Scones must always be eaten in two halves not sandwiched together.
If you forget all of the above the most important rule to follow is to enjoy! It's such a wonderful tradition enjoyed by generations.
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