Our A to Z of Afternoon Tea
Once upon a time, afternoon tea was all sponge cake and cucumber sandwiches, but the launch of our Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea is turning that on its head. Featuring a hearty pork pie, quails eggs, mini steak and stilton sandwiches and beer and bacon cheesy scones, it’s the
perfect treat for the modern meat lover. To celebrate, we’ve put together a quick A-Z of everything to do with this most British of traditions…
A – is for Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, who introduced a pot of tea and a light snack into her afternoon routine to combat “that sinking feeling.” The tradition grew from there, and we’re not complaining!
B – Brilliantly British. At one point we were known by the rest of the world as the country where “at half-past three, everything stops for tea.” How splendid.
C – Champagne! If you would like to add bubbles, our Champagne Afternoon Tea includes sparkling wine or our house Champagne.
D – Drawing rooms were traditionally where afternoon tea was taken.
E – Etiquette. We’re all about the relaxation here at The Greenbank, but the traditional afternoon tea is steeped in dos and don’ts. Apparently one must look into their cup whilst sipping their tea and never, ever, dunk.
F – Four o’clock was traditionally an ‘acceptable’ start time for afternoon tea. We’re not sure we can wait that long though, so ours are served between 2pm and 6pm.
G – Gentlemen’s Afternoon Tea is the newest addition to our menu, featuring pork pies, scotch eggs and cigars on request.
H – High tea. Despite the common misconception, high tea is actually not the same as afternoon tea. It is in fact the ‘working class equivalent’ – a more substantial meal taken at around 5 o’clock.
I – Indulgence, with a capital I. That’s just one way to describe our Chocaholics’ Afternoon Tea, with its rich chocolate ganache and sumptuous chocolate tart. Others include delicious, divine, and simply-bloomin’-marvelous!
J – Jam and clotted cream. But what comes first? Well if you’re doing it the Cornish way, it’s jam first, cream second…and if you’re not, then you’re wrong.
K – Kids Afternoon Tea – our mini-spread for the budding socialites in your life!
L – Low tea. Another term for afternoon tea, taking its name from the fact it was served on coffee tables in the ‘low’ part of the day.
M – Milk in first? Ah, that age-old debate. We’re afraid we can’t really offer a definitive answer to this…it’s a matter of personal preference.
N – No fuss. We’re able to arrange pregnancy friendly afternoon teas on request and vegetarian options are available too! Just give us a call.
O – Occasions. Whether it’s a birthday, an anniversary or Mother’s Day treat, afternoon teas are an increasingly popular way to celebrate or to spoil someone special.
P – Put the pinkies away. Contrary to popular belief, pinkies out is NOT the correct way to sip your tea, nor should you hook your fingers through the handle. When you’re at ours though, feel free to hold it as you wish!
Q – Queen Vic herself was a fan of the afternoon tea, and the Victoria sponge takes its name from the cake she most preferred with hers.
R – Receptions. Back in the day, high society ladies would invite up to 200 guests around for afternoon tea ‘receptions’ during which people could come and go as they pleased. If only this still existed!
S – Sandwiches. Scones. Sweet Pastries. Scotch Eggs. Need we say more? Whilst scones are in fact a 20th century addition to the meal, scotch eggs are our very own touch.
T – Tregothnan Tea is our beverage of choice. Loose leaf and Cornish grown, it’s simply stunning. And if tea isn’t your thing, fear not – we also serve Cornico coffee too.
U – Under £20! The Greenbank’s Classic Afternoon Tea is just £15 per person or £26 for two sharing. Bargain!
V – Victorian attire for afternoon tea traditionally included long gloves, gowns and hats.
W – World War 1 effectively put an end to the practice of ladies taking afternoon tea. Due to rationing, supplies became unavailable and the tradition was simply not taken up again to the same extent after the war.
X – rated? In a world where children were to be seen and not heard, afternoon tea was originally considered to be an adults’ only event. Fortunately, we’ve moved on a bit since then!
Y – Yuletide. Our limited edition festive afternoon teas, released in November, feature goodies such as Yule logs and Christmas cake.
Z – Okay, so we’ll admit we couldn’t think of a Z, but can you? You might have to try one of our afternoon teas for inspiration…
So whether you’re planning to spoil yourself, your mum or just fancy an afternoon feeling fancy, our afternoon tea menu is the perfect treat. Please note: Gentlemen’s and Chocaholics options must be pre-booked 24 hours in advance. To book, please call 01326 312440.