A very British Afternoon Tea

14 May 2014
2 min read
We unearth the history of afternoon tea and reveal the unique, creative and trendsetting pastry creations for the start of the great British summer.

Dating back to 1865, English Afternoon Tea is credited to the Duchess of Bedford.The legend goes that the first lady to enjoy ‘afternoon tea’ was Anna Maria, the 7th Duchess of Bedford who lived at Woburn Abbey in Bedfordshire and was lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria. The Duchess of Bedford is said to have experienced a ‘sinking feeling’ in the middle of the afternoon one day and asked her footman to deliver all the tea-making equipment with some bread and butter to her private room. She found this new meal so satisfying and enjoyable that she soon started inviting her special friends to join her for ‘afternoon tea’.

The simple platefuls of bread and butter that first accompanied afternoon tea developed into much more elaborate selections of sandwiches, scones, muffins, cakes, biscuits, gâteaux and fruit desserts.

The Langham, London, is famed as the place where the tradition of afternoon tea was born over 140 years ago. An indulgence that lives on today.

Singapore-born Cherish Finden has been the multi-award winning Executive Pastry Chef at The Langham since 2009. With over 20 years of international experience, Cherish has created an innovative and imaginative menu for the hotel’s centrepiece, the Palm Court.

To celebrate the start of the great British summer, The Langham is launching its annual Bijoux Afternoon Tea creation with Champagne Laurent-Perrier.

The Bijoux Tea featuresexquisite pastry delicacies with a subtle nod to the summer’s main social gatherings. For Chelsea Flower Show, an English Rose Garden Chocolate Cremeux, Financier Elderflower and Greek yoghurt Panna Cotta topped with a floral décor; for Royal Ascot, a Victorian ‘Sponge Hat’ as its centrepiece and for the Wimbledon Championships, a ‘Centre Court’ Valrhona Chocolate Tart.

The Summer season Bijoux Afternoon Tea will be available in Palm Court from today, 15 May until 6 July and is priced at £52 per person or with a glass of Laurent-Perrier Brut at £65 per person.london.langhamhotels.co.uk