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The Origin of Luxurious British Afternoon Tea

Talking about “afternoon tea”, inevitably, British afternoon tea, as the quintessence of British tradition, would be first mentioned. In English society, it is a regal affair and there is a strict etiquette that is adhered to. Participating in this social rite in England is a one of its kind type experience.

The earliest version of afternoon tea was served in the Salle À Manger (as Palm Court was originally known), the affair simply consisted of dainty comforting items such as cakes, sweets, bread and butter accompanied by, of course, tea. Created by Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, the light fare was intended to ward off hunger pangs during the long hours between lunch and dinner.

The practice soon became a delightful experience that the Duchess began sharing with her friends, and it took off from there. As hostesses started to regularly organise their own afternoon tea events and inspire others to follow suit, a timeless luxury institution was born.

Today, afternoon tea has evolved into an indulgent and sophisticated ritual, replete with its own set of etiquette and signature delicacies. Palm Court’s Tiffin at The Langhamset pays tribute to this wonderful 140-year old tradition, featuring beautiful cakes, miniature pastries, scones with Devonshire cream, freshly made jams, finger sandwiches and other delicate treats with a delicious twist. Other tantalising snacks and nourishing light fare are served throughout the day.

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