Citizens, the eminently civilized and always proper TFD wishes to share with you the nearly lost art of how to prepare a proper British afternoon tea!
As there are many recipes that are part of this process, I shall be linking to individual tea sandwich, etiquette and place setting links so that you too can set up a proper afternoon tea worthy of your glorious Leader and TFD Nation!
First, of course, you’re going to need a proper British tea set – bone china, of course! This is my preferred pattern and brand. You’ll also need a proper cake/tea stand, which you can find at the same link or here on Amazon.
Once you have your tea accoutrements in place, you’ll want to familiarize yourself with proper British etiquette at afternoon tea – this expert will guide you to the only true path!
There are, of course other styles of tea service besides British – learn about them here!
Next, you will need tea. TFD is insistent on drinking one of only two teas at this event: a specific blend of first flush Darjeeling tea from Vahdam Tea or Isaphan tea from L’Autre Thé in Paris, a surprising blend of Chinese black tea end green tea flavored with rose and violet. It is sprinkled with mallow petals, jasmine and rose petals.
As for sugar, be aware that not all sugars are created equal. At all. I insist on only Béghin Say La Perruche Variety: One 8.8 oz Box Each of Rough Cut Brown Sugar Cubes and Rough Cut White Sugar Cubes at my afternoon teas.
For tea sandwiches, it is imperative you use only the thinnest slices of white or brown bread. The trick is to slice each loaf LENGTHWISE. Crusts – of course – must be cut off. No exceptions! Serve 2-3 different varieties of sandwich at your tea.
Here is a list of some of my favorite tea sandwiches in the British, French, Russian and American traditions:
- Strawberry Tea Sandwiches
- Radish Sandwiches with Anchovy Butter
- Pear and Stilton Tea Sandwiches
- Smoked Salmon and Cream Cheese Tea Sandwiches
- Watercress Tea Sandwiches
- Palace Finger Sandwiches
- Classic English Tea Sandwiches
- Cheddar and Branston Pickle Tea Sandwiches
- Downton Abbey Egg Salad Tea Sandwiches
- Atlanta Tea Sandwiches
- More Classic British Tea Sandwiches
- Pimento Cheese Tea Sandwiches
- Crab Tea Sandwiches
No proper tea is possible without scones – and they are properly pronounced “skons”. My favorite recipe is here.
You will also need proper Devonshire clotted cream and good jam to spread on your scones – TFD prefers strawberry. Be acutely aware that there are literal holy wars fought over the proper sequence of spreading jam first or cream first.
My Citizens, I hope you will enjoy this small bastion of civilized life in your own homes soon and following the TFD method!
Battle on – The Generalissimo