I am so pleased to have my new friend Michelle Ardillo guest blogging today about The Art of the Afternoon Tea.  Stay tuned for Part 2 next week!  Cheers – Cindy

For Americans, visiting London, England, is an easy way to experience travel abroad because, after all, we speak the same language! That’s not to say there won’t be some room for confusion, as the British do have their very own unique use of their language. When it comes to food, here are some examples:

Biscuit = Cookie

Chips = French fries

Crisps = Potato chips

Fairy Cakes = Cupcakes

Pudding = Any kind of dessert (not just pudding)

Scone = Biscuit-like pastry

Bangers & Mash = Sausages (or hot dogs) and mashed potatoes

Crackers = A non-edible party favor containing hidden treasures like a paper hat, a joke or riddle, and a noise maker

Whenever you are feeling a wee bit peckish (hungry), after a busy day of sightseeing, take a break and pop into a tea room for afternoon tea.  Often there will be classical music playing softly in the background, and at some of the grand hotels you may find a pianist or stringed quartet performing. Service is impeccable with the finest bone china at a beautifully set table. Good manners are a must. The dress code for afternoon tea has relaxed considerably over the years. Where hats and gloves were once the standard, the casual attire of a tourist is acceptable at most tea rooms.  Quiet conversations and polite behavior is still the best advice for blending in with the locals.

Afternoon tea will most often consist of:

  • a pot of steaming hot tea (made with loose tea, not tea bags)
  • an assortment of tea sandwiches (finger-sized sandwiches made on very thin white bread, crusts trimmed off) such as tomato and cheese, cucumber, watercress and egg, smoked salmon, radish and butter, or curried chicken salad
  • scones with Devon cream and jam or marmalade
  • tea cakes or breads such as banana nut bread, orange cranberry, or lemon
  • an assortment of pastries such as petit fours, tarts, meringues, and other sweetsteatime4
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