1. Afternoon Tea is a tea-related ritual, introduced in Britain in the early 1840s.
2. Reputedly begun by Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford to fill the gap between their two main meals of the day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o'clock in the evening. She began to invite her friends to join her for “tea and a walking the fields” Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.
3. Afternoon Tea is a meal composed of sandwiches (usually cut delicately into 'fingers'), scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes.
4. Interestingly, scones were not a common feature of early Afternoon Tea and were only introduced in the twentieth century.
5. The difference between High Tea and Afternoon Tea ?- Traditionally, the upper classes would serve a ‘low' or ‘afternoon' tea around four o'clock, just before the fashionable promenade in Hyde Park. The middle and lower classes would have a more substantial ‘high' tea later in the day, at five or six o'clock, in place of a late dinner.
6. The names derive from the height of the tables on which the meals are served, high tea being served at the dinner table.