Afternoon Tea has become quite mainstream in popular culture with pictures and posts flooding our feeds; from fancy hotels, teapots filled with gin and of course our own vintage buses. The opportunities for afternoon tea are endless.
But where did the whole tradition start? And why is it such a fancy occasion?
The story goes that Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford, complained of “having that sinking feeling” between lunch and dinner. These days, she would have been given a protein bar and cup of coffee and be sent on her way but times were different in 1840 and she was, of course, a duchess. So instead a tray of tea, bread and butter and a selection of small cakes were brought to her in her boudoir.
Such was the spectacle of the whole thing that she began inviting friends around and before she knew it “afternoon tea” became the thing to do for upper class and society women. I suppose the Duchess was what we’d nowadays call an influencer!
By the 1880s Afternoon Tea was so popular that women would dress up specifically for it. They also began serving it in the drawing room of their houses rather than bedrooms.
Today afternoon tea is an occasion, an excuse to get dressed up and meet old friends, celebrate a mother’s birthday or just to treat yourself and those you love.
If you want afternoon tea with a difference we’d love to welcome you on board our vintage Routemaster bus and take you on a tour like no other.