The Traditional English Afternoon Tea Traditional Afternoon Tea

 The traditional afternoon tea is very popular in the UK. And the basic set up for the afternoon tea is as follows:

  1. Sandwiches including the finger sandwich.
  2. Mini cakes.
  3. Scones.
  4. Tea.

The traditional afternoon tea can be found served in a range of places with the most popular days for the afternoon tea is the weekend. Although Saturday and Sunday are mainly the busiest times of the week for this tradition. And the afternoon tea can be broken down into various offerings. Champagne can be included and other extras can be added to the basic offering.

Where Can I Find The Traditional Afternoon Tea

There are many different styles of afternoon tea that can be found out there. However, the basic offering may be in the local gastropub or bistro style restaurant. And the upmarket premier afternoon tea can be found mainly at luxury five-star hotels. Also, the English afternoon tea can be prepared at home.

Building Blocks Of A Traditional English Afternoon Tea

 Finger Sandwiches

The finger sandwich is made by:

Adding a filling to one piece of bread and placing a second piece of bread on the top. Next, the crusts will be removed carefully with a sharp serrated knife. At this step, the sandwich will be cut neatly into fingerstyle pieces.

Traditional Fillings Can Include:

  • Cream Cheese and Cucumber
  • Egg Mayonnaise
  • Cheese and Pickle
  • Ham and Mustard.
  • Smoked salmon and cream cheese
  • Coronation chicken

These fillings can be made in various ways. The ingredients can range in quality and types. This may include an egg mayonnaise with some English mustard, gherkins and shallots through the mix. Or an egg and mayonnaise mix with a small amount of cress.

Mini Cakes

 There is a broad range of mini cakes that may be used. Although this will depend on the quality of the venue and the chosen menu. For example, an afternoon tea in a busy chain restaurant may serve 3 mini cakes. An eclair and two other pastries that have been brought in and not made in-house. However, a luxury five-star hotel in central London will mainly have all mini cakes prepared and made in-house to a high standard. With the pastry chef coming up and using concepts in design with a great deal of thought going into each cake. To produce stunning looking cakes with great flavours.


The scone is also part of the traditional English tea. Mainly one portion will make up of one plain scone and one fruit scone. Scones will either be brought in from a supplier or freshly made in-house depending on the skills of the kitchen team. Also, the scones will often be served with clotted cream and jam. The jams can include strawberry jam or raspberry jam and extras can be added, such as a lemon curd.


There are many types of tea that can be served with the afternoon tea selection. With the standard places using a choice of basic teas including, earl grey. And the more specialised offering a serving with a selection of teas that may include a choice from a tea cellar: Black teas, green teas, white teas and herbal teas.

Traditional Afternoon TeaChampagne

For an extra added treat you could choose a champagne afternoon tea option.


The traditional English afternoon tea is a very classic English dish. At least once in your life, you should experience a full-on, all guns blazing offering at one of the top places in the UK. In addition to the food, there’s also a great charm and elegance about the whole ritual. And also the foods will be way above the offerings at the average places. However, there is an afternoon tea option to suit most tastes. Or why not make a traditional afternoon tea at home for a special occasion.

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