When you visit Cabonnay you will be greeted with ideas and cultures from far away lands and times. Cabonnay incorporates different customs and traditions into our experience to complete our story and help shape our vision. Cabonnay is an oasis, a place to meet your friends, escape with a good book, stroll the gardens, taste world class wines, and experience what the world has to offer. One of the customs and traditions that we will be bringing to Londonderry, NH is the concept of Afternoon Tea.
The Culture of High Tea
Afternoon tea often referred to as “High Tea” is actually a completely different tradition with a much different historical background. High Tea was formed around the notion of a late afternoon meal, around 5pm. It was primarily celebrated by working class families and started when they would return from their day at work. High Tea was served with hearty meal items of meats, fish, cheeses, vegetables, and beans. The name derived from the high tables in which the meals and tea were served.
The History of Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is what you typically think of when you discuss “tea time”. Afternoon tea dates back to the 1800’s and was introduced by the Duchess of Bedford. During this time period it was commonplace to only be served two meals a day. The first meal would be considered a late breakfast, by today’s standards, and the second meal was a very late dinner. Dinners were often not eaten until 9’clock due to the introduction of kerosene lamps. It became “trendy” for wealthy families to eat by the light of their lamps. As the story goes, The Dutchess of Bedford became famished during the long wait between breakfast and dinner. She began ordering afternoon tea with danty sandwiches and sweets to her room. She continued to do so and eventually began to invite her friends. This impromptu gathering became a daily affair, with ladies of luxury dressing up for the occasion in gowns, hats, and gloves. The tradition quickly spread and Afternoon Tea began popping up all over England.
The Basics of Afternoon Tea
Afternoon tea is typically served between the hours of 4 and 5 o’clock. There are a few loose rules surrounding the tradition of Afternoon Tea. You must serve tea grown from India or Ceylon, teas such as: Earl Grey, Asseem, or Darjeeling are good choices. It must be loose leaf tea and prepared properly in a tea pot. Tea must be drunk from china tea cups.
Tea is always the main attraction, however sandwiches, scones, and pastries always accompany the tea. Traditional sandwiches include thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches, smoked salmon, cream cheese, and egg. Scones served with clotted cream and jam. Afternoon tea is finished with an assortment of sweet treats, pastries, and sweet breads.
Types of Afternoon Tea
The simplest type of afternoon tea is cream tea, tea served with scones and cream. Full Tea refers to the traditional notion of Afternoon Tea, adding finger sandwiches, scones, and pastries. If you skip the sandwiches and only add the sweets, this is called Light Tea. There are many variations of Afternoon Tea. Here are a few more!
Champagne Tea - Serving a glass of champagne
Strawberry Tea - Serving Fresh Strawberries
Teddy Bear Tea - A children’s Tea Party with dolls and teddy bears
Afternoon Tea can be quite fun and delicious! Check our Events Calendar for dates as to when you can partake in this long standing tradition!