If there is one time period in history most connected to tea, I would have to say it is the Victorian Age! The Victorian time period began under the reign of Queen Victoria of England and lasted from the early 1800s until about 1901. At that time, the sun never set on the British Empire and the influence of Queen Victoria was felt far and wide.
The Victorian Age was a time of relative calm and huge advancements. Afternoon tea became a integral part of the English culture. It was the prime way that fashionable ladies could visit or host their friends. Tea was enjoyed every afternoon and soon tea rooms and tea gardens became a part of the tea-loving British landscape.
For a proper Victorian inspired tea, you will want to create an air of elegance and refinement, but also a subtle coziness. Lace tablecloths, cloth napkins, flowers, delicate china tea cups and your best silver are what you want to use here. Of course, you can dress up, but the one thing you must bring is your best manners! However, if you are going about your tea in a true Victorian fashion, etiquette only requires your guests to stay for a half hour!
For a truly English Victorian Age inspired tea, here are a list of food items to consider. Don’t forget the lemon, sugar and cream for the tea!
- Cucumber Tea Sandwiches
- Watercress Tea Sandwiches
- Classic Scones
- Marmalade, Jam and Clotted Cream for the Scones
- Candied Flowers
- Bakewell Tarts
- Hot, Buttered Toast
- Victoria Sponge Cake
- Seed Cake
- Black Tea (Assam preferred)
- My Victorian Tea Time tea blend
And for a little background enjoyment, here is a lovely Victorian inspired tea time playlist!