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How to Throw the Ultimate Tea Party

Prep

With the Royal Wedding this Weekend - Why not Throw a Special Afternoon Tea Party to Celebrate in True British Style? 

Since the eighteenth century, the United Kingdom has been one of the world's greatest tea consumers. It began as a drink reserved for the upper-class but then became infused with every social class in Great Britain throughout the 18th Century.

In the 19th century, we saw the introduction of Afternoon Tea. This was a light meal typically eaten between 3.30pm and 5pm. It was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o'clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o'clock, which left a long period of time between lunch and dinner.

For the more privileged, afternoon tea was accompanied by delicate savouries such as sandwiches.

Salmon and cream cheese sandwiches are the perfect light bites to accompany a cup of tea. Cut off the crusts and cut them into a small bite-sized shape so that you ooze glamour when you eat them. Rectangles or triangles would be equally as delicate. 

 The Victoria sponge, also known as the Victoria was named after Queen Victoria. It was said that she was known to enjoy a slice of the sponge cake with her afternoon tea.

We have these adorable individual Victoria sponges; baked to perfection these portioned cakes make the perfect accompaniment to your afternoon tea. Just make sure you make enough because you never want to stop at just one.

Top Tip: When you're baking these, is to not overmix the batter. The more you mix it, the denser the sponge will become. For the lightest sponge possible, just fold the flour in when you get to that stage. This will keep the air pockets in the batter big and make the overall texture lighter. 


 Don’t forget your scones! This treat comes from Devon and Cornwall. The Devonshire (or Devon) method is to split the scone in two, cover each half with clotted cream, and then add strawberry jam on top. Traditionally it is important that the scones be warm and that clotted  cream and strawberry jam,

In Cornwall, the scone is first buttered, then spread with strawberry jam, and finally topped with a spoonful of clotted cream. In Devon, you'll find that the clotted cream is applied first, then the dollop of jam. Whichever way you prefer to dress your scone, it all ends up in the same place so let's not worry too much!
 
All these sweet recipes require jam, and we know the best jam in the world is homemade. Before working here, jam was always something I'd never tried to make. The process felt somewhat scientific to me and I knew there'd be a lot of room for error. After making jam and marmalade, I realised that actually it pretty straightforward and surprisingly simple! The results were so delicious, I ended up eating a big spoon of it once it had cooled. I definitely recommend giving it a go if you haven't made it before, and this Glitter Strawberry Jam with Champagne is so fancy looking that I'm saving the extra jars to give as presents. 

Now, if you're not a tea fan. I highly recommend you still throw a tea party, but replace the tea with CHAMPAGNE.... (Now you're talking!)