When related to afternoon tea, what would you think of? A cup of tea, a piece of cake and a good mood, what a good enjoyment! But do you know how comes the afternoon tea?
That we should thank for a lady, who had created the custom of afternoon tea in the year 1840. She is Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. At that time, people of upper class usually had supper at around 8 o’clock in the evening. But Anna began to feel hungry at round 4 in the afternoon. This had left her a good long time of 4 hours. Therefore, she told the servant to bring a tray of tea, bread, butter and cake to her room during the late afternoon. It became a habit of hers. Soon, she invited her friends to join her.
Afternoon tea was favored by most women, because they then have reason to get together and killing the leisure time more meaningfully. After Anna’s launch of the afternoon tea, women of the aristocracy did the same in their home and it later became a fashionable social event, providing a place for people to meet new friends and get new information.
The traditional afternoon tea usually contains a teapot of tea, several teacups and pastries. There are different types of pastries: a selection of dainty sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves, teacakes etc. English tea is mainly from India or Ceylon, which was originally transported by the East India Company.
Today, afternoon tea has been simplified because of the change of lifestyle. People use tea bags instead of infusing tea leaves. Pastries are no longer as various and sophisticated as that of long time ago. They usually are some pieces of biscuits or cakes.
But if you want to experience a real English afternoon tea, I would advise you to Devonshire, where produces good clotted cream and famous cream tea. The tea consists of cups of hot and sweet tea served in china teacups and scones, strawberry jam as well as the fine clotted cream—the vital ingredient of cream tea. You may indulge yourself for a whole afternoon to enjoy the best tradition.
Clotted cream: 凝固的奶油，英国德文郡出产的最好的奶油Devonshire clotted cream，奶脂含量55%，浓稠度足以用来涂面包，但一加热就会分离。
（通讯员Celia 供稿 英语点津 Annabel 编辑）