This week a few of us decided to engage in a real British tradition, afternoon tea. On our way there, the question came up of where did the idea of teatime come from? We joked that one afternoon Queen Victoria didn't want to be in a meeting any longer so she suggested everyone get tea!
While that is not the actual history of it, having high tea has been a renowned British tradition for quite some time, and something everyone must experience at least once. For the British it is something quite common. Business people conduct meetings over teatime, some find it a suitable date idea, housewives find it a great place to gossip.
A lot of places around London offer High Tea: hotels, restaurants, cafés, department stores, etc. Each have a different style. For us, this was an event, so we chose Harrods for our first go at tea time.
Harrods, besides being the most impressive department store in the whole world (or that I have seen thus far), offers tea at their Georgian Restaurant or at the Terrace Bar. We went to the Terrace Bar, a covered patio restaurant off of Harrods. Harrods offers a more classic take on this British tradition.
We were able to choose from a wide selection of teas including strawberry-kiwi, mango, green, and English Breakfast. With tea came a three-tiered display with an infinite amount of mini-sandwiches, scones with jelly and clotted cream, and petite pastries on it. The whole experience lasted two hours. We started with the mini-sandwiches and worked our way to the scones and finally to the pastries, then we did it again. We left not wanting to see food for days, yet excited to do it again!