The history of afternoon tea

Afternoon tea is a very British tradition and one that we like to maintain at the Royal York & Faulkner Hotel.

Our half-board guests enjoy a complimentary afternoon tea served daily in either the York Lounge or Reading Room. Consisting of our chef’s homemade cakes, freshly baked scones with Devonshire cream and strawberry jam, and hot beverages, our afternoon tea is always a favourite with our guests.

Afternoon tea is such an integral part of life here at the hotel we were interested in learning about its origin and thought we would share our findings here.

A brief history of afternoon tea

Ana, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, introduced England to the concept of afternoon tea in 1840. She would find herself hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon, and since she would have to wait until eight o’clock in the evening for her evening meal, she began asking for a tray of tea, bread and butter, and cake to enjoy in her room during the late afternoon. This extra meal became a regular occurrence, and she began inviting friends to join her.

Upon returning to London, Ana continued the practice and afternoon tea started to become a fashionable habit among the social hostesses of the upper classes. By the late 19th century afternoon tea was a firmly established daily routine, and tea rooms had become a favourite place for ladies to meet.

Afternoon tea in Sidmouth

Whether our guests have had a busy day out exploring or have merely whiled away the time watching the world go by, we find that afternoon tea is always a welcome mid-afternoon treat. It’s a time to pause what you’re doing, relax with friends and enjoy a delicious indulgence that you might not have time for at home.

If you’d like to sample afternoon tea at the Royal York & Faulkner Hotel, why not book a stay? Click here to check availability or call us on 0800 220714.