A guide to making your own afternoon tea

This week (8-14 August) is officially National Afternoon Tea Week here in the UK, and with today’s fast-paced life many people don’t get to enjoy the occasion of afternoon tea as much as people of yesteryear did. However, this week is the perfect time to try it, if you haven’t, or to revisit it if you used to partake.Afternoon tea which can be enjoyed in our North Wales caravan parksThere’s so much to love about the mid-afternoon spread, which includes delicious sweet and savoury treats for all to enjoy, but with changes over time afternoon tea saw its status lower to the quick brew and a biscuit. However, now is the time when you can fully indulge, just as many others will be! Yes, you too can sit down with family, friends and loved ones to nibble on freshly prepared finger sandwiches, scones with jam and clotted cream, along with a whole, mouth-watering range of homemade cakes and pastries, all of which can be consumed with a quintessential, freshly brewed Earl Grey tea. Afternoon tea is undeniably back ‘on trend’ thanks to the waves of cupcake, baking and hipster crowds who have once again used the traditional to offer a revamped, up-to-date edge, complete with modern day tweaks.   Now in its sixth year, Afternoon Tea Week has provided a great deal for the awareness and promotion of this superb culinary tradition, and once you try it, we’re sure you’ll fall in love with it! What should I have with my afternoon tea?If you want to put together an afternoon tea spread of your own while you’re here with us at one of our North Wales caravan parks, then we’ve got some helpful hints for you so that you can lay on a classic, classy afternoon tea of your own! We would suggest you start by making a classic selection of sandwiches. This can include the following:

  • Ham and mustard
  • Cucumber
  • Egg mayonnaise with cress
  • Smoked salmon with cream cheese
  • Coronation chicken

Next you can serve cream tea. In Devon and Cornwall, there is a rather fierce debate over whether you should apply the clotted cream or the jam first, but here in Wales, it’s all about personal preference! For a cream tea you will need the following:

  • Scones
  • Clotted cream
  • Preserves (Strawberry Jam, for example)
  • A pot of tea

What types of tea should I use for afternoon tea?The range of teas on offer can vary from half a dozen to over a hundred, including some very rare and obscure ones. But if you want to enjoy some of the more common/easier to access teas, then you should think about brewing up the following:

  • Earl Grey: A blend of black teas scented with oil of bergamot named after Charles, 2nd Earl Grey, who was Prime Minister from 1830 to 1834
  • Assam: A strong full-bodied tea from India, which has a distinctive, ‘malty’ flavour
  • Darjeeling: An aromatic and astringent tea from India, with a hint of almonds and wildflowers
  • Lapsang Souchong: A Chinese tea fired over smoking pine needles, which produces a striking smoky odour and flavour

Did you know?Demand for speciality teas has recently risen by 4%, while the sales of Battenberg cake have shot up by a huge 45%! Image: Elsie Hui under Creative Commons.

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