Wells Vintage Tea Party



Etiquette for Afternoon Tea

By Wells Vintage Tea Party, Jan 24 2017 01:55PM

In today's society we are not so governed by rules and etiquette as we were in years gone by. However, a step back into the tradition of afternoon tea can throw up a few questions (and laughs) about the correct way to behave.

I thought that it would be a bit of fun to answer a few of the most common questions about afternoon tea etiquette:

What should I wear?

Nowadays smart casual is common practice even in top hotels. However, many ladies (and men!) see it as a perfect opportunity to get dressed up.

Should I put milk or tea into my teacup first?

This is one of the most debated tea enigmas. It is often thought that the lower classes put their milk in first to stop their poorer quality china from cracking. Therefore, if you had good quality china then you obviously wanted to show it off by pouring the hot tea in first.

Nowadays, it is perfectly acceptable to do it either way and it is a matter of personal taste. Many waiters in top hotels pour the tea first, allowing their guests to add their own milk.

How should I stir my tea?

Apparently, the correct way to stir one's tea is to place your spoon at the 6 o'clock position in the teacup and fold the tea towards the 12 o'clock position, making sure not to clink your spoon against the sides of the teacup! Never leave your teaspoon in your cup but place it on the saucer.

Should I stick my little finger up when I drink my tea?

Absolutely not! Not only is it pointless as it doesn't help to balance the cup, but it also looks quite silly. It is one of afternoon teas most common faux pas.

What is the correct way to eat a scone?

Apparently the most polite way to eat a scone is to break small pieces off and top each section with butter, cream and/or jam. Most peope however, opt to slice their scone in half and top each section.

Cream or jam first?

This really depends on whether you want to do it the Cornish way (jam first) or the Devonshire way (cream first).

We think that the most important rule of all is to have fun and enjoy the special and sociable occasion of afternoon tea!

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