Quintessentially recognised around the world as being a British pastime, the origins of afternoon tea are often questioned however one lady features in all theories, Anna, Seventh Duchess of Bedford (1783-1857) a lady in waiting to her majesty, Queen Victoria.
As dinner wasn’t typically served until 8:30-9:00pm the Duchess often became hungry, especially in the summer when dinner was served even later. Every afternoon, she experienced a “sinking feeling” and requested sandwiches and cakes between 3pm and 4pm in the afternoon.
As others followed suit, it became a trend in London to sip afternoon tea with a variety of sandwiches to accompany. The custom of “taking tea” in the afternoon had become well established, alon