Afternoon tea traditions date back to 1840 Britain, when the seventh Duchess of Bedford Anne, who was a lady-in-waiting for Queen Victoria, felt that she was too hungry and impatient in between lunch and dinner and decided to ask for a mid-afternoon snack of cake, bread, and tea.
The idea then quickly became popular, becoming a social event that has become a classic tradition in England ever since. The meal tends to combine sweet and savory dishes like finger sandwiches, scones, and cake, of course alongside some delicious tea. Here are some of the most wonderful afternoon teas offered by hotels around the world.
The Plaza, New York City
The Plaza has been know for years for its incredible afternoon tea offerings. You can order teas like English breakfast, Chinese green tea, and lavender oolong tea. You can select from a variety of pastries and sandwiches that will all be served on Bernardaud china.
Taj Mahal Palace Hotel, Mumbai
This iconic hotel is an institution for a reason, especially since its afternoon tea dates back to the early 20th century. The Sea Lounge is where it takes place and it is complete with art deco furnishings. You can see ships on the harbor on the Arabian sea and local Indian dishes are served along with traditional English tea time favorites.
Afternoon tea has been served at Claridge’s in London for over 150 years. It has perfected the art of afternoon tea and combines traditional with elevated modern. Sandwiches include ham, cucumber, salmon, and classics like scones with jam and cream, as well as plenty of pastries and cakes to choose from.
Fairmont Empress Hotel, Victoria, Canada
The Fairmont Empress Hotel serves up a rotation of 21 different teas that are ethically produced. Afternoon tea is served in the Lobby Lounge that includes live music played on the baby grand piano. Their teatime tradition has existed since 1908 and serves about 80,000 guests per year.
Victoria Falls Hotel, Zimbabwe
Victoria Falls Hotel in Zimbabwe is served on a lovely outdoor terrace that has amazing views of Victoria Falls Bridge. It was built in 1904 by the British and features incredible lawns and gardens right by the Zambezi River. Afternoon tea is served on a daily basis from 3pm until 6pm.