The history of afternoon tea
The history of afternoon tea came about in the early 19th Century and is believed this is because of Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. She is said to have complained of ‘having that sinking feeling’ during the late afternoon. At the time it was usual for people to take only two meals a day, breakfast and dinner around 8pm. The solution for the Duchess was a pot of tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir in the afternoon.
Over time she started inviting friends to join her for ‘tea and a walk in the fields’ and this practice became very popular and social hostesses began to follow suit and before long all of fashionable society were sipping tea and nibbling on sandwiches around 4pm.