Ah, what could be nicer than a proper cup of tea in a relaxing environment? Well, how about adding some dainty sandwiches, and a mouthwatering selection of homemade cakes? Yes, that’s right – afternoon tea is back at the Swettenham Arms. Our teas are so popular that we run them on request all year round, from summer is the time they really come into their own.
With a choice of three lovely outside seating areas, there’s simply nothing nicer on a fine day than a ‘proper’ afternoon tea, accompanied by the sound of bees droning amongst the flowers in the pub garden and maybe a little birdsong.
Afternoon tea has been a staple of British culture for almost 200 years. Up to 1834, the East India Company had a monopoly on trading with China, where the vast majority of the world’s tea was grown. In fact, when tea was first introduced to Britain it was known as the ‘China drink’. As a result of the change in economic conditions, the East India Company began to grow tea in India instead and with the trade now derestricted a huge number of private businessmen scrambled to join the trade, bringing tea to Britain in larger quantities than ever before.
Around the same time, Anna, the seventh duchess of Bedford and a fashionable society lady, is credited with inventing afternoon tea. It ws common in those days for people to eat only twice a day, and she spoke of having ‘that sinking feeling’ in the late afternoon (and we all know what that feels like!) She countered it by taking tea and cake in her room, and the practice quickly became both wildly fashionable and very sociable.
If you feel like continuing a great British tradition and having a lovely day out in the country, do give us a call to book your afternoon tea – available every day except Sundays (when we have to concentrate on our Sunday lunches, sorry!)