Tea, cake, sandwiches, more tea, more cake, more tea, nookie: England
August 13, 2018 3:02 PM   Subscribe

This week is National Afternoon Tea (not High Tea) Week. But what is Afternoon Tea? It can be simple (scones, jam, cream, tea) or elegant or expensive. There are do's and dont's. It's not this, or this, and just c'mon, but is found in Yorkshire or Bolton or Liverpool or London or Belfast or (suspended reality) Harrogate or the Falklands or far from Britain. Some options, and more and some more - and one to reignite the English class war. The tea can be red and the food can be based around chocolate or a Dundee cake or dim sum or fish or of course gin or fruit or Harry Potter, or be for dogs, or be oh not again served by hipsters. Or, you could make your own, perhaps a healthy option, or construct one at Ikea. May attract criminals or Her Majesty. Clothing optional.
posted by Wordshore (33 comments total) 49 users marked this as a favorite
 
DO spread a scone with cream first, then jam.

Ooo, gauntlet thrown down in that HuffPo article over the Great Jam And Cream Debate. I wonder if the presumably-American author realised what a hornets' nest they were poking, there. (for the record, The Queen disagrees with the above listicle.)
posted by halation at 3:07 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Well, wouldn’t ya know? That Falklands link features a picture of my friend Jenny playing the accordion.
posted by penguin pie at 3:13 PM on August 13, 2018 [8 favorites]


I saw the title and immediately thought “Wordshore.”
posted by GenjiandProust at 3:15 PM on August 13, 2018 [20 favorites]


I saw the title and immediately thought “Wordshore.”

I like to say “Wordshore!” the way people often cheer “Worldstar!” It's the chanting of the crowds in sheer joy/enthusiasm at what is about to come.
posted by Fizz at 3:23 PM on August 13, 2018 [12 favorites]


nookie!
posted by unliteral at 3:38 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Clothing optional.

Don't spill that hot tea!
posted by Greg_Ace at 3:53 PM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


I once got upgraded on a British Airways flight where they offered me 'afternoon tea', which I assumed was tea, but in the afternoon. Once I got over the anxiety I quite enjoyed the ritual.
posted by StephenF at 3:59 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


nookie!

the bear?

Clothing optional.

the bare?
posted by biffa at 4:00 PM on August 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


One of my favorite odd places in San Francisco is a little tea place called "crown and crumpet". They basically sell tea and scones and sandwiches and your sort of basic afternoon tea fixings. It's currently in Japantown (which is odd) and it's run by a couple- the husband is in fact English, and his American wife convinced him there was a market for a sort of low key afternoon tea place, and I think they do very well for themselves. It's a little cutesy, but the tea is excellent and so are the scones. (and the clotted cream oooh) anyways if you're closer to the west coast of the US than to the UK- I highly recommend it.

Also, wordshore? How would you go about having tea in a hedge? XD
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 4:01 PM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


How would you go about having tea in a hedge?

With all those branches and thorns?! Extremely carefully and slowly, and while wearing adequate protection against accidental penetration.

Get your minds out of the gutter, MeFites. Sometimes a hedge is just a hedge.
posted by Wordshore at 4:24 PM on August 13, 2018 [7 favorites]


I am having afternoon tea in London later this week and I AM SO EXCITED NOW!!

(I trawled old AskMe's for suggestions and I hope I enjoy the Wolseley as much as everyone else who has been there has!)
posted by invokeuse at 4:36 PM on August 13, 2018 [7 favorites]


I could have used an Afternoon Tea today... The closest I came to that was a discounted package of slightly crushed Tunnock's Tea Cakes which I neglected to buy because I was only buying "healthy" food. I regret it deeply.
posted by Ashwagandha at 4:37 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Afternoon tea with dim sum and gin cocktails? Oh my god I think I'll just have to call quits on the entire WEEK! Dim sum is traditionally eaten through the entire morning and through lunch, so that just sounds so dangerous.
posted by yueliang at 4:44 PM on August 13, 2018 [5 favorites]


Holy crud, that Yorkshire pud looks delicious.

I had some lovely teas in London. Earl Grey and scones on the Serpentine!
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:05 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


It's currently in Japantown (which is odd)

Have you seen Japan's tea and cafe culture? It puts ours (British and US) to shame! I can't really think of a better place for it in that area.
posted by yueliang at 5:18 PM on August 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


There is a teapot - but it's full of gin. Innovation is alive and well inEngland.
posted by theora55 at 5:19 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


I'm a little teapot, short and drunk.
Here is my handle; here is my *thunk*
posted by The Underpants Monster at 5:38 PM on August 13, 2018 [23 favorites]


Serving food in Yorkshire puddings. Again with the innovation. Brilliant. I want to do this, but it sounds like an awful lot of effort.

I was in London in my 20s and had a perfect afternoon tea at ... Ceylon House? or somewhere. I distinctly recall the clotted cream in Cornwall; it is decadent. A friend and I went window shopping in Boston and finished up with afternoon tea at the Ritz-Carlton. It was fancy and delicious, but the table next to us was gossiping loudly and that ended up being the highlight. I can't remember a bit of it except that it was riveting.

I just watched Season 5, Episode 9, Patisserie, of the Great British Baking Show. I wanted to try *all* the petits fours.

Wordshore, this is just the best post.
posted by theora55 at 5:52 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Thanks, Homo neanderthalensis, for the tip about Crown & Crumpet. Other similar gems in San Francisco include Lovejoy's Tea Room and the Sip Tea Room. And for a different style of Afternoon Tea, there's the glorious Japanese Tea Garden.
posted by PhineasGage at 6:04 PM on August 13, 2018 [4 favorites]


Have you seen Japan's tea and cafe culture? It puts ours (British and US) to shame! I can't really think of a better place for it in that area.

Oh yeah of course- but this place is super English coded you know? Like you'd expect a more traditional Japanese tea room and the crown and crumpet is a little like, comically English? Like I'm sure if I could take Wordshore here he'd enjoy it but I suspect there would be a little rolling of eyes you know?
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 7:15 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


No, I still don't think that would be strange, but that's probably based on how I went to Japan and saw a lot of adaptations of Western concepts/bars/cafes and they were done very well, and I just don't find many things that strange in general. I've also been to some English style tea rooms in very Asian areas (and I grew up in the Bay Area) so it's probably not as novel or segregated as you think. I just think when I think Asian areas in America, I think some of them would be down for something as fun-themed as English afternoon tea. I'm not from SF Japantown though, so I can't comment on that level. There's a lot of nuances to the whole diaspora/land owning/cultural ownership/etc thing on that level that I'm not at the knowledge-base yet to agree on.

But I do want to visit that English tea room now!
posted by yueliang at 8:49 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


The only reason I thought it was a little odd is because the crown and crumpet was originally in ghiradelli area but the rents went up and we thought they were toast but then they moved- and honestly? SF japan town had nothing like it. I agree on the adaptations thing- it’s just the first like that in the area. Still rocks though XD
posted by Homo neanderthalensis at 8:54 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Ohhh, I never knew that Crown and Crumpet was originally in Ghiradelli! Well that would definitely make it very jarring. Thank you for clarifying :)
posted by yueliang at 8:57 PM on August 13, 2018 [2 favorites]


Meanwhile, in the USA, Brits order tea in a restaurant and get a cup of water with a teabag in it. I'm guessing they are used to that by now. Not to say they are happy.
posted by kozad at 9:11 PM on August 13, 2018 [3 favorites]


Having visited or lived in Ireland for 14 years I still have to ask clarifying questions when asked by friends to "come to tea"
posted by rmhsinc at 11:01 PM on August 13, 2018 [1 favorite]


Betty's is indeed, as you say, from Harrogate (as also am I). But the film clip appears to have been shot in and around their York branch, which didn't exist in my day, several decades ago.

And there is traditional, English afternoon tea in Rome, too, at Babington's Tea Rooms next to the Spanish Steps.
posted by aqsakal at 1:37 AM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


I wonder if there is an English style tea place in Stockholm. I read about a fika place in London and was disappointed to discover it had nothing to do with Sweden whatsoever except the pun in the café’s title. Perhaps Wordshore knows. Paging Wordshore. :-)
posted by Bella Donna at 1:41 AM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Bella Donna: There is! I've not been to Tea & Garden myself, but I've heard nice things about it.
posted by soundofsuburbia at 5:46 AM on August 14, 2018 [2 favorites]


There is! I've not been to Tea & Garden myself, but I've heard nice things about it.

Are those scones? They look suspiciously unsconeulike.
posted by biffa at 6:13 AM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Are those scones? They look suspiciously unsconeulike.

One concurs with your visual analysis. Perhaps said hmmm food items are the result of bread mixture being baked inside muffin cups? An "on the ground" tasting report would be appreciated.
posted by Wordshore at 6:21 AM on August 14, 2018 [3 favorites]


Bella Donna - you will not be wrong to go to the Grand hotel at Södra Blasieholmshamnen 8, and enjoy their afternoon tea. Beautiful spot, superb hotel, wonderful waterfront terrace to be enjoyed in the summertime (or in winter too, as I did last year).
posted by seawallrunner at 6:43 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


Also, this list offers a few more good suggestions. The first one on the list, at the Hotel Diplomat, is also a must-see. Diplomat is right near the Grand.
posted by seawallrunner at 6:45 PM on August 14, 2018 [1 favorite]


I clicked on every single link. And now I want cake and fine wine.

(but I'll settle for some toast, instead.)
posted by 41swans at 9:30 AM on August 15, 2018 [1 favorite]


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