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Afternoon Tea

This recipe is in category Interwar Years,
About this recipe:
Difficulty: not rated

Afternoon tea, which had become fashionable in late Victorian and Edwardian times, became very popular between the wars. Tea had become the national drink and this was the time of the cake - sugar was plentiful and women were encouraged by magazines to try an increasing variety of cake recipes, for afternoon tea at home.

For going out, Lyon's tea houses had spread throughout the country and were popular places for women to meet and chat, whilst having tea, sandwiches and cakes.

For images of the cooking process see our Afternoon Tea Pictures.

With thanks to Pam McMillan (Time Travel) and Cathy Flower-Bond (Tudor Tales) with their help in making this podcast.


Making and cooking it
  1. Boil the kettle on the range
  2. Use a little water from the kettle to warm the tea pot by swishing this around in the tea pot
  3. Replace the kettle on the range, empty the warm water from the tea pot
  4. Add the tea
  5. Remove the kettle from the range and pour on the hot water
  6. Place the lid on the tea pot and cover with the tea cosy (this will keep the tea warm)
  7. Allow the tea to brew for a few minutes
  8. Make ready the tray; place a cup and saucer on the tray, add the milk to the milk jug and place this on the tray along with a sugar bowl containing some sugar cubes. Add a dish with a few slices of lemon (some people prefer to put lemon in their tea rather than milk)
  9. Place the tea pot on the tray and take the tray to where the tea will be served
  10. If using milk, add a little milk to the cup and then add the tea
  11. Serve with afternoon cakes