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Time for Tea

The taking of afternoon tea has long been a great British tradition. That most quintessential of English customs was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in 1840. The Duchess would become hungry at around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, leaving a long period between lunch and dinner. The Duchess took to asking for a tray of tea, bread and butter (sometime earlier, the Earl of Sandwich had had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread) and cake to be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers, and she began inviting friends to join her.

This pause for tea has since become a fashionable, social event. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was frequently served in the drawing-room between four and five o’clock. Consisting of a selection of dainty sandwiches including (of course) thinly sliced cucumber sandwiches, scones served with clotted cream and preserves, cakes and pastries, traditional afternoon tea is served with tea poured from silver teapots into delicate bone china cups. Avery care homes pride themselves in the art of a fine afternoon tea. Many event is adorned with lavish home-baked treats freshly prepared by the home’s highly- skilled chefs. From Mother’s Day to celebrations for The Queen’s birthday to an opportunity to socialise as a community or even as a fundraising opportunity, the afternoon tea always washes down well. Avery’s ambassador, Sherrie Hewson, also loves to get involved when she can visit our homes and delights the residents by joining in with the occasion.

“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” – Henry James.

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