Did you know afternoon tea was invented to curb hunger? In England during the mid-19th Century, Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford, found herself a little peckish in the late afternoon. With lunch served early in the day and dinner not expected until the fashionably late hour of 9 p.m., she rang for a tray of snacks to quash her cravings. The ritual became a habit and the rest is history.
Not to be confused with high tea, which, as Calgary’s etiquette coach Ms. Modern Manners explains, is a hearty supper served between 5 and 7 p.m., afternoon tea is a selection of finger foods served between 2 and 4 p.m.. “Unless you’re serving cake, you usually don’t need forks at afternoon tea,” says Ms. Modern Manners. “Moving from savoury to sweet, you start with small sandwiches on the bottom of a three-tiered stand, then scones, jam and clotted cream in the middle, finishing
with bite-size sweets on top.” To learn more about the art of etiquette, follow @msmodernmanners on Instagram.
Calgary offers some tea-rific options to help us enjoy this ritual at home.
Fine & Dandy
Founded during the COVID-19 pandemic as a way to connect with community, Fine & Dandy Jelly is a small, local e-business that produces gourmet jams, jellies and sweet-treat gift boxes. Owned and operated by a self-professed sweet tooth, Fine & Dandy uses locally-sourced ingredients to create unique, themed boxes. The Fine & Dandy Teabox comes with a jar of homemade Meyer Lemon Curd, Blueberry and Ginseng Herbal Tea Jelly, handcrafted Chai Tea Caramels and Earl Grey Vanilla Mini Marshmallows.