[T]here are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea – Henry James

I love tea. Tea is great. I like drinking tea and smelling tea and talking about tea and just saying the word “tea” in general.

If I lived in England, you can be sure that I would take part in a high afternoon tea ritual EVERY WEEK (or at least every two weeks). Today, we staged our own afternoon tea (the lovely Bozzo sisters, Nina and Anna, were supposed to join us, but then yesterday it crazy-snowed and so it was down to two):

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Afternoon tea involves a lot of sweets – pastries and such – and at least one type of sandwich (usually 2). I got my Mooms to make chicken and avocado wraps and we put them on this nice wooden board.

I spent most of yesterday and this morning baking (it should be noted that, while I enjoy baking, it’s not my forte – I tend to spill a lot (usually flour) and my measuring capabilities are not the best). I made:

-Earl Grey madeleines, following this recipe (because I don’t have “madeleine” pans, I just put drops of dough onto a sheet.

-Scones, to be enjoyed with jam (or clotted cream, if we had any), from here

-Brown sugar cookies (in the shape of bears) and shortbread (snowmen and bells) from the handy Pillsbury Christmas cookie booklet we picked up about a month ago.

We also made cupcakes from a box…mainly because the box mix was about to expire and we didn’t want to waste it.

Our pot of tea was loose-leaf Christmas Blend from Harvey Nichols – delicious! (and it smells soo nice!). And we started to watch The Holiday, which, while good, always takes us at least 2-3 days because it’s long.

The thing with afternoon tea is that there are so many little things to eat that, by the time you pause for a breather, you realize you really are very full. Although, since we were at home, it’s much easier to drop the leftovers into a container and save it for later than it is if you’re in a real tea room.

That being said, if you’re a tea-fan at all, I highly recommend doing a proper afternoon tea at some point in your life. There’s something magical about it that you don’t want to miss.

 

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