Afternoon tea is a tradition that dates back to the 1840s. It was first started by Anna Russell, the seventh Dutchess of Bedford, who was the lifelong friend of Queen Victoria. Anna, would feel hungry in the late afternoon and was looking for a way to curb her appetite during the long wait between lunch and the late evening meal. She first started by having a light snack with her tea privately in her boudoir. She later popularized it among the English aristocrats by sending out formal invitations to friends and affluential women to join her for afternoon tea at Woburn Abbey.

Tea has brought people together for centuries. Almost every culture has its own particular etiquette, manners, and customs when it comes to relaxing with a cup of tea. However, there are some basic manners and etiquette to follow when it comes to tea time.


Ready to enjoy a spot of tea?  Our goal is for you to come and have fun with us!  However, for those who are curious about what the "experts" say, here are a few dos and don’ts:




  • Let the tea steep as long as you like. If it is not to your taste, ask for a fresh pot. Tea should be replenished regularly.


  • Stir the tea delicately.


  • Eat the finger sandwiches with your hands. They are designed for and named after their purpose. Cakes tend to be more delicate and require at least a fork. A scone with cream and jam needs a guiding hand.


  • Enjoy at a leisurely pace.

  • Feel free to wear sportswear or sneakers. Afternoon tea is a much more relaxed affair these days, but you should still look smart.

  • Extend your pinky finger. (Just because you can!)


  • Add the milk first. Milk should be added after the tea so you can properly gauge how much you need to balance the strength of the brew. Though this is one of the most hotly debated of all the tea-related enigmas!

  • Forget the strainer over your cup.

  • Pronounce the long “o” in “scone.” It is properly pronounced “scon.”

  • Dunk your biscuits.