The Sweet Life! With Christine Kropp; How To High Tea like Downton Abbey with a sprinkle of history

Christine Kropp

Enjoy Afternoon Tea, just like on Downton Abbey

Did you see it? Couldn’t you just sit and watch all day? Premiered on September 20th, the much-anticipated release of the Downton Abbey movie. And it didn’t disappoint. I just love the Victorian era, the large stately homes, the formal dress, family hierarchy, meals served with such etiquette, most of all afternoon tea.

Served late afternoon, typically 4pm, where you can sit, relax and enjoy a pot of tea, finger sandwiches, bite size sweets, and scones smothered in jam.

Many consider this “high” tea, which is actually more of a supper, served around 6pm with light hot meal being served.

Starting with the perfect pot of tea. Loose leaf tea is best, as you will get full flavour out of the tea leaves, instead of processed grounded tea in a tea bag. Heat the water in an electric kettle to a full rolling boil, warming up your porcelain teapot with hot water first prior to making the tea.

Offer a selection of finger sandwiches first, then a selection of bite size sweets, followed by scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam. Scones should be broken in half, not cut, and the jam spread on first, then the cream.

DID you know ...

Afternoon Tea was introduced in Britain in the early 1840s (

Scones are not biscuits, typically have sugar in the dough, and would only have currents added in or served plain.

Black tea should be made with full rolling-boiling water, then steeped for 5mins for optimum flavour.

Christine Kropp is a regular columnist at Muskoka Post and owner of Huntsville’s Whimsical Bakery. For more of Christine’s food adventures and recipes visit her blog:

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