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Jazz Up a Classic, English-Style Afternoon Tea

A special afternoon tea English-style would not be complete without a famous Victoria Sponge

LONDON: If you’re planning a wonderful English afternoon tea for an extra special occasion, you’ll want to ensure it’s one to remember. With just a little effort it’s possible to take your afternoon tea to a whole new level. Try cheese straws and sausage rolls, smoked salmon gravadlax and a warming cup of Darjeeling.

Cake for Afternoon Tea

Using gravadlax

A staple of any delectable afternoon tea is smoked salmon finger sandwiches. These delicate long pieces of sandwich are the perfect vehicle for smoked salmon and dill. They just have the right level of flavour without being too overpowering. If you want a smoked salmon finger that’s more than just supermarket offcuts, we recommend using gravadlax. This Scandinavian dry-cured salmon is marinated for a long time in herbs to infuse into the fish for a more refined flavor.

Be brave – new jams and chutneys

Whether you prefer to put your jam on a scone, one way to make some fresh scones extra special is to sample some different flavors. Strawberry and raspberry jam is delicious. But if you want to take things to the next level, why not try something more adventurous. Gooseberry and rhubarb jams are a great choice, and so-very-British.

Indulge in a bottle of fizz. If you’re hosting at home for family or friends, what better way to crank things up a notch or two by adding some fine wine into the mix. Turning it into a champagne afternoon tea that would cost a fortune at The Dorchester! If you want to focus on prepping the delicious food, you can have high quality bottles of Moet delivered to your door in plenty of time to have those glasses full to welcome your guests.

A classic Victoria Sponge

An extra special quintessential afternoon tea English-style would not be complete without a famous Victoria Sponge. If you’re hosting your own tea party at home, order one from, it’s easy! Named after Queen Victoria by Anna, the Duchess of Bedford and one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting, this light sponge was baked especially for Queen Victoria’s tea parties. Queen Victoria was particularly fond of sweet treats from chocolate and plain sponges to petit fours and pralines.

The Queen’s favourite

It is said that Her Royal Highness Queen Elizabeth II is something of a chocoholic. One of her favorite selections for an afternoon tea is a Chocolate Perfection Pie. This indulgent pastry dish is lined with cinnamon, meringue and chocolate cream before being garnished with milk and white chocolate shavings. If you want you and your guests to dine like royalty, this will tick all the right boxes. The recipe of the Queen’s beloved chocolate pie recipe was revealed by former royal chef Darren McGrady

Early Grey or Darjeeling tea 

In Britain as well as abroad, not enough people consider the types of tea that complement their afternoon tea best. For an extra special afternoon tea, consider a gentle fruity and citrus tea that’s perfect with sweet treats. Both Darjeeling and Earl Grey are strong enough to cleanse the palate while cutting through the richness of your baked delights.

There’s no better way to impress your guests than by matching your food with your beverages. Afternoon tea isn’t just a meal, it’s an event. Give it the due care and attention it deserves and you will be richly rewarded!

Philip A. Nortvedt
Philip A. Nortvedt
I use to rent a studio in an Italian village and pop up to watch the history and architecture for inspiration. My favourite bar is next to the central Piazza, they do surprisingly fruit drinks and delicious pizza. One day I will tell you the exact location


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