Afternoon tea is one of my favourite things – and if it isnt one of yours, then Im sure you just haven,t tried the right ones! That, or maybe you just dont like cake as much as me…. Not much can beat an afternoon spent some where cosy, with a buddy to talk to, enjoying indulgent treats while consuming your weight in tea!
The tradition of afternoon tea is said to have arose from ‘that sinking feeling’ you get in the middle of the afternoon. Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is one of the first people said to enjoy a pot of tea and a light snack in the afternoon – as at time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, followed by dinner at around 8 o’clock in the evening. I can only imagine how hungry I would have been come mid afternoon! At first she enjoyed her snack alone, but soon discovered the joys of an afternoon spent with nibbles and friends. Often inviting people to join her from London for tea and a walk in the fields! A delightful way to spend your time with friends 🙂
Nowadays, afternoon tea is more of treat, coming at special occasions – or the odd catch up. I cant always stop mid afternoon for sandwiches, cake and tea! But I suppose now we take lunch, its probably not so necessary! And afternoon tea is a rather large meal in most places I have visited. Sandwiches, scones and sweet treats – you dont usually need lunch or dinner that day!
M treated me to a pre Valentines day surprise this year – and he had done his research! Or twitter stalking as the case may be…. and took me on a little road trip to Hillstown farm – a family run farm shop near Ahogill in Co Antrim. And let me tell you – it was a good decision! Once we found it…. but sure who doesnt like a bit of adventure lol
The treats varied from sandwiches made with gorgeous ham ( something I will one day be able to master myself…. ), a warm wrap and panini – to scones, fifteens, chocolate eclairs, shortbread and more besides! Though the main hit with M was the sweet individual apple pies, with custards. And it was nice to have something a little different from usual – and since M had lusted after the tarts in the shop on the way in, he was chuffed 😀 After over an hour we had to admit defeat and ask the lovely waitress for a box to take some home with us – I challenge anyone to eat all those goodies in one sitting!!
We also made sure to have a browse around the Farm Shop – easier said than done on such a full tummy! I always find it hard to think about food when I have recently eaten so much of it… so we only came away with a few things. 4 of which were beers from Hillstown Brewery – and another was a free range chicken and ham pie. Any one who knows me, will know about my hens and my strong feeling about animal welfare. So it was great to able to get a convenience product that I felt good about eating! And very yummy it was to 😉 Oh – and the beers were a great pairing too 😀 I particularly loved the Massey Red Ale ♥
Do you enjoy afternoon tea? Been for any wonderful ones recently? I always love to add new ones to my list of must tries!