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The Art of Afternoon Tea: A Private Chef’s Perspective


As a private chef, the culinary world offers endless opportunities to explore and create, one of which is the art of afternoon tea. This classic British tradition has been enjoyed by many since the 19th century, becoming a symbol of leisure and refinement. In this blog post, we will dive into the history, essential elements, and proper etiquette surrounding afternoon tea while providing a private chef’s insight into creating the perfect experience for your guests.

Afternoon Tea Service

The History of Afternoon Tea

The tradition of afternoon tea is said to have begun in the 1840s with Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who found herself feeling peckish between lunch and dinner. She began requesting a tray of tea, bread, and butter in the afternoon, and soon invited friends to join her. This practice quickly gained popularity, evolving into an elaborate event that included a variety of sandwiches, pastries, and cakes, accompanied by perfectly brewed tea.

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Tea Selection

The star of the afternoon tea experience is, of course, the tea itself. Offer a variety of high-quality tea blends, such as classic options like Earl Grey, Darjeeling, or Assam, and more exotic selections like Lapsang Souchong or Jasmine Green Tea. Remember that the brewing time and temperature are crucial to achieving the perfect flavor.

Savoury Sandwiches

Afternoon tea sandwiches are traditionally made with thinly sliced bread and an assortment of delicate fillings. Classic combinations include cucumber and cream cheese, smoked salmon and dill, and egg salad. As a private chef, you can get creative with the ingredients and presentation to elevate the experience.


Scones are a quintessential part of afternoon tea. The ideal scone should be light, flaky, and slightly sweet, served warm with clotted cream and fruit preserves. Private chefs can experiment with flavors like orange and cranberry, or lavender and lemon, to add a touch of uniqueness to the spread.

Pastries and Cakes

A selection of small pastries and cakes adds a sweet finish to the afternoon tea. Offer traditional favourites like fruit tarts, éclairs, and macarons, alongside more innovative creations such as matcha tea-infused cake or rosewater meringues.


The presentation is just as important as the food itself. Use elegant tiered cake stands, fine china, and silverware to create a visually stunning display. Fresh flowers and linen napkins can also enhance the overall ambiance.

Afternoon Tea Menu

Get in Touch With Shaun Today!

If the idea of indulging in a luxurious afternoon tea experience crafted by a private chef has piqued your interest, we’d be delighted to hear from you! With attention to detail, creativity, and a commitment to using only the finest ingredients, we are dedicated to designing an unforgettable afternoon tea event tailored to your specific needs and preferences. To discuss your vision and learn more about our services, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with us. We look forward to the opportunity to bring the elegance and refinement of this time-honoured tradition to your next gathering.