Friday, April 2, 2010

Afternoon Tea

From my last post you learned about things that I love, including tea. Hand in hand, I also love the tradition of afternoon tea as well. This week I was finally able to attend the annual Cherry Blossom Tea at the National Cathedral with the Northern Virginia Lolitas. It was my first time to visit the Cathedral and the tour was very educational. Tea afterward was very nice as well. Since this wasn’t actually a tea house, the service was a little different with somewhat smaller portions and only one variety of tea (Earl Grey if I remember correctly). Still, you couldn’t beat the location: the seventh floor observation gallery in a beautiful Gothic cathedral!

As much as I love going out to tea (it’s one of my favorite Sunday activities), it tends to become very expensive so I like to indulge myself with afternoon tea at home during the week. Afternoon tea can be as fancy or as casual as you would like it to be. You certainly don’t need any fancy plates, tea cups or food. Usually my husband comes home from work a bit later than my stomach is willing to wait for him so I enjoy an afternoon snack of maybe a half of a vegetable sandwich, scone or cookies along with a small pot of tea. Very simple and often consisting of just what I have around at hand. That’s actually how afternoon tea was started historically!

My favorite variety of tea for the afternoon is either Victorian Rose or Buckingham Palace Garden Party because I prefer floral flavors over fruit tastes. There are so many different varieties of tea though, it’s fun to experiment and try many! Tea and its many varieties will have to wait for another blog post in the future though!

If you’re interested in going out to tea, my favorite resource is which has a listing of tearooms which also include reviews. It’s a great place to get started, but you can also call your local, often more high end hotels and ask if they offer an afternoon tea which are often not listed on their own as tearooms. Whether you choose to take tea at home or out with friends I hope you find it as enjoyable and relaxing as I do!

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