Afternoon Tea has seen a big revival, The Ritz in London has a waiting list. Why has this tradition become so popular?
The aim of this assignment is to focus on evaluating and researching the current trends of the Traditional Afternoon Tea, the local factors that caused the transition from its origins since 1840's to our days and other multicultural influences that have or may bring changes in what the Afternoon Tea is today. Today's trends have a huge power upon people's daily basic decisions from 'what should I eat today?' to 'can I still wear last year's autumn boots?'. Trends are quickly changing and this has an effect on almost everything in the world, from economy to psychologically wise. The Afternoon Tea has also suffered many changes during the last couple of centuries, but some of the changes must have been good as the tradition is carried forward today.
HISTORY: The Afternoon Tea is a ritual which started in Britain in the early 1840's. It's purpose was to stem the hunger between two main meals, lunch and the evening meal which back then was served around 8 pm. In the early years the Afternoon Tea was separated into two categories: one was the regular Afternoon Tea and the other one was called High Tea. The difference between these was differentiating two social classes, the upper society and the working class. The name of High Tea was given for the reason that this meal was served at the table, while the posh Afternoon Tea was served while seating on low comfortable chairs. However, this was only the beginning, as the Afternoon Tea has come a long way to become what it is today and it's in continuing change and improvement.
Fig. 1 – Afternoon Tea
(source: History of Afternoon Tea, 2012)
According to Lillicrap, Cousins & Smith (2002), the old English tradition of serving afternoon tea at 4 o'clock is slowly dying and is being replaced by the trend of having tea and pastries only. Even the venue changes from the classic hotel lounge to cafés, coffee shops and food courts.
Following their further statements based on research taken before 2002, the Afternoon Tea was still served in many establishments and also in three different settings: * Full Afternoon Tea (served in a first class hotel) * High Tea (served in an average price restaurant, café or department store) * Reception or buffet tea The Afternoon Tea was initially composed of sandwiches and cakes served with tea. In time the menu had began to expand, as people started eating more, both males and females. In the later years the menu for a Full Afternoon Tea had become a rather filling lunch, than a light snack. In most restaurants it included some or all of the following items, which were served in the same order, but not before the hot beverages which now included coffee instead of tea: * Hot buttered toast or toasted teacake or crumpets * Assorted sandwiches (smoked salmon, cucumber, tomato, sardine, egg, gentleman's relish) * Brown and white bread and butter * Warmed scones (with butter or clotted cream) * Raspberry or strawberry jam * Gateaux and pastries
Today the Afternoon Tea has become a treat, a luxurious lunch served for a special event or occasion. Top class restaurants in London, Manchester and other big cities around UK serve an exquisite selection of sandwiches usually cut delicately into “fingers” or triangles, traditional scones with rich clotted cream and strawberry or raspberry preserve, sweet pastries and cakes, all served with freshly brewed tea or coffee. And if this menu is not posh enough for you, your Afternoon Tea experience can be upgraded to Champagne Afternoon Tea, which of course includes a glass of Champagne.
Afternoon Tea at The Ritz, London
The Ritz is a marvellous gilded Louis XVI château in the heart of London, located on prim Piccadilly, overlooking the Green Park and including its own