Afternoon tea is a tradition that began in 1840 by Anna, the Seventh Duchess of Bedford. Due to a long period between meals, the Duchess experienced a sinking feeling every afternoon between 3 o'clock and 4 o'clock. One afternoon, she requested a tray of tea, bread, butter, and cake to be brought to her room.

Gradually, she became accustomed to this habit and invited her friends to join her in her daily ritual. Within a short period of time, this affair, afternoon tea, became an elaborate social event.
 
 
Often times there is confusion between afternoon tea and high tea. "High" tea was served on a higher table, took place at 6 o'clock and consisted of a hearty meal in a rambunctious atmosphere, while afternoon tea was dainty with delicate food and feminine decor.

Although there has been a change in afternoon tea, it is still a graceful affair to enjoy in the company of friends and associates.

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