For our Downton Abbey Series, we have a treat this week. I am honored to welcome my friend, Katja Presnal, to Great Thoughts for a spot of tea. Katja has launched a new magazine, based on her brand, Skimbaco, which celebrates living life to the fullest. I immediately curled up with jasmine tea to read the first issue- fabulous!!
I would love to cordially invite you to spend an afternoon moment with me, preferably with a cup of tea, and some scones if you’d like. I am not normally this formal, but perhaps it’s the influence of Downton Abbey, and spending some virtual time with my editorial team members Reeta and Leigh, whom seem to be in love with afternoon tea! We are in fact so obsessed with finding the perfect afternoon tea, (or the perfect cafe on our travels) that we dedicated our first magazine issue to coffee and tea!
In the magazine Reeta Laaksonen of HouseofAnais.com explains the differences between different kind of afternoon teas (did you know there is also a champagne afternoon tea?), and the best spots to experience them in London.
This is what Reeta from London explains about the traditional afternoon tea:
“The traditional afternoon tea became popular in 19th century and was intended to be a light meal around 4pm – between the lunch and the dinner, which used to be served around 8pm at the time. This tea comes with both sweet and savory bite size treats, usually savory finger sandwiches, maybe quiche, scones and cakes or petit four.”
I personally love cucumber sandwiches with afternoon tea, and ahem, anything sweet! The proper afternoon tea will have the entire spread of delicious bites for you to enjoy with your tea, and in all honesty, preparing the English style afternoon tea at home is a lot of work. Obviously the full spread is not required, and you could just make an easy quiche and have scones and clotted cream, and the best of jams.
In fact, the English have a “lighter version” of the afternoon tea, called the “cream tea,” where only scones and some Cornish or Devonshire cream are served. British are very passionate about their afternoon tea, in fact so much, that people have very strong opinions even whether to spread first the jam or the clotted cream on the scone!
This is what Reeta says:
“The clotted cream question goes back the origin of the clotted cream, or rather creams: Cornish and Devonshire cream. It seems to be unclear where clotted cream originates, but it’s one of the two regions mentioned above: people from Cornwall spread first the jam and then top with the cream, whereas people from Devon do it the other way round. So there is no right and wrong etiquette for the clotted cream. I have tried both ways – and prefer to spread first jam and then add as much clotted cream as possible!”
If you are not planning a trip to England anytime soon, don’t worry, most luxury hotels in the US also serve an afternoon tea, and they are the best way to experience the full blown experience. In our magazine Leigh covers how the classic Jefferson Hotel in Virginia serves their afternoon tea, but you don’t have to even travel to that landmark hotel. Check out any local luxury hotels in the nearest city to you, and see if they serve an afternoon tea. Trust me, driving to city with a friend for a fancy afternoon tea will be the perfect mini-getaway!
If you would like to virtually travel around the world, and read more of our stories, (including where to find tea in Asia), check out our new magazine.
Guest post by Katja Presnal, editor-in-chief of Skimbaco Lifestyle, a global lifestyle magazine inspiring to live life to the fullest. You can find Katja instagramming her travels on Instagram as Skimbaco.
What are you reading and where are you going?