Afternoon tea, usually served between 4:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m., became popular during the 1840s and remained so throughout Queen Victoria’s very long reign. An urn of boiling water was carried to the lady’s drawing room along with teapots, and the caddy which held the loose leaf tea. The lady of the house prepared the tea and poured – this was her repsonsibilty. Once the tea was poured, the servants handed the cup and saucer to guests. The servants offered small cakes, cucumber sandwiches, scones and clotted cream and other dainties. Here is a recipe for such a dainty.
Simply Splendid Chicken Tea Sandwiches
1/2 cup finely chopped cooked chicken (no skin)
1/4 cup chopped almonds (blanched)
1-1/2 teaspoons chopped green onions
Combine these three ingredients together.
2 tablespoons mayonnaise
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
Whisk these two ingredients to blend flavours thoroughly. Add mayonnaise/mustard blend to chicken until a spreadable consistency is achieved. Should you need more a more spreadable consistency add 1/2 a tablespoon of mayonnaise to the chicken mixture.
Butter 12 slices of bread; spread the simply splendid chicken spread on six slices of bread; cover each slice; press firmly on the sandwiches; trim the crusts and then cut each sandwich into four. Garnish with watercress stems and seedless green grapes
Afternoon tea is recognized as a thoroughly British tradition in every corner of the world. Queen Victoria, England’s longest reigning monarch (although she may have to give up the distinction pretty soon to her great-great-grand-daughter, Queen Elizabeth ll), made afternoon tea very popular. At Simply Splendid Victorian Afternoon Teas, we are dedicated to recapturing the charm and the elegance of this splendid English tradition. We are a niche catering company serving the Greater Toronto Area. We prepare and deliver an array of freshly-made finger sandwiches and tea cakes. If required, we can also provide you with fine table linens and fine bone china.
Queen Victoria would be pleased!
Do you have afternoon tea rituals? We’d love to hear from you.