1 . Afternoon tea is served traditionally between 3 and 5 p.m. It was originally designed to fill the gap between lunch and dinner. 4pm though is often cited as the best time for afternoon tea.
2. Please put away your phones, sunglasses, make up kit and any other personal items either on a chair, or inside your bag. These items should not be placed on the table.
3. Please don’t stick out your pinkie. There is a large misconception about it. Listen forget about it. Its uncouth sticking your pinkie out when sipping tea. Do not do it. Just do not do it.
4. The correct order to enjoy the food is savory to sweet: start with the lower tier, which has sandwiches. Then proceed to the middle tier with the scones and lastly the top tier consisting of sweets/ pastries. Please note, you don’t have to finish everything on each tier. Have a taste of each, but in that order.
5. Pronunciation of scones is very important. It is always ‘skon’ and never ‘skone’.
6. When having tea, the handle of the teacup stays at 3 o’clock, unless you are left-handed and then you turn it to 9 o’clock. This helps with the easy movement as you sip your tea.
7. The saucer always must stay on the table. Do not hold it/ carry it as you sip your tea while seated at the table.
8. Your teaspoon should be at the 6 o’clock position when you are stirring, so you gently stir the tea towards 12 o’clock without touching the sides of the teacup. Slowly but very gently without making noise at the table. Place the spoon on the saucer when you are done.
9. Always Spread the cream on the scones first then top with the jam provided. Spread them across the entire the scone with a knife.
10. Never use a knife to break the scones. Use your fingers to break them into two. Scones are broken, not cut. Afternoon tea experts say you then break it in half vertically then break that into half so you’re eating a quarter of the scone at a time.
11. How to hold your teacup is important so you don’t drop it. It is said, (by the experts) pinch your index and thumb between the loop of the handle and then put your middle finger along the bottom of the handle to support it.
12. Take your time. When enjoying an English tea, you should enjoy it in a leisurely manner and not gorge like it’s your last meal. When having afternoon, time stops. Relax and enjoy every minute of it. Afternoon tea is ideal for dates with family, friends or spouse, bridal and wedding showers,…just any occasion that calls for happy times.
This afternoon tea date was shot at The Lord Erroll Restaurant, Runda, the premier French and gourmet restaurant in East Africa ( https://www.lord-erroll.com/ )
(Pictures by Maingi Kabera, assisted by B Murage and Production by Ubunifu Media for Capital Lifestyle (2020).)