Most people think of tea sandwiches when they think of Afternoon Tea. Crustless sandwiches are the benchmark of tea trays for hundreds of years. They also are found at Garden Parties, which I like to call tea outside.
Check out Online Guide to Afternoon Tea for full history.
- In 1662 Catherine of Braganza of Portugal married Charles II and brought with her the preference for tea over alcohol to Court.
- 1830/40’s. Anne, Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria’s ladies-in-waiting “invented” the Afternoon Tea, having food brought to her room in the afternoon; some ladies were invited, others set about gathering their own friends together.
- Afternoon Tea is likely what you are going want to book. It is the tea service served with the little sandwiches, scones and tea.
- Cream Tea is a tea service with just scones, cakes, clotted cream and tea. No lovely little crustless sandwiches, I’m afraid.
- Think of High Tea as supper, not time for scones.
- When building your tea tray, the preferred order is scones on top, sweets and fruit in the middle, and the savories–wee tarts and sandwiches–on the bottom layer.
- Your freezer (or your local grocer) is your friend when preparing your tea party. Sandwiches need to be made fresh, but you can freeze much of your baked goods.
- Allow 5 savory items per person, 3 or 4 different types of sweets.
Types of Sandwiches Served at Afternoon Tea
If you have kids, you are probably already a pro at making little crustless sandwiches. Here are few variations (all crustless, of course) which you can prepare to plate on their own, or to add to the bottom level of your three tiered tray.