Make Your Own Traditional English Afternoon Tea

*This is a collaborative post*

Contrary to popular belief, tea time isn’t exclusively a UK thing, but it's actually global. In nations like New Zealand, Australia and Canada especially, tea is also a very popular drink. And yes, they put milk in it too! But, we have to admit, the English still own and make the best tea time meals in the world. Well, it's where the culture originated from, so it's bound to set the bar. Traditional English tea time consists of sandwiches, sweet treats and the finest tea money can buy. It might not sound complicated, but there’s a way you go about making this meal.

The classic scone or ‘scon’

Perhaps the most famous and well-known English tea time treat is the jam and cream scone. It doesn’t matter how you say it, it's bloody delicious.


300-400g of self-raising flour
1/4 teaspoon of baking powder
100g of butter, (cut into small cubes)
175ml of milk
1 tablespoon of vanilla extract,
3 tablespoons of caster sugar
Fresh lemon juice (just a squeeze)
1 beaten egg
Strawberry or raspberry jam (raspberry is more traditional)
Clotted cream (Cornwall if possible)

There are plenty of different baking techniques for a scone but the simplest and easy-to-follow one is found here. So many newcomers to scones say they are too dry. That’s because they are meant to be. You add the cream and jam to your liking to make the scones irresistibly delicious. Unless you have sultanas in your scone mixture, you won’t be eating them dry. 

The star of the show

Of course, tea is the main attraction of English traditional tea time. Even though there are many sweet treats, tea is the glue that binds everything together. But you don’t have tea bags or milk to form the greatest cup of tea. You instead need the finest black tea you can buy, preferably in loose-leaf form. English Earl Grey is the traditional choice and it can be bought for as low as £9.99. This is a high-quality product, so you know you’re getting a truly authentic taste. The other option is rare English tea, which isn’t as strong in flavour and should be more familiar to the taste buds of the everyday person.

Traditional English tea sandwiches 

No, it's not all cucumbers and watercress sandwiches at a traditional English tea. Smoked salmon and dill is a very popular sandwich choice. It goes well with tea because the smoky flavour is offset by the smooth richness of the tea. However, boiled eggs and fresh salad, along with cherry tomatoes with a pinch of cracked black pepper is also a fantastic snack. Tuna sandwiches are given the green light but they must purely be plain, with nothing added to mask the flavour of the mashed tuna chunks. Crab salad with individual pomegranates and watercress is also a popular choice.

The traditional English tea would not be what it is, without the jam and clotted cream scone. Making this at home is a rite of passage for tea time lovers!

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