Taking afternoon tea is a very British tradition. In the 1880’s it became fashionable to have afternoon served in the drawing room around four o’clock. As well as tea a range of dainty sandwiches, scones and cakes were served. It was a formal affair, ladies would change into long gowns, gloves and hats and enjoy a leisurely afternoon tea served in delicate china cups. In our family we grew up having a cup of tea and a biscuit in the afternoon. It was nice for the family to sit down together at the table and chat. At weekends our grandparents joined us and tea became a more formal affair, often with home make cakes and scones. A cup of tea in the afternoon is a great way to pick you up in the afternoon. Even better if it can be enjoyed with home made cakes or scones, like these raspberry and pecan scones I made from the crop of raspberries that are now appearing in my garden. Only a few are ripe at the moment but I think I am going to have a bumper crop this year.
These scones were perfect with a cup of tea. While it is easy to have a cup of tea in the afternoon when you are at home, it is not so easy to have a tea break if you work in a busy office. With a large work load and meetings going on often you can feel guilty if you step away from the computer to have a tea break. Tetley tea surveyed 2000 British workers and found that 44% felt they were too busy at work to take a tea break. A tea break was seen as unproductive and a waste of time. In reality a tea break can increase your productivity and allow you to catch up with your colleagues over a cuppa. The study showed 44% of workers feel re-energised after a tea break and 33% feel more productive. Tetley is calling on 500 businesses to bring back the tea break and give workers a chance to feel less stressed during the day.
Having a cup of tea at your desk whilst working does not count as a tea break. Take time away from your desk and take a break from your work. That way you will feel rejuvenated after your cuppa. Why not take some home made cakes or scones to share with your colleagues? Maybe set up a system where a different person brings in treats every Friday so you have something to look forward to. Mix up your tea break by serving different types of teas. Tetley have a range of tea from original to fruit teas which can be used to make cups of tea or glasses of iced tea for a hot day.
These raspberry pecan scones make the ideal treat for a tea break. The fruity taste of the raspberries mingles well with the nutty pecans making a perfect summer scone. Serve with butter and jam, and if you are feeling indulgent add a blob of cream on top. Pour your tea into a cup with a saucer and serve at a table with family and friends. The simple act of spreading butter onto a scone will make for a leisurely tea break and encourage conversation.
A lovely regional recipe that is great for afternoon tea are sly cakes which also go by other names.
Linking up with the kitchen clearout linky on Madhouse Family reviews as I finally managed to use up that half bag of pecnan nuts that has been lurking in my cupboard for ages.