British Royal Family

How to do traditional English afternoon tea... just like the Queen!

A comprehensive guide to English afternoon tea that would make Her Majesty proud.

By Erin Holohan in London
Queen Elizabeth

You know that tired feeling you get in the afternoon? Some time between lunch and dinner?

Well Anne, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, combated her 3pm slump with tea and snacks. Today, she's credited with the wonderful English tradition of afternoon tea.

With her 90th birthday just one day away, there's a good chance Queen Elizabeth will celebrate with afternoon tea.

And you too can celebrate her special milestone with the fabulous English tradition.

Tuck in! Afternoon tea always consists of three tiers.
Tuck in! Afternoon tea always consists of three tiers.

Woman's Day's Foreign Editor Erin Holohan shows you how it's done as she dines at Rubens at the Palace, opposite Buckingham Palace in London.

The bottom tier
Afternoon tea always consists of three tiers, and the bottom tier is the first stop. It's filled with savory sandwiches and wraps. Think egg, salmon and spinach, and, of course, a traditional cream cheese and cucumber sandwich!

The middle tier
No afternoon tea is complete without delicious, freshly baked scones. Topped with jam and cream - and in some cases today lemon curd - they're the quintessential English treat.

The top tier
The best bit! The top tier is filled with everything and anything sweet. From raspberry tarts to macaroons and strawberry Eton mess, it's a sugar lover's dream.

Don't forget the drinks!
No English afternoon tea is complete without a pot of, well, tea. These days there are a host to choose from, although English Breakfast will always be a favourite. And if you're keen to indulge a little more than normal, a glass of champagne is also perfectly acceptable. The Queen however, has her own drink of choice - a gin and dubonnet!

For full coverage of The Queen’s 90th, head here!

Cheers! *Woman's Day's* Foreign Editor Erin enjoys some bubbles with her traditional English afternoon tea.
Cheers! Woman's Day's Foreign Editor Erin enjoys some bubbles with her traditional English afternoon tea.

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