Tea and porcelain teacups were produced in China as early as 3500 BC. In Europe, afternoon tea became a fashionable social event in the 1840’s, two hundred years after the first tea was brought from China. As a young women, Anna the 7th Duchess of Bedford lived during a time when it was common to eat only two main meals a day, with breakfast scheduled early in the morning and dinner occuring late in the evening.
Weakened and irritated by hunger pangs each day, she decided to schedule time to take tea and snack each afternoon. This private ceremony was firstly done in her bedroom, but over time well-heeled acquaintances joined her and the practice was perpetuated. It became a truly British institution and tradition. Nowadays tea rooms throughout the country offer variations of this centuries-old tradition.
Now that Spring is officially here, it is the time to start thinking of the beautiful English countryside, flower shows, cricket, tennis and those lovely lazy days spent taking afternoon tea....
We are now taking bookings for Afternoon Tea at Chequers and for inspiration we have been to The Ritz, London; Reid’s Palace, Madeira; The Mock Turtle, Brighton and Orange Pekoe, Barnes. All of these afternoon tea spots have one aim in mind – to serve the perfect afternoon tea with the usual fair including sandwiches, scones, cakes and freshly brewed teas and coffee (orange Pekoe in particular is famous for its wide range of exotic teas ranging from "Antique Rose Buds White Tea" to "China Rose Congou")! All of these places serve wonderfully indulgent cream teas in a relaxed and ambient atmosphere and Chequers looks to join them on the list of "top spots for this famous English Institution".
Our menu includes delicious home made sandwiches and cakes and everyone’s favourite – scones with clotted cream and jam. Our daughter has a gluten allergy so we know how important it is to cater for those that cant enjoy normal cake! In order that everyone can enjoy our Afternoon Tea we source gluten free cakes on request from the famous Treacle & Co in Brighton!
Gluten Free Orange and Almond Cake from Treacle and Co Brighton!
Too many cupcakes to choose from!
To drink we have freshly brewed coffee and english teas. Taking inspiration from Orange Pekoe we have a range of teas including refreshing Clipper Green Tea with Lemon, Twinings Chai Tea, Earl Grey and English breakfast tea as well as a selection of Twinings and Pukka herbal infusions. Keeping with English tradition you may also like to enjoy a refreshing jug of elderflower cordial or a glass of champagne!
Served next to the roaring inglenook fire in our cosy sitting room
Take your Afternoon Tea in our sitting room next to the inglenook fire, the restaurant or weather permitting our beautiful garden filled with edible flowers and herbs and in summer attracts birds, bees and butterflies – visiting in search of nectar, food and water. The plants and herbs are grown especially for our kitchen to use in the restaurant.
For afternoon tea bookings at Chequers contact us on 01798 872486 to make your reservation.
John and Lissette x