Have you been invited to a fancy hi-tea event and don’t know what to do? These events are more about following the proper etiquette than having a good meal, which is why they have strict dress codes and dining rules. But don’t worry, we’ve created this guide to help you learn basic afternoon English tea etiquette, so keep reading!
Dress To Impress
The first thing about afternoon tea is the dress code. You don’t necessarily have to wear your fancy dresses but stay away from jeans and sneakers. A light sundress is the perfect attire for your hi-tea event.
Stir Up And Down
After pouring yourself some tea and adding sugar, it’s time to stir. However, you don’t stir in circles when it comes to afternoon tea as you’d normally do; instead, you go up and down. This is done to avoid the spoon clanging against the cup.
Remove the Spoon Before Drinking the Tea
It’s considered rude to drink tea with the spoon still in the cup, not to mention the clanging sound it’ll keep making with each sip. So once you’re done stirring, just put the spoon away, don’t tap it on the edge of the cup or put it in your mouth.
Don’t Pick Up the Saucer
When you pick your cup to sip the tea, the saucer stays on the table. You can pick the saucer up when you’re a foot away from your teacup or when you’re standing. In that case, the saucer should be in your left hand while the cup should be in your right.
Eat the Sandwiches First!
You may not know this, but afternoon tea has three courses, all served simultaneously. So the savory items and tea sandwiches are eaten first, then the scones with cream or jam, and finally the sweets. Moreover, the sandwiches should be eaten in three small bites while the scones are eaten whole.
Don’t Dunk Your Scones
While some people love to dunk some biscuits and crackers into their tea, it’s considered impolite when you’re dining for afternoon tea. So avoid dunking your scones into the tea. Not just that, but you shouldn’t eat big pieces of scones either. Always break the piece into smaller chunks before putting on jam or cream.
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