1840 was a good year for Steam vintage tea rooms! A hungry young lady named Anna desired something extra to eat in the mid afternoon before dinner and requested some bread and butter, cakes and hot tea to be brought to her around 4pm. The English afternoon tea was born! Around 100 years earlier John Montague had invented the sandwich either at the gambling table or in his office. He used to ask servants to bring slices of meat in between two slices of bread. I’m not sure if he fancied any horseradish or mayo on it! Mayonnaise wasn’t around at that time but did come soon after, so he may have divulged… Anna the duchess of Bedford would invite her friends round and the woman would sit and chat while drinking tea and eating homemade cakes. Traditional afternoon tea consists of a selection of dainty sandwiches, cakes, sweets, scones with clotted cream and preserves and of course tea served in a teapot. All the china needs to be dainty and colourful in order to preserve one of our great culinary heritages “The afternoon tea”.