Here’s How to Master Your Afternoon Tea Etiquette During Your London Getaway


If you’re planning a London holiday, remember a quintessentially British afternoon tea experience is always a great addition to indulge in. Read on to discover how to enjoy a flavoursome and heart-warming classic afternoon tea experience like a true Londoner with this guide!

The Afternoon Tea Dress Code

Before you plan to enjoy a delectable afternoon tea experience, it’s quite common to wonder about the dress code for the special occasion. Well, you must know that most venues in the city have a relaxed or ‘smart casual’ dress code these days, so collared shirts, trousers or smart jeans and clean shoes are acceptable. Book your stay at the Montcalm Hotel Chiswell Street and experience laid-back luxury in plush, amenity-rich rooms. Suit yourself to an exquisite afternoon tea experience with the special chocolate edition, Indian variations and more!

Using the Right Terminology

It is important to be aware of the right terminology when talking about or discussing afternoon tea. A cream tea is simply scones with cream and preserves, served with tea. A classic afternoon tea is a selection of cakes, scones and traditional sandwiches served with tea. Some people also call authentic British afternoon tea ‘high tea’. However, high tea signifies an entirely different meal comprising savoury delights and a heartier meal traditionally consumed by the working class. Royal tea is a less commonly used term and signifies a glass of champagne served with afternoon tea, that you can try at one of The Montcalm Luxury Hotels.

The Right Order to Eat the Snacks 

Afternoon tea is always served with a selection of snacks, displayed on a three-tier cake stand. The first layer is for the scones, the second one is for sandwiches and the third for pastries and other sweet treats. This is exactly the order in which they should be eaten, so, don’t mix it up!

Cream or Jam First? 

Freshly baked warm scones with butter, cream and preserves are integral to the British afternoon tea experience. As per the Devonshire tradition, the scones must be layered with cream first and then jam, while the Cornish tradition is to slather jam first and then top it off with cream. It remains a matter of preference at the end of the day!

Serving Others First

As you indulge in a classic Montcalm afternoon tea experience, make sure to pour tea for others first and then serve yourself! Also, remember not to clink your spoon against your cup while stirring.

The Best Time for Afternoon Tea

You must be wondering about the best time to go for afternoon tea. Well, people usually have afternoon tea between 3 and 5 pm, 4 pm is often cited as the best time to indulge in an afternoon tea experience! You can go for tea instead of lunch or go late and use it as an early dinner.

The last rule is the simplest one; remember to enjoy as you tantalise your taste buds with an authentically British afternoon tea experience. If you’re looking for something more relaxing after a sumptuous afternoon tea, indulge in a luxurious spa experience at The Montcalm Spa to conclude a delightful day!