The history of your afternoon tea at a hotel in Kent.
With us here at The Bromley Court Hotel you can relax and enjoy a wonderful afternoon tea. You will enjoy a sumptuous array of sandwiches to your taste followed by a selection of cakes prepared here by our very own pastry chef.
Your afternoon tea will be served in our Garden Restaurant with wonderful views of our gardens. Weather permitting you will able to sit outside on the patio, served between 2pm and 5pm Monday to Sunday.
But as a matter of interest…when exactly did we start taking “afternoon tea?”Well, hundreds of years ago the English drank coffee or wine as their usual beverage; in fact tea was unknown in the United Kingdom until as late as 1662.
Then in 1662 Charles II married Catherine of Braganza of Portugal, and was she who started the custom of tea drinking in England. She served tea instead of wine, beer or spirits, and before you knew it, tea had taken on the status of a royal drink, and something that only the rich could afford. Tea’s acceptance by Britain as a whole took some time.
It wasn’t until the late 1700’s that tea’s popularity really began to grow and tea started to be shipped in from the British colonies. So when you take afternoon tea here at one of the most beautiful hotels in Kent it’s Catherine of Braganza you have to thank!
Tea immediately became a high class drink and therefore expensive. The British population quickly discovered that tea leaves could be brewed several times without any real drop in the taste, so they bought second hand, brewed leaves and brewed them longer to compensate, and so tea began to find a place in British everyday life.
Soon, tea began to be sold in London coffee houses.
The coffee house owners charged heavily for a cup of tea. The government soon imposed various taxes, regulations and restrictions on sale of tea, just to cash in on the growing tea trend. This of course led to tea being smuggled into England. The smuggling began to get so bad that eventually the taxes were removed and the smuggling stopped.
Tea, of course, continued to grow in popularity.
Around 1800, there developed an “Afternoon Tea” culture, where rich ladies invited their friends to meet at, for example a venue in Kent like ours here at Bromley Court, for a cup of tea in the afternoon. They also had served pastries and sandwiches with it. Afternoon tea was born!
So all you have to do now is give us a call and make your booking for a relaxing afternoon…We look forward to seeing you.