As it’s impossible to know the exact date for when the first tea was served for an afternoon affair, the tradition of afternoon tea has been attributed to Anna Maria, 7th Duchess of Bedford.¹ It is said the Duchess experienced a “sinking feeling” during the long hours between the light luncheon and dinner at 8:00 PM.¹ It was then when her footman fetched all the tea necessities and refreshments to relieve the Duchess of her mid afternoon hunger.¹ Thus, the birth of the accepted tea legend!¹
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¹Pettigrew, Jane, and Bruce Richardson. A Social History of Tea: Tea’s Influence on Commerce, Culture & Community. Benjamin Press, 2014.