Why I Love Afternoon Tea

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By now, you’ve probably realized how much I love afternoon tea. If there is ever any excuse for me to have afternoon tea, I will take it. I’ve loved the idea of the experience even before I ever enjoyed it for the first time. So why I do love afternoon tea, and why do I always make sure I get to indulge in it as much as possible? For me, one reason is it’s an excuse to dress up and act like a lady. I try to act like a lady at home, but there’s something about being in public where you want to put your best foot forward. Personally, I feel like ladylike manners will never die.

An afternoon tea experience gives me that chance to put some of my ladylike manners to good use. I don’t mind being prim and proper when it’s respectful. For example, I learned that when having tea, you do not leave your saucer on the table when you pick up your teacup. The ladylike way would be to pick up your saucer with your teacup, leave your saucer at chest level, and pick up your teacup to take a sip. Apparently this is how the Queen expects you to enjoy tea when indulging in it with her.

Afternoon tea is one of my favorite daytime indulgences whenever abroad in Europe. While afternoon tea can be abundantly found here in the US, there’s something magical, romantic, and also royal about having it abroad. As many of you know, I am fascinated by royalty and royal history. For me, afternoon tea is another way to connect me to that fascination.

I cannot be the only one who has a little inner royal in her pop out during afternoon tea! While we were in Ireland, I couldn’t pass up the chance to enjoy my favorite afternoon pastime. To sit by the fire dressed in my afternoon best while sipping on green tea (and hot chocolate), comfortably situated inside the parlor room of a grand Irish manor, is one of my many royal fantasies that I was able to bring to life.

For our afternoon tea experience at our hotel, Marlfield House, I had a special outfit saved. My floral dress is from last year by the Danish brand Ganni, but I found it on sale not too long ago. I knew right away it’s what I wanted to wear in Ireland when having tea. I feel extra feminine wearing a dress when having tea – you will never find me wearing anything else.

But the highlight of my outfit was my quilted Strathberry bag. New for spring, the iconic midi tote now has a new quilted design that I was drawn to immediately. I find myself pairing this bag with my outfits almost daily, since it goes with almost everything, and the design is not only feminine but unique. It was the perfect accessory for afternoon tea.

Do you love afternoon tea? If so, what’s your favorite kind of tea to drink? I love breakfast tea, but I tried my first green tea while in Ireland and I really liked it!


Photos by Torrance Coombs.
Location: Marlfield House, Ireland

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  1. Angela

    I love afternoon tea too! I usually get a black tea, maybe something vanilla flavored, nothing too exotic that would distract from the taste of the goodies. My favorite tea experience was at Colonnades at the Signet Library in Edinburgh a few years ago. It was very elegant — velvet chairs, lots of space between tables for privacy, mirrored serving trays, palate-cleansing sorbet, etc — and the tea was unlimited — you could try as many different flavors as you wanted (the Signet blend was my favorite, brought some home). Plus being surrounded by stacks of books in an old, beautiful, two-story library was so my aesthetic. I think you’d enjoy it there, Alyssa.

    • The A List

      Edinburgh is on our list! If we make it there soon, we will have to try your suggestion!

  2. Camilla

    It would be lovely if you could write about the rules to act like a lady. Unfortunately when travel, expecially in Ireland and the UK where is often cold and windy, I have to give up fancy clothes in order to stau warm and being comfortable.
    Furthermore when I have scones or other english delights in front of my eyes I completely forgot about manners.
    You are a true queen and I admire you for this.