It’s a very good English custom
Though the weather be cold or hot
When you need a little pick-up, you’ll find a little tea cup
Will always hit the spot
In our house, everything really does stop for tea. Usually it’s a cup of builder’s, but on a sunny day it’s great to get the teapot out and make a little more effort and have proper afternoon tea in the garden.
When I do afternoon tea I always end up going down the vintage, mismatched china route. I just can’t help myself. For me, tea in the garden makes me think of my favourite era, the 1930s. Pretty floral cups and saucers, deckchairs on the lawn and little dainty cakes.
I like the tea to be something special – loose leaf in a pot. My favourite blend is smoky Russian Caravan, with just a dash of milk. Although Earl Grey is pretty great too.
It’s a chance to get out the cake stand and fill it with pretty offerings. Tomato sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and some little cakes (French Fancies always go down well here).
I can lean back in my deckchair in the sunshine and pretend that I’m having a genteel time, even though the small people are probably squabbling over who sits in the other deckchair and gulping down fairy cakes in one mouthful.
Really, though, I wouldn’t have it any other way!