How Tea Time came about:
Anna, the Duchess of Bedford decided that the “sinking feeling” she experienced in the late afternoon called for the adoption of the European idea of ‘tea service’ and created, what we now call ‘Tea Time’.
She did this by inviting friends to join her for an additional summer meal at five o’clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu was simply bread and butter, sandwiches and small cakes. It proved so popular that she took the idea back to London with her, and it soon caught on. Of course, the afternoon ritual was as much centred around conversation and gossip as food and drink.