Now that Downton Abbey is back and in full force, we like to celebrate appropriately: by hosting our own afternoon tea. A classic afternoon tea is an art that Americans just don't cherish as much as we should. It's the perfect respite from the day. You would be amazed how some hot tea, sandwiches, and pastries can revive the mind, body, and soul. Not to mention, it's an easy and quick way to entertain friends and family. So if you're not a gourmet chef, forgo a dinner party or cocktails and put together this beautiful afternoon tea.
You can't have English tea without scones. Though buying them at the store is completely acceptable, homemade scones (even those from a mix) are so much more moist and delicious. They're pretty easy. Get a mix, follow the recipe, bake them, and voila! Add dried cranberries or cherries for a little extra sweetness.
Next, the sandwiches. A classic English tea usually calls for a few types of little sandwiches. Smoked salmon, egg salad, and cucumber are the classics. We included shrimp for a little twist.
The salmon is arguably the easiest. We used little pumpernickel squares for an open-faced smoked salmon sandwich. Spread on some cream cheese, salmon, and dill. Done and done.
Though not a traditional tea sandwich, the shrimp is also quick and easy. Sandwich between two pieces of Brioche a mix of bay shrimp, mayo, dill, salt, and pepper.
Egg Salad is a must. Hard-boiled eggs, mayo, salt, and pepper on brioche. We also made cucumber sandwiches on buttered wheat bread. Check out the beautiful platter of crustless, finished sandwiches below.
And for those intolerant to gluten, we replaced the bread with cucumbers, and rolled the salmon around cream cheese.
Break out the fine China, a beautiful tea pot, English Breakfast tea (it MUST be English Breakfast), and you're set for a lovely afternoon.