Teatime Downton Abbey Style

Sweets Course

Teatime Downtown Abbey StyleOur mini Lemon Madeleines, flavored with lemon zest, are so light and delicate, they might have encouraged Matthew Crawley to sit down and have tea like a proper gentleman. Chocolate Biscuit Cake, a simple confection made with tea biscuits and chocolate ganache, is a current-day favorite of both Queen Elizabeth II and Prince William. The queen always made sure it was on the menu whenever her grandson came for tea at Buckingham Palace. Prince William likes it so much that he requested it as the groom’s cake for his 2011 wedding to Kate Middleton.

Teatime Downtown Abbey StyleVictoria Sponge Cake was named for Queen Victoria, who enjoyed a slice of this cake with her afternoon tea. We imagine that it must have also been a favorite of the Dowager Countess of Grantham, who grew up during Victoria’s reign. Pair these decadent sweets with a pot of Capital Tea’s Love Affair Rooibos.


  1. Although I have lived in the US for many years I was born in Ireland and grew up in England.
    The usual pattern followed for serving afternoon tea that I have always experienced in the United Kingdom is sandwiches first, then scones, then the cake course.
    I’m not sure why so often in the US the scones are served first.
    Does anyone have any idea how that came to be?

  2. According to my grandmother who was Welsh, when dinner/supper time was earlier the need for a large tea time or snack as it became known in US in many areas was not as necessary. So the sandwiches were eliminated. The evening meal started earlier as families of all ages ate together. Children then went to bed or studied classroom assignments. My grandparents were born in 1885. My grandfather came from a well to do family and my grandmother from a coal miners family, both in PA. Neither of them ever had tea time growing up nor did they reinstate tea time once they could afford it.

    Tea time is about the same time that the children get home from school. The children want a snack and the timing is not good to sit down with friends and share a pot of tea. With so many women working since WWII, tea time has disappeared except for special events and fundraisers.

    That is the explanation I have.

  3. The correct answer is the order of placement was scones on top under the warming dome, sandwiches and savories in the middle and sweets on the bottom. The order in which one eats each course is sandwiches and savories first, scones second and sweets third. The reason media and others get it mixed up is because they don’t know or follow the original traditions. The correct way to eat a scone is, contrary to “experts” advise, is never to slice in half but to break off one bite at a time from top to bottom as one would eat a dinner roll. Hope this helps. Ellen Easton.


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