Teatime Downton Abbey Style

Teatime Downtown Abbey Style

Recipe Development and Food Styling by Janet Lambert
Photography by John O´Hagan
Photo Styling by Lucy W. Herndon 

Our Downton Abbey tea was inspired by season one, episode two, of the PBS television series, where we first see the Dowager Countess of Grantham make tea. In this memorable scene, she used a Royal Crown Derby Imari  tea set like this and a silver tipping kettle. Our menu combines classic British favorites, such as Cucumber Tea Sandwiches and Victoria Sponge Cake, with more modern twists, such as Chocolate Biscuit Cake. We invite you to make and share our Downton Abbey tea with your friends to celebrate the release of Downton Abbey on the silver screen Friday, September 20, 2019 in theaters in the United States of America.


  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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