Everything about the unmissable moment of English afternoon tea: what it is and where to have unforgettable afternoon tea in Italy too.

Everything about the unmissable moment of English afternoon tea: what it is and where to have unforgettable afternoon tea in Italy too.

L’afternoon tea it’s a British tradition which dates back to the 19th century, and which has extended its borders beyond England becoming popular all over the world. It is a moment of pure relaxation, a pampering that you can give yourself whenever you feel like it, in which you sip a steaming tea – perhaps in company – accompanied by a whole series of delicacies.

It generally takes place in late afternoon – it’s no coincidence that it’s called “five o’clock tea” – and has now become a trend Also in Italy. There are many venues, especially in large cities, which offer the opportunity to appreciate this authentic and refined ritual. Would you like to try it but don’t know where to go? Below we tell you where you can do itwhat you eat and the recipes usually included in menu (which, we tell you, is mouth watering).

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Where to have Afternoon tea

Don’t worry: it is possible to have this delicious experience without having to travel thousands of kilometers by plane. Simply go to one of the many tea rooms scattered throughout our peninsula that offer it to their customers. In Italy there are more and more of them, but they are found particularly in large cities. You can experiment with decidedly more modest versions in small towns.


If you find yourself in the Tuscan capital, you can treat yourself to a rich afternoon tea in Florence in different rooms. Between these, “The way of tea, which includes three different types (which can also be given as gifts) at 3 different prices. With the possibility to choose between 250 varieties of tea. Accompanying it, in the London version, are some soft ones scones with Devon clotted cream and strawberry jam, and three different finger sandwiches (with cucumber and butter on white bread, with smoked salmon and lemon butter on wholemeal bread and with cooked ham and mango chutney on white bread). To ensure you don’t miss anything.

Another enchanting place, overlooking the Renaissance gardens, in which to experience the tea time British is the “Four Seasons Hotel“. Here too a selection of fine teas accompanied by scones, sandwiches and desserts prepared by the pastry chef.


The capital is no exception. Here too you can enjoy a tasty afternoon break while holding a steaming cup in your hand. Among the various possibilities, you can go to “Velo Pastry Shop“, where you can choose from a wide range of aromas and scents, accompanying them with sweet and savory delicacies specially created by their Pastry Chef.

Worth marking on your afternoon tea list a Rome it is also that of “Babingtons Tea Room“. “Arrivederci Roma”, “Rome in Love”, “Roman Holidays” are just some of the evocative names of the Roman blends that you can taste in this tea Room. Added to the list is a long and rich selection of white, green and oolong teas, black teas and scented black teas, teas from around the world, iced teas and herbal teas. All of which can be accompanied with the vast choice of sweets included in the package.afternoon tea menu and made by them, such as shortbread tarts, biscuits, tiramisu, Scottish scones and Apple Crumble. Two, however, i menu dedicated to afternoon tea.

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Milan, a metropolis that stands out for its vitality and for being so global, could not disappoint us when it comes to afternoon tea. The city is home to several places where you can enjoy the English five o’clock tea. Starting with “Urban Hive“, in Corso Garibaldi. The hotel, with an elegant but at the same time informal atmosphere, provides three different types of afternoon tea: the Milanese one, that one vegan and the sweet one, with prices between 22 and 26 euros. If you don’t like savory foods, the latter includes macarons, a mini fruit salad, panettone with cream, tiramisu and amorpolenta. To fill up on sweetness.

Also in Milan, in Corso Magenta, you could give in to the offer of “Bistro96“. A Parisian-style decor in which to feel completely at ease. Afternoon tea, by reservation, costs 15 euros, and is punctuated by biscuits, mini sandwhiches, spoonfuls and teas by Tea in Italy.

There is still, “Ophele: it is located in via Savona 2, it is managed by Stefania and her mother who, in addition to tea time (with a cafeteria and a selection of organic and fair trade teas and herbal teas) also enliven the brunch time with cakes and other delights made with their hands. The advice is to try it, perhaps by calling first to check availability.


Moving to Piedmont, an excellent all-round experience in terms of afternoon tea in Turin offers it”Smith’s British“. It is scheduled twice a month, served in fine porcelain cups and plates and silverware. With a wide range of delicacies including savory eclairs, sandwiches, canapés, mini cakes, pavlove, cheesecake and, of course, the inevitable scones. The tea is Taylor’s.

Continued “Sweet Lab“, with two branches in the Piedmontese capital (the larger one is in Via Mazzini 31/l). If you want to savor the five o’clock tea, from Sweet Lab promise to serve it “inspired by the Anglo-Saxon, American and French culinary and confectionery tradition”. Here too the drink is served together with a cake stand overflowing with scones, small sandwiches and biscuits. Book, if you can, to ensure you find a place, especially on weekends.

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What is afternoon tea

Good, but wanting to give a definition, what is afternoon tea? It is essentially the ritual of English afternoon tea, which takes place at 5. It represents, as anticipated at the beginning, a British tradition born precisely in 1840 which, over the centuries, has definitely strengthened so much so as to become a social event for all effects. Complete with dedicated outfits and live musical performances with associated dances.

To whom you ask who invented afternoon tea we can definitely answer that duchess Anne of Bedford. It is said that the latter, having woken up from an afternoon nap, realized that she was hungry and without strength. She therefore decided to have the waitress bring her, along with her tea, some sandwiches to be filled with butter and jam and a few slices of cake. Which she decided to repeat the following days, so much so that it became, over time, a pleasant habit.

In addition to being a moment of taste, however, English tea time is also and above all an opportunity for socializing and relaxation, which takes place in a refined and pleasant atmosphere, ideal for spending time with friends, colleagues or family.

What are we eating

What’s in the afternoon tea menu it depends a lot on the tea room that prepares it, but generally there is never a shortage of the ones already mentioned sconessoft and not very sweet sandwiches made with buttermilk which may or may not contain raisins, and which are usually filled with strawberry jam.

Of the Sandwich freshly prepared, generally filled with smoked salmon with cream cheese, cucumber and egg mayonnaise with watercress, scones. And then, go ahead filled cakes and pastries for every taste, from Victoria sponge cake to Bakewell tarte. From cream puffs to millefeuille, from the timeless Carrots pie to cream and fruit tartlets.

Now that we’ve found out what do the English eat with tea Haven’t you suddenly felt the urge to run and find the nearest room?

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