Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Sunday, 5 January 2014

Let's talk sandwiches.....

Hello there!

Afternoon tea often divides people...there are some people out there who believe its all about the cakes and pastries...they're not sure why the sandwiches are there getting in the way. For others they don't mind what they are eating as long as there is lots of tea to be drunk and some (like our friend Becca) are real fans of the savoury items and shy away from the sweet treats!

For me a good afternoon tea offers a tasty combination of all three elements...tea is a must...and there should be a good selection on offer. It goes without saying that I enjoy the sweet selection....but as I've discovered over the last year I really enjoy the savoury items too and its a fine balance to make sure I don't fill up too much on the sandwiches before I start on the cakes and pastries!

Afternoon tea - a fine balancing act!

So this month we decided to dedicate some posts to the savoury items included with an afternoon tea - give them the exposure they deserve! Lets begin with a little history lesson...as I don't want you confusing a traditional Afternoon Tea with its savoury cousin the High Tea! Served later in the evening, High Tea included tea and savoury items (rather than cakes and pastries) and this was a preserve of the lower working classes.

Originally, Afternoon Tea was only enjoyed by the upper classes as tea was very expensive and the working class could not afford to waste it on meals that weren't necessary. Instead they drank it after the working day with bread, cheese, vegetables and meat...thus the High Tea was born!

Traditional afternoon tea sandwiches

Traditionally afternoon tea sandwiches were very dainty creations....brown or white bread was served without crusts, cut into small fingers...easily eaten by ladies enjoying a natter and a cup of tea! The sandwiches served with afternoon tea have evolved as the pass time of afternoon tea has developed and today you will find all kinds of sandwiches on offer....however one thing that Lorna and I are sure of is that the bread must definitely be crustless, avoiding a controversial hint of crust!

Just look at this sandwich that Lorna found on her tea plate.....

At Tea With Me and Friends we believe
that sandwiches should be crust free!

So just how have sandwiches evolved? Well today they can be found in all shapes and sizes, I myself have experimented with shaped sandwiches at our themed afternoon teas....

Tombstone sandwiches and rolled "snail" wraps at our Halloween tea!

One Aldwych offers a wonderful selection of savoury items with their Charlie and the Chocolate Factory afternoon tea...

Fingers, triangles, open - all sorts of sandwiches at One Aldwych!

At W Hotel recently we were presented with triple decker sandwiches....most definitely not ladylike!....

Not particularly ladylike, but very tasty!

The Ampersand take it a step further with their filled Gougeres....

(savoury choux to you and me!)

However the sandwiches appear within the tea, they must be fresh.....hard tops and soggy bottoms where they have been hanging around all morning is a big no in our books! Fresh, soft bread and lots of tasty fillings...that's the way to our hearts in the savoury part of afternoon tea.

Later this month we will be looking at other savoury items on the afternoon tea menu....did you know that Lorna once ate snail at the gentleman's afternoon tea! We will also be looking at sandwich fillings....do you have a favourite? If you do we'd love to hear from you....why not leave us a comment or take part in our poll on the side-bar!

Thanks for popping by today,
Rachel and Lorna


Rochelle and Natasha said...

Lovely post; twist on your normal sweet posts. Love both sorts :-) Fresh, soft bread is a definite must for us too - no soggy bottoms.

We've left a vote per your sandwich survey and we've both voted for you in the UK Blog Awards - best of luck girls.

x Roch & Tash x

Rochelle and Natasha said...

Lovely post. Like your savoury posts just as much as your sweet ones. Fresh, soft bread is a definite must - no soggy bottoms!

We've left a vote per your blog survey and both voted for you in the UK Blog Awards - best of luck girls :-)

x Roch & Tash x

Jean | DelightfulRepast.com said...

I'm definitely all about the sandwiches and savouries at afternoon tea. And the scones. Rarely touch the pastries. I don't care for smoked salmon sandwiches, though, and always ask them to give me an extra egg sandwich instead.

MrsStocksy said...

Believe it or not, I am a savoury fan. I know I adore cakes, but not much can topple a cucumber sandwich (with a dash of malt vinegar) on a crustless white.

Interesting about the different teas. Still today, we midland (working class) call our evening meal 'tea' and yes, sandwiches were eaten at 5pm. Hot dinner at (our) lunchtime. Probably best for waistlines and digestion too...

I didn't realise that there was the class divide between the two. Very interesting!

Great blog post!