11 afternoon teas you should

Where are Afternoon Tea served?

If you’re a fan of “Downton Abbey, ” chances are you’re soon to be in a funk.

After six seasons, PBS’s “Masterpiece” series will air its series finale March 6, leaving scores of Anglophiles crying in their crumpets.

It’s been a long, slow ride where — admit it — it sometimes feels like nothing ever happens at the Crawley family’s Yorkshire country estate. Lord Grantham, in particular, is so stuffy and boring that I wasn’t even sure he had warm blood running through his veins until he spit up a ton of it, all over the dining room table, no less, in a recent episode. Finally, he showed some signs of life.

But at least the family seems to eat well, thanks to the culinary prowess of Mrs. Patmore and her kitchen maid-turned- assistant cook Daisy Mason. As related by Emily Ansara Baines in ”The Unofficial Downton Abbey Cookbook, ” one of several cookbooks and blogs devoted to the food from the Edwardian days. For its evening meal, the family could expect anywhere from eight to 13 courses, depending on the occasion and time period. (The show kicked off in 1912 and ends in 1925.) And that’s not counting the “removes” served between the heavier courses.

It wasn’t so grand in the downstairs kitchen, of course, but like their moneyed employers, the servants at least got to enjoy a nice spot of tea whenever they weren’t polishing shoes or helping the ladies undress after service, or standing at rapt attention in the dining room during those hours-long meals.

Hmm, tea. Is there anything more warming when it’s bitterly cold outside, and you need a quick pick-me-up? Or anything more British than the mini-meal known as afternoon tea that goes with it?

In that spirit, we thought it would be fun to offer a do-it-yourself afternoon tea (sometimes known, incorrectly, as high tea), for your final episode viewing party. Even though at 9 p.m. on a Sunday, when the show airs on WQED-TV, it’s more likely Mary, Edith and the rest of the clan would just be sitting down to a gut-busting, sumptuous dinner.

Source: www.post-gazette.com
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