Afternoon Tea in Torquay
What trip to Devon would be complete without the indulgent delight of an Devon Cream tea? For the finest of cream teas in Torquay look no further than The Livermead House. With freshly baked scones and cakes, quality tea, and a generous helping of fresh clotted cream and jam, our impeccable service is perfectly matched by the delightful views and charm of the hotel.
Visiting patrons are also very welcome to join us for afternoon tea, but booking may be necessary during busy times. Please call reception on 01803 294361
For that special treat join us for
Tea at The Livermead
A Selection of Fine Traditional Tea
A Choice of Freshly Made Cut Finger Sandwiches of Smoked Salmon, Egg & Cress,
Cucumber, Home Cooked Ham and Mature Cheddar Cheese
Two Warm Home Baked Scones served with Devonshire Clotted Cream
And Strawberry Preserves
A Selection of Edwardian Fancy Cakes, Fruit Tartlets, Petits Meringues,
Chocolate Cake and Rich Fruit Cake
£23.50 per person
Maybe add a glass of Sparkling wine to make it even more special!
A short history of the British Afternoon tea
Suffering from “a sinking feeling” during the long wait between lunch and dinner, we have Anna Russell, The Duchess of Bedford to thank for the invention of afternoon tea. What started out as simply ordering tea and light food to her room when peckish soon evolved into a gowns-and-all social affair, inviting friends to join her in her country house.
By the middle of the 19th century, afternoon tea was an everyday occurrence, The service would normally take place in the lady’s parlour, or withdrawing room, or boudoir and be served on low-decorative tables. Hence this event also became known as “low” tea.
The light food served with afternoon tea gradually evolved to include more elaborate fare such as crustless finger sandwiches, scones with clotted cream and jam, and a final course of sweets and pastries. The idea was to provide easy-to-manage portions suitable for entertaining in a sitting room.
The first cakes were very different from what we eat today. They were more bread-like and sweetened with honey. Nuts and dried fruits were often added. The Oxford English Dictionary traces the English word cake back to the 13th century. It is a derivation of 'kaka', an Old Norse word. Medieval European bakers often made fruitcakes and gingerbread. These foods could last for many months.
The precursors of modern cakes were first baked in Europe sometime in the mid-17th century. This is due to primarily to advances in technology and ingredient availability At that time cake hoops, round molds for shaping cakes that were placed on flat baking trays, were popular. They could be made of metal, wood or paper. Some were adjustable. Cake pans were sometimes used. The first icing was often a boiled composition of the finest available sugar, egg whites and sometimes flavourings. This icing was poured on the cake. The cake was then returned to the oven for a while. When removed the icing cooled quickly to form a hard, glossy ice-like covering. Many cakes made at this time still contained dried fruits.