Khéma Afternoon Tea - an association of three quintessentially British traditions.

It's served daily between 2pm & 6pm at just $6+ per person

An association of three quintessentially British traditions, Khéma’s Afternoon Tea offers an opportunity to indulge in a delicious selection of rich sweet and savoury bites together with a free-flow of loose-leaf teas from the specialists at Harney & Sons.

The origins of the great British Afternoon Tea can be traced back to Anna Maria Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, who in the early 1800s established the habit of serving tea and cakes at 5pm in order to stave off “that sinking feeling” one got in between meals while being left to one’s own devices as the servants were busy preparing the main meal to be served at 8pm.

This elegant staging post between two larger meals was of course served only to those who had the leisure time to spare, and its particular Britishness lay in the fact that it was almost invariably accompanied by tea. By contrast, during the Italian equivalent of Merenda, the beverage is a thick hot chocolate in which to dip delicate, specially prepared biscuits.

Our Harney & Sons selection of loose leaf teas naturally includes the unequivocally British favourites, Darjeeling, Earl Grey, English Breakfast and Lapsang Souchong, but also teas from across the Asia region such as Pomegranate Oolong, Jasmine, Genmaicha, Formosa Oolong, Cherry Blossom, and from further abroad including organic Rooibos, Moroccan Mint, White Christmas, and Egyptian Chamomile.

By contrast with the distinctly silver-spoon Afternoon Tea, the British High Tea was a more working class affair developed at the height of Britain’s industrialisation and urbanisation. This was a substantial meal designed to satisfy the nation's workers hungry at the end of a day’s hard labour and therefore focused on hearty savoury dishes, cold meats, cheeses and plenty of baked goods. As the price of sugar came down after the Napoleonic Wars, sweet dishes also came to play an important role. It came to be called High Tea because, unlike Afternoon Tea, it was usually served at the dining table, up high, rather than in the drawing room.

The divine delights of a Devon Cream Tea came about around the middle of the 1900s, and single-handedly made a star out of scones, a dense and crumbly flat cake made with dried fruit which is then spread with thick, gorgeous layers of jam and whipped or clotted cream. It is the perfect marriage of sin and simplicity, a chance to indulge without being over-indulgent, i.e. British pragmatism at its very best.

In keeping with that tradition, a freshly baked scone served with lashings of jam and vanilla cream is at the very heart of every Khéma Afternoon Tea. In addition to that, on our elegant “tiers of delight” you’ll find a selection of savoury bites such as goat cheese and tomato tartine, a warm pie-wrap, and prawn cocktail, and below that sweet favourites including the famous macaron, one of Khéma’s divine selection of cakes, a light pastry, and fresh fruit.

Khéma Afternoon Tea is served daily between 2pm and 6pm at just $6+ per person. To make your reservation, click here .