Next week brings Afternoon Tea Week, a week dedicated to this classic English tradition, first introduced in the early 19th century. During this time, only two meals were served a day, notably breakfast and dinner. It was a growing trend for dinner to be held later on in the evening with the use of many candles to light the room. Due to the length of time between breakfast and dinner and the hour of dinner becoming later, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, Anna Russell, started to have tea and light refreshments during the afternoon, in her private boudoir. Anna soon started to invite her friends over to enjoy this light afternoon break in her rooms at Woburn Abbey. ‘Afternoon Tea’ then became a tradition amongst the upper classes, with social hostesses bringing it into their drawing rooms to serve to family and friends. Today, afternoon tea is an enticing combination of tea, finger sandwiches and scones with clotted cream and jam, sweet pastries and cakes. In order to serve up the most beautiful afternoon tea, you will need a tea set including a teapot, cups and saucers, a jug and sugar bowl. Our Natural Canvas collection is perfect for creating a stylish afternoon tea, with its neutral, warm hue and subtle ‘roulette’ detailing. The Natural Canvas Tea Set is a great starter set that will ensure your afternoon tea looks as great as it tastes. For coffee advocates, the Natural Canvas Cafetiere promises to update your table setting, and it can also be positioned as a jug with the plunger taken out. For an understated metallic look, our Monsoon by Denby ranges make a beautiful addition when serving tea and cake. Our Lucille Gold pattern is a 50's inspired range, featuring a lace gold design. The eye-catching Cake Stand and shapely Teapot in this collection are ideal for adding a hint of glimmer into your afternoon tea. The Monsoon by Denby Filigree Silver range is an alternative set, showcasing a fine filigree pattern in a silvery shade. The Filigree Silver Pastry Plates are a great size for enjoying small sandwiches and desserts, whilst the Teacups are beautifully elegant. For more inspiration, see our full range of afternoon tea pieces here.