The Lazy Woman's Guide to Afternoon Tea

Having not-so-long-ago repatriated to England after six years in America, I still have not replaced everything I left behind in the States. Sometime’s it’s hard to remember what I had and what I still need. Until I actually need it. Case in point: a recent on-the-fly Afternoon Tea I threw together for me and Mr. T.
Prepared food for Afternoon Tea
The food was easy enough, thanks to Tesco (I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: sandwiches in England are the best in the world), but …..
Quick and easy Afternoon Tea
….. jam from a wine glass and clotted cream from a teacup??! Despite it all, we managed to survive (well, SOMEBODY had to eat the scones) and enjoyed our at-home afternoon tea with aplomb.
What you’ll need for the Lazy Woman’s Afternoon Tea:

  1. Tesco Egg & Cress sandwich (crusts removed)
  2. Tesco Tuna & Cucumber sandwich (crusts removed)
  3. Tesco Finest Cornish Butter & Sultana Scones
  4. Tesco Finest Cornish Clotted Cream
  5. Tiptree Strawberry Jam
  6. Tea of choice
  7. Wine glass (for the jam)
  8. Orphaned teacup (for the clotted cream)
by on 08/05/2012


  1. Having, unhappily, repatriated myself to the US after 7 blissful years in Hertfordshire, I can tell you in NO uncertain terms that ready-made sandwiches from TESCO are, in fact, the best in the world. As is the brie, basil and tomato on a crusty king-stick from Pret-a-Manger.
    I shall now cry myself into a cuppa PG Tips and console myself with imported malteasers and a digestive biscuit. Damn I wish I had a packet of pickled onion monster munch or some skips right about now!

    1. Hi Tracy and welcome to Tea in England. Thank you for your comment. I feel your pain, but am glad that you can at least get your hands on PG Tips, Malteasers, and Digestives. When you have time, would love to hear about your Hertfordshire adventure.

  2. Shop-bought scones in the US are horrible! Whenever I have first-time guests over for afternoon tea, they rave about my scones and tell me about the horrible ones they’ve bought all over town. And, of course, it’s nearly impossible to get a decent cup of tea in public in the US; so when I find a place, I tell everyone in order to encourage the proprietor to keep up the good work. I learned at my (English) grandmother’s knee that “everything is better in England”!

    1. Any place that serves a decent cuppa in the US should indeed be glorified and supported in any and all ways possible! Maybe you could share your scone recipe/baking secrets in a guest post here one of these days, Jean? P.S. Your grandmother sounds like my kind of gal. 🙂

  3. I have to add I noticed that the sandwiches in your photo’s are not Tesco Finest range, but their generic branding, minor thing I know, but something I miss from home. I, as a Brit would say that Tesco would not be my first choice stop to buy sandwiches, instead I much prefer the range at Marks and Spencer’s, they have such a wide variety of lunch items that you could picnic from there so easily with their store bought items.

    1. Hi, and welcome to my blog. Thanks for pointing out my mistake in referring to the sandwiches as Tesco ‘Finest’; I have corrected it. Agree with you that M&S range is top of the line!

  4. There seems to be a bias in the US against tea drinkers. While coffee drinkers are always asked if they want a refill, tea drinkers have to ask. Hard to find a tearoom here too. Note to self: book a flight to England ASAP.

    1. Hi Elaine, thanks for stopping by and leaving a note. I’ve just been to your blog, done a search for ‘TEA’, and am going back to read through your posts. You are so right about tea service in the U.S. – it’s sorely lacking. Have you checked out my other site ? It’s a bit of a struggle to keep it updated but if you know of any NE tearooms that are missing, feel free to add them. Now I’m going to go back to your blog …

  5. HI, love your blog and facebook page. I’m a british ex-pat living just outside of New Orleans. I lived in Margate in Kent for many years, plus other places in UK. I love it here, but things I miss are afternoon tea, the NHS, and the british weather. Keep up the blogging.

    1. Hi Mary, I’m so glad you found your way to my blog. How did you find me? I’ve not really blogged in quite a while as I’m doing an Art History degree with the Open University, in addition to still working full-time at age 62! I can understand that you miss certain things; there are quite a few things I miss about America. When was the last time you were in the UK?

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