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Game of scones: our guide to afternoon tea etiquette

Posted at 3:35 pm, March 28, 2015 in Food & Drink
high tea arcelor mittal

© ArcelorMittal

Because no one likes an afternoon tea faux pas…

Where to put your napkin 

A napkin does not belong on your head like a hat, or tied around your neck like a saucy neckerchief. Nor can you wear it like a tiny cape – either tuck it into your collar or place it upon your lap like a normal person. Anywhere else and you will be unceremoniously evicted from the Afternoon Tea Inner Circle, and once you’re out, you’re OUT. And you don’t want that.

Milk or tea in first?

It doesn’t matter. Not a bit. English people may be up in arms about it, but it doesn’t make a single bit of bloody difference. Put the milk in first: go on, see what happens. Has the world imploded? Has a war started? Is time being reversed like in that Superman film? No: everything’s fine. Don’t worry about it. You’re okay.

Pinky or no pinky?

The pinky may look like the cutest finger, it may seem like the most useless and adorable of all the digits. But don’t be fooled – in an afternoon tea context, pinkies are lethal eye-jabbers. If you whip that pinky out when sipping your tea, you’ll be given safety goggles to protect your sight. Just think of the consequences! You could go blind!

‘Scone’ v ‘scone’

Forget the Wars of the Roses, the greatest conflict in English history is between people who pronounce ‘scone’ to rhyme with ‘gone’, and the ones who pronounce ‘scone’ to rhyme with ‘cone’. Well, we’re here to settle this. It’s pronounced ‘bob’. It looks like it should be ‘scone’ or ‘scon’, but it’s pronounced ‘bob’. You’re welcome!

By Eddy Frankel

Want to put your etiquette to the test? Book yourself one of the quirkiest afternoon teas in town.


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