I came across this unique celebration while looking for something else on Google. I checked it out to make sure I had the days correct. This week long event began today and concludes Sunday.
I was intrigued. This custom that originated in England, afternoon tea, is one that I enjoyed on my first trip to Scotland in 2014. I adopted the tradition when I returned home. However, with my switch to a plant based lifestyle, I have only occasionally enjoyed an afternoon tea time in the past year.
The typical afternoon tea features a cup of hot brewed tea of choice, and finger sandwiches, sweet treats, scones with strawberry jam and a shortbread cookie. While I have easily substituted herbal teas for black tea, the traditional foods are on my no list. When I do have an afternoon tea, I include fruit and dates rather than sandwiches and sweets.
I do enjoy the custom. Finding the celebration the way I did, on the day it began, felt like an invitation to create my own version of afternoon tea. Earlier in the day, I had even been thinking about how wonderful it would be to have a plant based cafe in town, that offered afternoon tea. And then I discovered it's tea week. I accepted that inspirational invitation.
I had an idea about what I could prepare today. It was already late afternoon when this opportunity arrived. My afternoon tea served as an early dinner. I brewed a cup of pineapple sage tea, plucking the herb from my garden. The aromatic tea paired well with my healthy food choices.
Using fresh cucumbers, tomatoes and purple basil from my gardens, I made bite sized "sandwiches", minus the bread and cream cheese. They were so good! I didn't miss the bread or cheese at all. A cluster of red grapes, a sliced pear and three dates completed my afternoon tea.
I carried my plate out into the garden, which is my favorite place to savor a cup of tea. I enjoyed the food and felt good about the nutritional and health benefits. I proved to myself that traditions can be honored and practiced, and changed. This was a perfect afternoon tea for me.
I'm excited to celebrate a week of afternoon teas. Because playing is so important to me, I've challenged myself to create a different tea experience each day. I have many herbs growing in my garden, so a different tea each afternoon will be easy.
I'm looking forward to seeing what I can come up with, food wise, each day. It must be plant based and healthy. I am smiling at the thought of enjoying this beloved custom again. And just in time. When I travel to Scotland and England in a couple of weeks, I hope to find ways to have healthy afternoon teas there. I love how life and inspiration flows, meeting me where I am.