Afternoon Tea in Bedford
The Duchess of Bedford’s Afternoon Tea
Tea consumption increased dramatically during the early nineteenth century and it is around this time that Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of "having that sinking feeling" during the late afternoon to her butler. At the time it was usual for people to take only two main meals a day, breakfast, and dinner at around 8 o'clock in the evening. The solution for the Duchess was a pot of tea and a light snack, taken privately in her boudoir during the afternoon.
Later friends were invited to join her in her rooms at Woburn Abbey and this summer practice proved so popular that the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for tea and a walk in the fields.
Other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.
The Bedford Swan Traditional Afternoon Tea
£14.95 per person
£17.95 per person with a glass of Pigalle Brut dry sparkling wine
£20.95 per person with a glass of Mercier Brut Champagne
The traditional afternoon tea includes:
- Smoked salmon and cucumber, ham & egg mayonnaise finger sandwiches
- Warm homemade scones, strawberry jam & clotted cream
- Chef's selection of cakes
Choose from our unique selection of speciality teas & infusions:
- Traditional English
- Earl Grey
- Fruit Infusions
SPA & CHAMPAGNE AFTERNOON TEA FOR 2
Join us to indulge in a spa treatment of your choice - to the value of £55 each - plus the use of the Roman inspired pool and Jacuzzi for 2 hours. Finish your experience with Champagne afternoon tea for two at The Bedford Swan.
£135 per couple (only £67.50 per person)
summertime afternoon tea cruises
Enjoy a leisurely afternoon on The River Ouse cruise, with a traditional afternoon being served and a full bar on board.
Only £100 per table (maximum 4 people per table)
Our afternoon cruises are available on the following dates:
- Sunday 25th May
- Saturday 28th June
- Saturday 26th July
- Saturday 22nd August
- Saturday 27th September