Afternoon Tea is unmistakably a truly British custom known worldwide, with origins in 19th century England. The history of Afternoon Tea credits Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, for creating this most British of traditions – dinner was served around 9:00 pm, which left the Duchess hungry and to stave this, so she would order tea, bread, and cakes in her room. The habit caught on and afternoon tea was born. A traditional tea starts with finger sandwiches, followed by scones with butter, jam and or cream, then cakes and, of course, tea. If you’re headed out to celebrate, see our guide to the best afternoon teas near Oxford. Or make your own at home with our afternoon tea recipes.