A British-Inspired Spring Tea

Afternoon tea
Landon Nordeman/Helen Rosner/Todd Coleman
Brian Beaver

The Menu

More About This Menu

  1. For the watercress and cucumber sandwiches, remove the crusts and cut into triangles or thin rectangles. Read more about the history of tea sandwiches in our article Standing on Ceremony.
  2. Made for Queen Elizabeth II's coronation lunch, in 1953, the curry powder- and mango chutney-laced coronation chicken salad has been wildly popular in Britain ever since. Make it a day or two ahead; you can fill tea sandwiches with it or serve it on a bed of lettuce with a side of crackers.
  3. Make the jam at least a day or two ahead, or substitute store-bought jam if you like. For other fruity spreads for your scones, see our collection of recipes for compotes and jams.
  4. Clotted cream is the result of cooking nonhomogenized milk until a blanket of cream forms on top. With a minimum of 55 percent butterfat, it's as thick as whipped butter, with a slightly toasted flavor. It can be found at most specialty food stores.
  5. Use cornstarch in the shortbread for a softer cookie. For more tea cookie ideas see our gallery of recipes.
  6. If you're not a fan of lemon, try the Victoria Sponge Cake, a cake layered with strawberry jam that was named in honor of Queen Victoria. See our gallery of British teatime treats for even more sweet ideas.