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The invention of 'Afternoon Tea' is attributed to Anna, 7th Duchess of Bedford who reputedly grew tired of repeated mid-afternoon depressions in the long space between meals. So, in 1840, she plucked up the courage and asked for tea, bread, butter and cake to be brought to her room.
Anna developed a habit she could not break and as the century progressed so 'Afternoon Tea' became increasingly elaborate. Ladies would change into long gowns, and tea services were made from the finest china. 'Afternoon Tea' has always been a graceful and refined occasion, bringing people together for a brief hour's pleasure and refreshment.