Some of my fondest memories are afternoons and evenings spent with friends, usually with a cup of tea and some delicious goodies involved. Back in the States I would sometimes go out for coffee with someone, or bring a plate of cookies to a friend’s house for a catch-up session, but in Britain the primary medium for social interaction was a cup of tea.
It’s a wonderful system, actually. 
There is very little pressure on the host. No formal invitations are necessary, just a phone call to say, “Would you like to come over for a cup of tea?” If you have a cake ready in your cupboard (a habit that is highly recommended by my British gran) then you are prepared to entertain at a moment’s notice. You don’t have to set a fancy table or coordinate decorations. All that is required is a flick of the kettle, dusting off the mugs, a box of Tetley’s and you’re good!
Tea and Cakes in Britain
Of course, the most impressive social events are dominated by homemade goodies. Here are some stunning suggestions: 

Tea and Cakes in Britain

Of course, the best part about these casual gatherings is the friendship and conversation they encourage. I’ve gotten to know several people on a much deeper level, simply because we were sitting together over cups of tea. 
There is something about slowly sipping, and taking small and scrumptious bites, that makes chatting easy (even for socially awkward people like me!).  Whether you are just two people or five or six or seven, a quiet evening of tea and cakes is a grand idea.
My dear friend removes some piping-hot crumpets from the oven.
It can be super-fancy…
Victoria Sponge
Photo by Carwyn Lloyd Jones – Dylunio Creadigol 
…or as casual as some buttered toast.
A social evening with friends can be as simple as tea with bread and butter.
Photo by Kate Farquharson
Consider taking the party outside on a lovely afternoon! Tea and cakes works for a picnic as well as an indoor gathering. (Can you see the thermoses of hot water in the box on the far left?)
A picnic tea

Invite one person to tea this week. I guarantee it’s going to be a special experience!

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Written by Abigail Young

I've had a passion for everything British my entire life, despite being raised as a small-town girl in the American Midwest, After years of dreaming, I got the chance to live and work in England for an entire year. Now I write about my favorite country, and hopefully inspire my fellow Britophiles to get over there and experience it for themselves.

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