How about an afternoon ‘par-tea’?

Five reasons to try Afternoon High Tea with your friends

Yes, it’s a par-tea! Only this time there’s less dancing and way more calm. We’re talking about “High Tea”, AKA “Afternoon Tea”. Credit for the custom of Afternoon Tea goes to Anna Maria Russel, the 7th Duchess of Bedford, England – who was also a life-long friend of Queen Victoria, way back in the 1840s. She would get hungry in-between lunch and dinner and decide to stave off the hunger with tea and a light snack in the afternoon. Liking its spirit, she started to invite her friends over to keep her company for the meal and before long all of fashionable society in London was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon, giving it the name ‘High Tea’.

This tradition has continued throughout the world and is catching on with the urbanites of Nairobi for its luxuriating nature. You can take your time and savour the different delicacies before you, making it a more meaningful experience than catching up at a coffee-house or nyama choma joint. Most establishments in Nairobi offering Afternoon or High Tea do so between 3 and 5 o’clock, so look to the list below to find your excuse to go and make a date with your friends.

  1. Treat yourself

This is probably the most important reason of them all; loving yourself. Life is short; spend it in beautiful places doing beautiful things. Why not make it a spa day and combine it with a massage and dip in the pool while we’re at it. Because when did you last take some well-deserved me-time?

  1. It’s an excuse to day-drink

Most, if not all, Afternoon Tea menus offer additions of champagne or wine at a slight extra charge. It certainly fancies-up your get-together, and you didn’t hear it from us; but it’s also a great way to make for some interesting conversation among you and your friends!

  1. You can indulge your inner tea enthusiast

Being Kenyan, you’ve probably always started your day with traditional Kenyan tea. Why not school yourself on different varieties of tea during your afternoon break. Many hotels offer different teas from the four main varieties of Black, Green, Oolong, and White teas. And no, White tea isn’t tea with milk in it. It’s actually the world’s rarest tea as it can only be picked for a few weeks in the year when the young unopened buds of the tea plant are still covered by fine white hairs, hence the name ‘white’ tea. Fancy, eh?

  1. It’s a chance to catch up with your friends

How often do you complain that there’s just not anything to do with friends in Nairobi? Unless you’re going to go out of town, the options usually range from noisy coffee house, to even noisier club-scene. Tea not only saves you your eardrums, but also your money. Looking for an ideal activity for your next get-together with the girls or your boo? You don’t have to go far, there are a number of beautiful hotels, in and near Nairobi, offering Afternoon High Tea. Check one out for the perfect conversational atmosphere.

  1. It gives you a break

Tea time puts everything on pause, allowing you to take a break and enjoy the moment – even if it’s just for an hour. Call it a tea-tox, because taking the time to sip and munch on delightful pastries and cute little sandwiches in a serene environment is just what a brain (and belly) needs. Why not take a little digital detox while you’re at it and turn the phone off? Okay, maybe a step too far…

See you on the bourgie side!

Here are some Afternoon “Spa-Tea” packages currently on offer at The Norfolk,  and Mount Kenya Safari Club. See for more details.

Words: Wambui Muriithi                                                      Illustration: Nzilani Simu

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