Afternoon Tea in the Duchess Tea Room

The Sculpture Gallery at Woburn Abbey and Gardens will be celebrating Afternoon Tea Week with a special group offering that includes an illustrated talk and full afternoon tea.

The Bedfordshire-based heritage attraction will be offering this event between 13th and 15th August to groups of 12 or more at a discounted rate. Garden entry is included in addition to the talk and culinary delights.

Groups travel organisers who wish to include entry to the house during the visit can do so at an extra charge, making the full package comprise the talk, full afternoon tea, an explore of the gardens and entry to the house.

Groups might like to note that Afternoon Tea Week as a whole will run from 14th to 20th August 2018.

What would your day look like?

12.30pm: Arrival at the Sculpture Gallery
1pm: The talk
1.45pm: Afternoon tea
3pm: A question and answer session

The house opens at 11am with last admission at 4pm, closing at 5pm.

The talk, given by Gillian Walnes Perry MBE, writer, speaker and lecturer, covers how tea drinking was first introduced into England, how it was popularised and how afternoon tea became a social institution.

Using vibrant on-screen displays, Gillian’s talk will look at the customs and etiquette surrounding afternoon tea; examples of the finest silver and porcelain teaware; the rise of public tea rooms and tea dances; and the current nostalgic popularity of vintage afternoon teas.

A bit of history

Woburn lays claim to the origins of afternoon tea. The English custom of enjoying this culinary treat was said to be popularised in the 1840s by Duchess Anna Maria, wife of the 7th Duke of Bedford.

A Lady-in-Waiting to Queen Victoria, Anna Maria began the custom of taking afternoon tea at around 5pm and it became famous at the Royal Palaces and at Woburn Abbey.

To make your afternoon tea booking call 01525-292172 or e-mail

For further information visit

(Photo credit: Property of Marketing Department Woburn Abbey).