The clink of silverware, light laughter and the decadent scent of sweets wafts through the air. Between bushels of colorful flowers and a pristine cleanliness to white tablecloth is an array of printed cups and plates, some lined with lace decals.

Have you heard of afternoon tea?

A tradition based in England, afternoon tea is quite literally drinking tea in the afternoon. But there is more to this tradition than tea- served along with fragrant, freshly brewed teas is a tower of sweets and sandwiches, piled high. A group of people enjoys afternoon tea together, whether they be family, friends, lovers. It is pampering, it is delicious, and it is quintessentially England.

Which is why the Langham’s Afternoon Tea with WestWood is so lovely.

Langham pulls out all the stops for an authentic London afternoon tea experience in Boston. Afternoon tea runs daily from 2-7, and most visitors report that their afternoon teas usually take 2 to 3 hours. It’s no surprise when Langham decorates the dining room so beautifully- half of the joy of afternoon tea is the community and atmosphere.

Afternoon Tea with Westwood costs $55 for adults, $32 for children. It’s a steep price at first glance, but surprisingly affordable in comparison to their London competitors (who easily go past $70 a customer). The $55 covers a plate of scones, sandwiches, and dessert, and though it doesn’t say on their menu that they give seconds, most afternoon teas do. Do try the cucumber sandwiches before other savory options if you’ve never tried them before: they are scrumptious and light and make a perfect treat after your scones.

In busy Boston, it may be hard to remember to take a break and truly allow yourself to relax. Though the price of an afternoon tea may be startling at first, remember that the tea signifies more than a meal- it is a moment to enjoy yourself, the company of others, and a reminder of a long history that has taken root in Boston today.

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