Everyday Meals

Unusual herb inside the royal cucumber sandwiches enjoyed by the Queen for afternoon tea

Meghan Markle: Hosts say royal 'learnt afternoon tea'

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The Queen is said to be very fond of traditional afternoon tea, and it is served at the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties which take place every year at the iconic royal residence. Former Bond girl and TV presenter Jenny Hanley, who is a presenter on Boom Radio has spoken out about the time she was invited to enjoy a Palace Garden Party, and the finger sandwiches that were on offer – some with unusual ingredients. 

It was recently revealed that around 20,000 finger sandwiches are made for the garden parties each year. 

26,000 cups of tea are drank, and another 20,000 cakes, including scones, are enjoyed by the attendees.  

Sandwich fillings include the traditional smoked salmon, cucumber and cream cheese, and cheese and onion. 

After being made, the sandwiches are cut into finger size by the royal chefs. 

They are then rolled onto the side, and the corners of the square sandwiches are cut off. 

Jenny revealed an ingredient most wouldn’t expect to taste inside a cucumber sandwich. 

She explained: “The most wonderful thing that happened at one of the Buckingham Palace Garden Parties that I was lucky enough to go to was not the fact of the scones but the cucumber sandwiches.

“They may be a joke to some people, but when you’ve had a cucumber sandwich out on the grass at the back of Buckingham Palace and the sun is shining and there’s mint in it, then you know you’ve made it.

“I will never make a cucumber sandwich without chopped mint in it again. 

“None of your American sourdough, thank you.” 

The mint isn’t simply placed inside the sandwich, it is in fact, mixed into natural yoghurt. 

The yoghurt and chopped mint mixture is then layered over the peeled and thinly sliced pieces of cucumber. 

Black pepper is then cracked over the top, and the other piece of bread is placed on top. 

Another sandwich that is seen on the royal afternoon tea stand is egg mayonnaise – a classic. 

The royals are also said to be fans of gammon ham and Dijon mustard sandwiches too. 

The Queen herself, however, loves jam penny sandwiches, and according to a former royal chef, she is said to eat them every time she has afternoon tea. 

They are simply white bread and jam sandwiches – with jam made from Balmoral strawberries – sandwiched together and then cut into circles using a cutter. 

As for how the Queen likes her scones, she follows the Cornish way; jam then clotted cream. 

In contrast, the Devonshire method is to split the scone in two and cover each half with clotted cream, then jam. 

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