Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Afternoon Tea

Being a confirmed tea drinker, I have to start my day with a hot cup of tea. I think it’s a wonderful way to start and break the day, a time to slow down, or maybe conduct business over afternoon tea. However, with busy lives and schedules, does the afternoon tea ritual still exist?

The ritual of afternoon tea started in England in 1840 when the seventh duchess of Bedford needed some refreshments between lunch and late dinner. So, she requested to have tea, bread, butter and cake in her room.

Later, society women in the Victorian era started dressing up in special gowns to enjoy their tea, sandwiches, and cake in the drawing room. Eventually, drinking the afternoon tea became a national pastime.

The Milestone Hotel in London
The pleasure of taking tea is still being honored in hotels, mansions, museums and tearooms around the world

If you’re a tea lover, I think you’ll enjoy reading a book titled Tea & Etiquette written by Dorothea Johnson the founder of The Protocol School of Washington and Bruce Richardson, the author of many books about tea.

This book takes a fresh look at the ritual, and directs you on how to take tea for business and pleasure—in addition to detailing tea history and tales. The back cover says: Forget about all those raised pinkies- teatime can be gracious without being pretentious.

Photo 1,2 courtesy of Victoria, photography by Toshi Otsuki
 Photo 3 courtesy of Architectural Digest, photography by Scott Frances


classic • casual • home said...

I just love a tea party! It's a nice way to warm up on a cold afternoon, too. Or in my case, I love an herbal tea before bed. Nice post!

Ann said...

Although I am not a tea drinker, I would love that beautiful tea cup and saucer in the first photo!

Tea parties seem... well, so elegant!


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