The origins of Afternoon Tea - the commoner's version:
(salmon quiche at The V-Tea Room...indeed yummy...but expensive too! )
During the second half of the Victorian Period, known as the Industrial Revolution, working families would return home tired and exhausted. The table would be set with any manner of meats, bread, butter, pickles, cheese and of course tea. None of the dainty finger sandwiches, scones and pastries of afternoon tea would have been on the menu. Because it was eaten at a high, dining table rather than the low tea tables, it was termed "high" tea.
The Tai-Tai's version:
According to legend, one of Queen Victoria's (1819-1901) ladies-in-waiting, Anna Maria Stanhope (1783-1857), known as the Duchess of Bedford, is credited as the creator of afternoon teatime. Because the noon meal had become skimpier, the Duchess suffered from "a sinking feeling" at about four o'clock in the afternoon. At first the Duchess had her servants sneak her a pot of tea and a few breadstuffs. Adopting the European tea service format, she invited friends to join her for an additional afternoon meal at five o'clock in her rooms at Belvoir Castle. The menu centered around small cakes, bread and butter sandwiches, assorted sweets, and, of course, tea. This summer practice proved so popular, the Duchess continued it when she returned to London, sending cards to her friends asking them to join her for "tea and a walking the fields." The practice of inviting friends to come for tea in the afternoon was quickly picked up by other social hostesses.
(Our model having Moroccan Mint Tea. Location: The V-Tea Room)
Pick up your cup and saucer together - holding the saucer in one hand and cup in the other. The best way to hold a tea cup is to slip your index finger through the handle, up to almost the first knuckle, then balance and secure the cup by placing your thumb on the top of the handle and allowing the bottom of the handle to rest on your middle finger. Hold the cup lightly, by the handle - your pinky should not be extended (Contrary to popular belief, the ring and pinkie fingers should not be extended, but should rest by curving gently back toward your wrist). Hold the saucer under your cup while you sip your tea (lest you should spill or dribble).
When stirring your tea, don't make noises by clinking the sides of the cup while stirring. Gently swish the tea back and forth being careful not to touch the sides of your cup if possible. Never leave your spoon in the cup and be sure not to sip your tea from the spoon either. After stirring, place your spoon quietly on the saucer, behind the cup, on the right hand side under the handle.
Sunday, June 10, 2007
Posted by maZe at 9:56 PM