Afternoon tea was meant for discovery and it all began during the early 19th century and was originated by Anna Russell, the Duchess of Bedford. During those days a midday light lunch was created to get one through without being famished until the normal dinner meal between 7pm – 8:30pm. Anna found this to be an impossible length of time to endure without another refreshment. One afternoon she ordered tea, bread and butter with cakes to be served in her room. She found this afternoon snack to be completely satisfying and sustaining. After some time she like most women, began inviting her friends to join her in this new enjoyable habit with the inspiration of conversation.
Invitations started to make the occasion formal and this new social trend quickly blossomed and was established throughout society in London and then to all the villages of England. The quintessential British meal celebrated in the home progressed into tea gardens and tea rooms and as we see in tradition to this day.
Tea etiquette tips:
• Be on time
• Do not take the tea bag and put it in your teacup and bounce to help steep
• Tea bag should be placed in teapot to steep
• Do not fill your teacup to the brim so it won’t spill over the edges
• Do not swirl the tea around in your teacup
• When standing hold saucer with teacup in the palm of your hands to your waist
• Hold handle of the teacup using your thumb and one or two fingers
• Do not raise your pinky
• Drink slowly without slurps
• Place tea cup on saucer not on table
• Eat sandwiches and cakes with your fingers unless sandwich has a full filling then use your fork
• Place napkin on your lap, and when you leave place the napkin on your chair not on the table
• Always write a thank you note