Tea Time

Yesterday afternoon I was contemplating what to do about my first post here. I have a cache of short stories that I could choose from so it would be easy enough to slap one up and be done. That didn’t feel quite right. I wanted to write something well, more personal I guess. I was considering a short post on my thoughts about traditional tea time and how great it would be to see something like that flourish in this country. I hadn’t yet made up my mind this morning and then right there in my social media timeline, it appeared. A post advising that today is National Hot Tea Day. I chuckled. Sometimes the writing Gods smile upon us.

My roots are English through and through. My father was born in Scotland and has a strong Scottish/English lineage. Mom was a New Englander and I’ve traced her roots to the Mayflower and of course from there all throughout England. This must explain my strong pull to all things English. I am an ardent fan of English Football (Soccer to us Yanks) and over the past few years I’ve grown to cherish my afternoon tea.

Here is a short excerpt from historic-uk.com on the origins of afternoon tea:

Afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.

This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.

I don’t participate in the ritual every day but I often set time aside for this most delightful tradition. It can be a time of quiet reflection or the pick-me-up needed to complete some tasks later in the day. I generally keep some traditional biscuits (cookies) around to enjoy with my pot.

I’ve often thought what a different world it might be if we all escaped the worries of the day for an hour at 4 in the afternoon and engaged with friends or family or just ourselves in a tradition that rejuvenates the soul.

What say you, Gentle Reader?

About Reggie

Reggie considers himself a Gentleman. Unless he has been pushed in to a rant. I love the strong women in my clan and adore our audience reaction to posts

8 Replies to “Tea Time”

  1. I remember on my flights from London to Plymouth they served Devon cream teas. Scones with clotted cream and strawberry jam, very tasty and fattened you up big time.

  2. It’s always tea when I visit mum, kettle on and teapot standing to attention.
    I had a bar in Madrid for a couple years, our main profit was from tea and cakes.
    I lost interest in soccer a long time ago but I was a season ticket holder as a youngster at Aberdeen.

    Thanks for jogging the memories Reggie.

    • That’s wonderful! Always fun to resurrect good times passed.
      I’ve been researching my family tree on Ancestry and I have many relations from Aberdeen on my Dad’s (Angus) side from the 1500s.
      I’m a big fan of The Beautiful Game, specifically the English Premiere League. I awake at 4am on the weekends to catch live matches.

  3. I used to go to tea at least twice a month when I was single and lived in the city. There were any number of places to go, and there was such a sense of performance with the tea sandwiches (cucumber a fave, along with salmon with dill) and scones, clotted cream and lemon curd…I miss those days. Reading this makes me want to do it again, but not until passports are no longer required. Thanks for the memories, Reggie!

    • Ahhhh, yes. This is what I mean. How wonderful! I do wish I were more of a social creature. I would host afternoon teas and make a thing of it. Someday perhaps. And I do need to find a local place that serves an afternoon tea but Wasilla Alaska is a bit behind the times it seems.

  4. I’ve never been much for tea (or coffee, for that matter…) but I am a huge proponent of “Happy Hour” and, in keeping with my own British Isles ancestory, I always keep my pinkie out!

    • Happy hour is what makes you happy, right? A pot of English Breakfast Tea paired with scones or free tacos and half priced ‘ritas. Soul nourishment.


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