Tuesday, September 6, 2011

"Take Some More Tea"...

On Saturday, we celebrated the birthday of 
Anna, the Duchess of Bedford, 
who founded the custom of "Afternoon Tea"

"There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour 
dedicated to the ceremony known as an afternoon tea."
~ Henry James

Anna, Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting, 
had a "sinking feeling" every afternoon... sound familiar?

 Early 1840's... 

Noble classes only ate two meals per day, breakfast and a late dinner.  

Was this enough for the duchess?  Not hardly!

Each afternoon, she had begun the habit of 
taking her tea and petite-sized cakes...
the perfect balance! 

The Duchess found taking an afternoon snack 
to be a delightful refreshment,
 and soon began inviting friends to join her. 

friends come for tea in the afternoon

The afternoon tea gathering caught on, 
becoming not only a favorite pastime of ladies of leisure, 
but an integral part of the culture of the Victorian era as well.  

The menu:

 small cakes,

bread and butter sandwiches, 

assorted sweets,

and, of course... 


 Afternoon tea was especially popular in the summertime.

The Duchess brought her afternoon tea ritual with her to London, 
sending cards to her friends to join her for "tea and a 'walking the fields'". 

Served in the mid-afternoon & served on low tables.

...a ladies' social occasion. 

Afternoon Tea 

also known as "low tea"

...manners, lace, and dainty foods.

"Take some more tea"

The beauty of tea carries with it many enjoyable aspects, 
allowing one to add an individualized flair to the afternoon tea party 
(take note of the Hatter in Alice in Wonderland!).  

Whether you celebrate in the traditional sense, or in your own style, 
either way is a wonderful opportunity to have a gathering of friends ~

"A Proper Tea is much nicer than a Very Nearly Tea, 
which is one you forget about afterwards."  
~A.A. Milne

Let us enjoy tea!

~ Phoebe


  1. I have always loved the story of English Tea and the Duchess of Bedford but of course I'm a little partial to a duchess I share a name with :)
    Thank you for the lovely post and for the sweet comment today. Oh and I absolutely adore your equinox countdown and the rainy day picture!


  2. Anna, lovely to have had you come by... looking forward to visiting you again for more creative inspiration!


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