Cheddar Bay's Victorian Tea Site Map


A Cup of Tea

When the world is all at odds, and the mind is all at sea,
Then cease the useless tedium, and brew a cup of tea.

There is magic in its fragrance. There is solace in its taste,
The laden moments vanish somewhere into space,

And the world becomes a lovely thing! There's beauty as you see,
All because you briefly stopped to have a cup of tea.

-Author Unknown

Victorian Tea - Taking Tea with Elegance

By the end of the 19th century, taking afternoon and high tea was a daily ritual, complete with rules of etiquette that could make or break a lady of consequence.

Afternoon tea was taken in the late afternoon, usually in a drawing room or sitting room with finger-sized, dainty tea sandwiches, scones and sweets, beautifully arranged on low tables. Tea was served with the best linens and china of the household, and making tea to perfection was a serious matter. It was a social occasion, time to relax and converse and satisfy late afternoon hunger pangs.

High tea was actually dinner, served later in the evening, a full meal with, of course, tea. It was high tea because it was served formally at the "high" dining table, rather than on low side tables.

Tea rooms were very popular, catering to the affluent in beautifully decorated rooms complete with fancy linen, superb porcelain or silver tea services and culinary delights. Tea gardens offered the same in garden settings resplondent with flowers and greenery.

These days, tea parties have once again become popular and women of all ages are enjoying visiting tea rooms that are all decked out Victorian style. Ladies dress up period style and take great pride on putting on lovely tea parties in their homes.

Modern day tea rooms generally offer three different types of tea:

Cream Tea - tea, scones, jam and cream
Light Tea - tea, scones and sweets
Full Tea - tea, savories, scones, sweets and dessert.

The afternoon tea menu has changed very little, but many tea rooms offer three different courses, served one after the other:

Savories: Finger sandwiches or small appetizers
Scones: Various types served with jam, Devonshire or clotted cream
Pastries: Cookies, cakes and various sweets

Very often a tiered plate is used to serve, etiquette calls for placing the savories on the bottom, the scones in the middle and the pastries and sweets on the top. An elegant arrangement of fruit, and sometimes cheese bits is a favorite addition to the tea table.

As far as high tea goes, whenever you sit for dinner at your dining room and eat a full meal with tea, you are enjoying high tea, just as the Victorians did. The important thing is to make it a tea to remember.

A tea to remember always begins with a fine china tea cup and extends to a life-long love affair with all things tea related, such as english teapots, porcelain tea sets, tea gift baskets.

It nourishes not only the body, it replenishes the spirit with tea traditions and memories. It is a slower paced rhythm, peaceful and serene. From a quiet reflective moment alone or a gathering of friends and family that brings you closer through unhurried conversation.

And always remember ...

If you are cold, tea will wawrm you.
If you are heated, tea will cool you.
If you are depressed, tea will cheer you.
If you are excited, tea will calm you.

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