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Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Victorian Tea Time

Thank you all so much for your wonderful comments. I appreciate it.
I drew two winners of eBooks of As Timeless As Stone.
My winners are Danielle and Teresa. Congratulations to them both.

Like most little girls, I grew up playing Tea Party. Ceramic and plastic tea sets are still some of the most popular toys, if you have daughters or granddaughters, they probably have at least one. I don’t know if you’ve seen a show called Pregnant in Heels, but they had a proper English tea on one episode, serving scones, and Spotted Dick with the tea. I learned the correct pronunciation of scones from that episode. I use to mistakenly say scone with the o sound pronounced as in bone when it’s actually pronounced as in gone.

I learned so much about teas during the demonstration at the Oklahoma Steampunk Exposition, I recently attended. The picture of me above was taken there. We were served cucumber sandwiches, lemon pound cake, devil eggs, scones, cookies, and three types of tea. Our charming, expert hostess also taught us the differences in tea time in England, France, and Germany. For in Germany they usually served coffee and cake while in France they drank chocolate and served cookies or pastries or baguettes with butter and jam.

At an English tea, once everyone is seated, the hostess pours the tea, filling each guest’s cup. The spout of the tea pot faces the hostess or pourer. A tea cup is shallow and wider than a coffee or chocolate cup to give the tea room to temper before drinking. The hostess offers lemons, milk, or sugar for the tea. Milk and lemon are never added to the same cup, as citrus spoils milk. Cream is not offered as it is much too heavy for tea.

An infinite variety of tasty sandwiches may be served at tea, sometimes filled with chicken or turkey salad and cucmber sandwiches are often offered as well. The crust is always trimmed off the bread.

Do not extend your pinkie finger when drinking tea, it is rude. When stirring tea do not clink your spoon against the cup, instead swish it gently to and fro. After stirring, place the spoon on the saucer behind the tea cup. Remove the spoon before drinking your tea. Do not swirl the tea in your cup or you might slosh and stain the tablecloth.

There is specific etiquette for gentlemen attending teas. They must stand when a lady enters or leaves the room, open the door for the ladies, and escort the ladies downstairs to their carriage or cab. One would never expect less of a true gentleman.

I enjoyed sharing my new found knowledge with all you especially this week with the royal wedding. Just think William and Kate may be having tea right now. I wish you all Happy Tea Time.

I am having a blog contest, just comment below and the winner will receive a free eBook PDF download of my Steampunk/Romance, As Timeless As Stone. Also please drop by my website anytime at http://MaeveAlpin.comHere is a trailer of As Timeless As Stone


Danielle Coaxum said...
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Danielle Coaxum said...

Mhm. I love Tea. Tea time...I remember playing Tea time with my dolls. It was so much fun. Nowadays its just hard to find 'friends' to have tea with. Lol. France has hot chocolate for their 'Tea Time'? I didn't know that. But its awesome! I love hot chocolate. Either way...I loved this pass of knowledge :D! I do love learning about things from other places in the world, culture. Its fun and entertaining to learn things that are followed as tradition! Thanks a lot!Now I'm going to go make me some tea :)

Danielle Coaxum said...

Btw. Awesome video..!! I cannot wait to get my hands on this story... As Timesless As Stone....the video has made me want to read it as soon as possible >_<! So not fair. I must get the ebook from somewhere!! @_@!

soliva01 said...
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Marianne Stephens said...

've been to two "teas" and loved both! Dressing up was fun, and sampling "tea time" foods...what can I say but wonderful!
Thanks for the information!

Tina Donahue said...

What a fascinating post. May you have wonderful sales with your steampunk romance. :)

Paris said...

What a great post! Thanks so much for all of the interesting information about a proper "tea".

I've recently discovered Steampunk and its rapidly becoming one of my favorites. "As Timeless As Stone" sounds wonderful:) Wishing you many, many sales!

Linda Kage said...

Ahh, now I want to buy my 14-month-old girl a tea set and play tea with her--I'll be sure to tuck in my pinkie though ;-)! And I had no idea scones weren't pronounced hte bone way. So, they sound more like the candle sconces you put on your wall? Cool.

Thanks for so much information. I really enjoyed it.

lizzie starr said...

Lovely tea time information. I have many friends who love their tea. I'm just not a tea drinker. Still, I do enjoy attending a tea, and I will take a proper sip or two to be polite. I could certainly go for the chocolate though!

Molly Daniels said...

I did NOT know that about the pinkie or the pronounciation:) Who says you don't learn anything from blogs, ha ha:)

The year we moved, a local 'grand' hotel opened, and offered tea time. I soooo want to go back and experience it!

Teresa K. said...

I love trying different teas. I knew of some of the etiquette but not all.

Thank you for the correct pronouciation of Scone. Thank you for the contest.

Teresa K.

jean hart stewart said...

Very interesting, but I imagine if I gave scone the correct pronunciation my friends would be even more convinced I'm crazy..Happy sales, Jean

Cindy Spencer Pape said...

Love the outfit and the info, Cornelia! Wish I could have joined you!

Sarah J. McNeal said...

I recently found out that Tea Time was first established by Queen Victoria's Lady In Waiting. I had always thought it always existed. I have had High Tea and it's so wonderful and mighty tasty. My niece and I have tea time sometimes just for the fun of it but it's also a good way to teach her about manners in a fun way. We wear gloves and hats.
Lovely blog

vickyb said...

This sounds fascinating! I especially love tea and the traditions surrounding it. Thank you!

Pommawolf Emeraldwolfeyes said...

I love tea. I never realized how formal and eloquent it really is. How wonderful and delightful.
Thank you for sharing this great social and awesome tradition. :)


pommawolf @ hotmai dot com

Sharon Hamilton said...

Great post. My youngest daughter's Girl Scout troop had a tea and invited mothers. Requirement: bring a flowered hat and two china teacups, wear a dress and gloves.

Since at that age, most the girls were wearing Doc Marten's, it was interesting seeing all of them sitting around sipping tea. I had a hard time finding the gloves, too!

Janice Seagraves said...

How lovely, I just love tea.

They have a place that serves a proper tea in Fresno, one of these days I'll have to go and see how it is done.


Rebecca Gillan said...

My mom had a friend who was an english war bride. She used to invite my sisters and I for English tea several time a year. Your article brought all those happy, wonderful times rushing back. Great post!

PS, the "correct" pronunciation, per Miss Stella, depends on where you are, much like the word tomato. She grew up in London and the way she said it sounded more like "Scoon."

Cynthia Arsuaga said...

I've been reading snippets of your Steampunk Timeless as Stone and can't wait to read more.
Thanks for the other information. I love tea, but tea doesn't love me (kidney stones), but I sneak some every now and then.

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