Afternoon Tea Parties
Origin of the Afternoon Tea Party
The afternoon tea party tradition originated in the early 1840's by the Duchess of Bedford, Anna Maria Russell, who happens to be a long time friend of Queen Victoria. The reason for this tradition was because Anna would get a sick feeling during the long gap between meal times. So she would have tea and light treats sent to her sitting room. Eventually, she would invite her friends to partake with her and soon other high society hostesses would follow her tradition of hosting tea parties. It was a great thing to have Queen Victoria come to one of your tea parties. Of course, there have been rumors of ladies of having tea further back than the 1840's but Anna is credited to having started the afternoon tea party.
My Tea Party
Who doesn't love tea parties? I have always been fascinated by them since I was a little girl whose grandmother taught her the love of a good cup of tea. Then of course watching movies that had tea parties like Titanic didn't help either. So when I got older, I bought my first English Rose tea set online for about 35.00. It doesn't seem like alot of money but at the age of 18, it was. I was so happy to get it in the mail in one piece and as beautiful as the the picture. I have had that set for 21 years. The tea set has been with me from Maine to Texas and now Washington. The only thing wrong with it was the broken sugar bowl, a chipped plate and a broken of handle on one of the cups. Still love it.
My Tea Party in Maine
The three pictures featured in this article is a tea party that I hosted at my parents home in Maine. I have so much fun doing tea parties. For the table setting, I used a linen tablecloth and napkins (I usually use linen but my mom didn't have any) with fancy paper plates (again, I usually use different ones but it still worked). My mother's tea set didn't have enough cups with matching saucers so we had to use other fancy tea cups. Placed in the middle of the table on a tray, I put the teapot filled with hot water, sugar in a fancy sugar bowl with honey. Since there were many of us, I put the coffee, tea infusions and plenty of tea on a different counter. I had tea leaves and tea bags and 10 different teas to choose from. Then on another counter is the food which included vanilla and chocolate sugar wafers; lady fingers; cookies filled with raspberry jam; biscotti; cookies; bread and pirouette cookies. Everyone loved the tea, the food, the setup and the company.