History of High Tea and Tea Etiquette

I found this on an abandoned/ deleted blog. It had been a site for a tea shop and restaurant in Australia. I like the information, so I have saved it.

History of High Tea

Lady Fredericks, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is widely credited as the first to establish the ritual of afternoon tea in the 17th Century to entertain her female guests while the gentlemen attended to the issues of politics and business.

The Duchess recorded details of hosting delightful tea parties to allow women an elegant social opportunity to meet and discuss issues that were usually unsuitable to discuss in the company of gentlemen.

Since this time, the practice of afternoon tea, or high tea as it came to be know in Britain, become a well loved tradition.

For the ladies of the English ‘leisure class’ high tea served a practical purpose of allowing ladies the pleasure of enjoying a delicate meal before attending the theatre or a club.

Today the practice of high tea continues with the modern ‘Lady of  Leisure’ enjoying high tea at bridal and baby showers, gathering with best friends to celebrate hens and birthday parties and sampling delicious cakes, pastries and gourmet sandwiches wash down with finest teas at an elegant surrounding.

Tea Etiquette

Pick up your cup and saucer together – holding the saucer in one hand and cup in the other. The best way to hold a tea cup is to slip your index finger through the handle, up to almost the first knuckle, then balance and secure the cup by placing your thumb on the top of the handle and allowing the bottom of the handle to rest on your middle finger. Hold the cup lightly, by the handle – your pinky doesn’t have to be extended (Contrary to popular belief, the ring and pinkie fingers should not be extended, but should rest by curving gently back toward your wrist). Hold the saucer under your cup while you sip your tea (lest you should spill or dribble).

When stirring your tea, don’t make noises by clinking the sides of the cup while stirring. Gently swish the tea back and forth being careful no to touch the sides of your cup if possible. Never leave your spoon in the cup and be sure not to sip your tea from the spoon either. After stirring, place your spoon quietly on the saucer, behind the cup, on the right hand side under the handle.

Milk is served with tea, not cream. Cream is too heavy and masks the taste of the tea. Although some pour their milk in the cup first, it is probably better to pour the milk in the tea after it is in the cup in order to get the correct amount.

When serving lemon with tea, use lemon slices, not wedges. Either provide a small fork or lemon fork for your guests, or have the tea server neatly place a slice in the tea cup after the tea has been poured. Be sure never to add lemon with milk since the lemon’s citric acid will cause the proteins in the milk to curdle.

My Favourite Teacups

Gorgeous teacupsThese shiny gold/ orange firey teacups are my favourites. My Mother and I collect them. We have three full sets (cup and saucer) with this pattern. One is more worn and always makes me feel a little sad. Poor old thing.

This photograph comes from a set for sale on Etsy. I love the photo. It’s hard to take a photo of the glow from the finish/ glaze on the teacups.

We only use these cups and saucers about once a year. Other than that they are kept on a shelf which has a glass door so we can see them. Unlike silver they don’t tarnish so you can leave them out to be seen without having to worry about it. (Silver tarnishes faster when it is exposed to air and sunlight). I guess these cups would eventually fade if they were in full sun, but they are safe in their little corner of the kitchen.

It’s nice having a few special things. I think we tend to gather and collect and keep too much nowadays, myself included. I have far more non-fiction books than I will ever read (unless I discover immortality – even then I’d have to not age while I’m busy being immortal).

Vintage Glass Teacups

glass teacupsAren’t they pretty?

I like glass cups, teacups or coffee mugs especially. I like watching through the glass when you add the cream to your coffee. I love the way it swirls. I like to watch how the coffee cream/ milk gradually merges with the darker coffee. Sometimes I just let it sit on top so I can see the two colours, one settled on top of the other.

They make different swirling patterns if you pour the milk or cream in before you add the coffee. Have you ever done that with a glass coffee mug?

These are the little things I like, one of them.

I noticed this vintage glass teacup set on Etsy this morning. The shade of peach glass is pretty in the photo. But, I don’t think I’d like it once the tea was added. The colour would be duller then. Spoiled.

But, they would be pretty for holding white wine, or sparkling white wine with little bubbles flying up to pop on the surface. Wouldn’t that be nice?

Don’t get so wrapped up in the big things that you stop enjoying the little things.

Does Every Domme Like Pirate Women?

These are cute pirate women but, they aren’t women wearing skimpy pirate costumes. That, bugs me. Pirate women would not be showing a lot of skin or wearing high heels. They would have to be practical. Wearing skimpy stuff on board a ship full of men would not work well when it came to keeping control. Climbing rigging and all of that would be tricky in heels and short skirts too.

Does every Domme/ FemDom like pirate women or is it just me that thinks about these things?