Welcome to our blog....here we will share all our afternoon tea adventures with you...the good, the bad and the wonderful!

Friday, 14 March 2014

Tea Customs...

Hello there,

Carrying on with tea month, I thought today we would have a little look at how tea has been enjoyed over the years since it first became popular. If you have popped by Tea With Me and Friends before you will probably already know about afternoon tea and high tea, but I have discovered a couple of other tea customs.....

Lets start with Tea Gardens - these were public "pleasure gardens" which were designed for drinking tea and strolling, which were very popular in the late 18th century (sounds lovely to me!). These gardens were different to other public gardens are they were used as entertainment venues and would often feature bandstands. One such tea garden I have read about was called Cuper's Gardens, which was situated on the south side of the River Thames in London, overlooking Somerset House. Cuper's Gardens were popular during the 17th-18th centuries, and included an orchestra and often held firework displays. Rapid urban growth led to the closures of lots of tea gardens.

Time for tea with Tea With Me and Friends

Tea dances evolved from the tradition of afternoon tea, where as well as the refreshments we'd expect at an afternoon tea there would also be dancing. People attending tea dances would expect live music from either a small orchestra or a band, and various types of dances were performed including foxtrots, quicksteps and cha chas. Tea dances are still popular today, with various events taking place including Tea Dances at the Royal Opera House.

Can we interest you in some tea and cake?

Apparently the manageress of the Aerated Bread Company is thought to have established the first commercial Tea Shop in around 1864 when she persuaded her superiors to allow her to serve food and beverages in their shop. Tea shops spread in popularity across Britain as a lady could meet friends unchaperoned in a tea shop without sullying her reputation.

Tea breaks came about because workers initially began their working days very early - between 5-6am. Therefore employers allowed a mid morning break for these workers, when tea and food would be served. However, between about 1741 - 1820 some employers tried to put a stop to these breaks, believing that they made their workers lazy!

Have you been to a tea dance recently? Do you still have a morning tea break at your place of work? If you do we'd love to hear from you.

Thanks for popping by today,

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