Thursday, July 22, 2021

The Social Importance of the Tea Room by Vicki Delany

Jenn McKinlay: Lately, I've been on a sun tea bender (because Arizona!) and naturally I had to try the two favorite brands of the Brits - P.G. Tips and Yorkshire Gold. While I've enjoyed them both, I've discovered P.G. Tips does edge out the Yorkshire Gold for boldness of flavor, but that's neither here nor there. My point, and I do have one, is that today we have the fabulous Vicki Delany here to talk about her wonderful Tea by the Sea mystery series and the history of the tea room. Enjoy!


Vicki Delany: If I mention a tea room, I bet that puts you in mind of a small restaurant located in a grand hotel or a charming village. It will be decorated in either a flower pattern or pastel shades (or both), with comfortable chairs arranged around a low table, and fresh flowers on the table. Well-dressed guests, women mostly, but some men, pour loose leaf tea from fine China teapots into matching cups and nibble on crustless sandwiches, delicate pastries, and freshly baked scones served with jam and clotted cream. The conversation is light, friendly, and always polite.



Your image would be correct, in most cases, in modern times. But the history of the ‘tea room’ is more complex and meaningful than first meets the eye.

Lily Roberts, the protagonist of my Tea by the Sea series from Kensington, loves the history and traditions of afternoon tea and she was eager to explore the origins of tea rooms such as hers before she opened her traditional afternoon tea room located on Cape Cod Bay.


Book One

In order to keep up with Lily I had to do research for myself, and I was surprised to find to find a far deeper and more significant history than I was expecting.  Tea rooms, in both England and the United States, were of critical importance in the development of women’s emancipation in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries.  This is the history that is often overlooked, particularly in the sort of high school or university courses us of a ‘certain age’ experienced, as regards groups such as women, long considered by the writers of history books as not particularly interesting or worth paying much attention to.

 

The origin of afternoon, as today can be experienced almost anywhere in the world, were anything but radical. It all began in 1840 when Anna, Duchess of Bedford, a friend and lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria, felt a mite peckish late in the afternoon.  Her dinner, the main meal of the day, would usually have been served around eight o’clock, and she needed something to see her through.  I think we all can relate to that.



The hungry Anna instructed her butler to bring tea and some bread and butter, perhaps a slice of cake or pastry, to her around four o’clock.

Hardly an earth-shaking act, you would think. But it was. 

Anna decided she enjoyed this so much, she began inviting friends to join her over this afternoon tea. The friends liked the idea, fashionable hostesses leapt on the bandwagon, and the concept spread rapidly through the upper classes of British society.  As well as a ‘snack’, afternoon tea provided an opportunity for women to meet their friends in the middle of the day for company and conversation, something previously lacking in the restricted lives of aristocratic women. So popular did ‘taking tea’ become, some wealthier women created separate rooms or spaces in their gardens specifically for that purpose.  By the end of the century, middle class women were inviting friends to join them for afternoon tea in their homes.  I say ‘in their homes’ because in almost all places, restaurants and pubs and taverns were either closed to women or only allowed women in the company of a man. 




We think of the British as a nation of tea drinkers, and they are, but it wasn’t always so.  For a long time coffee reigned supreme, not just as a drink but as a center of business and political life for men of all income levels and classes who gathered in the coffeehouses. (Women were not allowed). The first coffeehouse was opened in England in 1652 and by 1739 there were over 550 coffeehouses in London alone. 

But the reign of coffee was coming to an end as tea became increasingly popular, beginning in 1662 when the Portuguese princess Catherine of Braganza arrived in England to marry Charles II. A lover of tea, Catherine popularized it in her new country. For a long time, however, tea was a luxury only the wealthy could afford due to the high taxes on the imported beverage. Smuggling was rife and eventually the tax was slashed in 1783, destroying the smuggling trade and making tea an important part of everyday life.

Women were banned from the aforementioned coffee houses, and thus from the business being conducted there, but they made their mark on the new ‘tea rooms’.  The tea room began to be popular in the late nineteenth century as women who couldn’t afford to have a separate room in their house or a private garden area to entertain their friends looked for a socially acceptable place to enjoy a light meal and conversation in the company of only other women. 

By the beginning of the 20thcentury, women were moving more freely through the streets of the city, out shopping and the like, but still they lacked a place to sit down and have a tea break or something to eat or to meet with their friends. The tea room provided that.  Thus the tea room quickly became a welcoming place for women. As well as having tea in such a place, owning and working in a tea room was an ‘acceptable’ occupation for a woman, at a time when there weren’t many of such.  

But even more, these tea rooms were public places for women to gather and, in many cases, talk about more than gossip and family.  They began to talk politics and specifically to organize their campaigns for the right to vote. 

The tea rooms run by the Aerated Bread Company were described as “an enormous move to freedom.”  Many tea rooms played a central part in the suffrage movement, providing meeting space where activists could meet outside their homes (and disapproving male relatives), and offer fund-raising venues.  


In the United States, the first tea rooms also provided employment for women, often in their own homes as women would open a room in their house to serve meals to travellers.  Late in the nineteenth century, these tea rooms were moved outside the private home and into the sort of separate business we’re familiar with today.  But they still provided an acceptable opportunity for business-minded single women to earn their own living or married women trying to earn some extra income. 

As in England, in the U.S., women on their own or in the company of other women were welcome in a way they still were not in restaurants. In the early Nancy Drew books, Nancy and her friends often stopped at a tea room for refreshment. This indicates that the girls were independent minded, not needing the company of a man to escort them to a restaurant. 

These days, of course, women can go pretty much anywhere we want, either alone or with women friends, and we don’t need tea rooms to preserve our reputations.  When we gather for afternoon tea it’s usually on vacation or for a special occasion.  

Next time you’re sipping your Darjeeling or Lapsang Souchong, and spreading clotted cream on a buttery scone, raise your fine China cup not only to Anna, Duchess of Bedford, but to the legions of women who had the idea of setting aside a room in their house, or opening a small space on the main street, and thus opening the door to allow women to march through. 

Readers, I’d love to know where you’ve had a memorable afternoon tea? Not your thing? What is your thing?


Book Two

National bestselling author Vicki Delany’s delightful Tea by the Sea mystery series continues, as Cape Cod tearoom proprietress and part-time sleuth, Lily Roberts, stirs up trouble when she unwittingly serves one of her grandmother’s B&B guests a deadly cup of tea . . .

 
Lily has her work cut out for her when a visit from her grandmother Rose’s dear friend, Sandra McHenry, turns into an unexpected—and unpleasant—McHenry family reunion. The squabbling boils over and soon Tea by the Sea’s serene afternoon service resembles the proverbial tempest in a teapot. Somehow, Lily and her tearoom survive the storm, and Sandra’s bickering brethren finally retreat to Rose’s B&B. But later that evening, a member of their party—curmudgeonly Ed French—dies from an apparent poisoning and suddenly Tea by the Sea is both scene and suspect in a murder investigation!
 
Mercifully, none of the other guests fall ill. They all ate the same food, but Ed always insisted on bringing his own special blend of herbal teas. So it seems, amid the whining and dining, someone snuck up to one of Lily’s cherished teapots and fatally spiked Ed’s bespoke brew, but who? Was it Ed’s long-estranged sister-in-law? Did teenage troublemaker Tyler take a prank too far? Or perhaps the family’s feuds have been steeping for longer than anyone realizes? It’s up to Lily, Rose, and their friends to get to the bottom of the poisoned pot and bag the real culprit behind the kettle murder plot.


Vicki Delany is one of Canada’s most prolific and varied crime writers and a national bestseller in the U.S. She has written more than forty books: clever cozies to Gothic thrillers to gritty police procedurals, to historical fiction and novellas for adult literacy. She is currently writing four cozy mystery series: the Tea by the Sea mysteries for Kensington, the Sherlock Holmes Bookshop series for Crooked Lane Books, the Catskill Resort mysteries for Penguin Random House, and the Lighthouse Library series (as Eva Gates) for Crooked Lane. Vicki is the recipient of the 2019 Derrick Murdoch Award for contributions to Canadian crime writing. She lives in Prince Edward County, Ontario.  

80 comments:

  1. This is very interesting, Vicki . . . thanks for sharing. I’m looking forward to reading Lily’s new adventure . . . .

    The women in our church host a tea every September . . . tea cups and tea, scones, little sandwiches and sweets . . . it’s a very popular activity and everyone has a marvelous time.

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    1. People love to pull out the fine china once in a while. Afternoon tea should be special.

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  2. Thanks for the history of tea room. My first "high tea" was at the Empress Hotel in Victoria, British Columbia and oh my what an experience for me. I felt like a princess being served fine tea with petite sandwiches and pastries. We also had someone playing a piano in the next room.

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    1. I've had tea there two on a couple different visits. Isn't it a fascinating place!

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    2. Ann, yes it is. I would love to go back.

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    3. The Empress is definitely a queen of a place for high tea! They really know how to keep the tradition alive. Yum!

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    4. A gentle correction, Dru. You had afternoon tea, not high tea. High tea is a working family's evening meal, so called because it's served on a high (kitchen or dining room) table. Afternoon tea was sometimes called low tea, because it was served on a drawing room table.

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  3. VICKI,

    Welcome to Jungle Reds! Love love Afternoon Tea. I remember having Afternoon Tea on a family trip to Canada. That was my first trip out of the USA. I remember the lovely tearooms when we visited England and Scotland. I would love to see a tea room in Ireland and Wales if they still exist.

    I remember scones with clotted cream and some kind of jam or preserves or marmalade? When I lived in England for a junior year semester abroad, I remember there were orange marmalade and variety of marmalades. It was a nice surprise since we only see orange marmalade in the USA. Perhaps it is different at Cape Cod?

    My friends and I had themed parties like Afternoon tea with cucumber sandwiches and scones. We also watched videos like Enchanted April.

    Before the pandemic, I saw a photo on Instagram of Afternoon Tea at Claridge's in London, England.

    I remember that they have tea rooms in English mystery novels like Agatha Christie and Jacqueline Winspear. I have seen tea rooms on pbs series like Midsommer Murders.

    Diana

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  4. What a great history, Vicki - thank you. The John Greenleaf Whittier Home Museum, where I am an occasional docent, hosts Tea in a Victorian Garden every summer in the back garden (or used to). It's lovely, and there are always cucumber sandwiches and small pastries, although I've never seen them serve clotted cream.

    I did have afternoon tea somewhere near Bath, England once, but it was thirty years ago and I have forgotten all the details!

    Best of luck with the new book. We should have Lily and my Cape Cod protagonist Mackenzie meet up to solve a crime one of these days. ;^)

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  5. Welcome to JRW, Vicki. I never knew that afternoon tea was a nineteenth century development, always assuming that the tradition was much older. Also, the British fondness for coffee has a history that I was completely surprised to learn. Knowing these historical tidbits puts much social interaction in the novels and mysteries I love to read, into a new light.

    My most memorable tea was on a cruise through the Inside Passage in Alaska. We'd had a very active day and tea was offered at four. It was decadent. That night a "formal" dinner was planned and I'd mailed a suitcase from Connecticut with our "duds" for the evening. I ate a couple of sandwiches and maybe one sweet but my husband went to town on the fancy cream-filled goodies. Returning to our cabin to shower and change, the ship was beginning to rock. Soon we were in a full force gale and I literally bounced off the walls in our tiny shower, still thinking, formal evening, gown, glamour. Yeah. NO. We both lay on the bed groaning, wrapped in those fluffy bathrobes until morning. My stomach did better than hubby's, since eclairs are not the best choice on a ship in a storm. We still laugh about that "Tea."

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  6. It's always good to see when Vicki Delany has a new book out! I recently picked up Book 1 of the Tea By The Sea series in paperback and Book 2 is on my buy list.

    I do not drink tea. Pretty much the only time I've ever had tea was when I was a kid and when sick got the foul tasting concoction shoved down my throat.

    I don't really have "a thing" because being the uncouth savage that I am, I'm not really into anything that would be considered "refined". Also, I don't drink any hot drinks at all. And since there's no such thing as a good vintage year of soda, that doesn't count.

    But that doesn't hold me back from reading about a tea room so Vicki, here's to continued success with the Tea By The Sea series...alongside all the other series of your mystery series that I read.

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  7. It's a tradition for us to have afternoon tea at the Prince of Wales in Niagara-on-the-Lake, one that is on hold since we haven't been able to cross the border for more than a year. It's quite the experience. The best one I ever had was at the White Hart in Salisbury in 2000, my first trip to England. There was a coal fire and we were served while curled up in comfy chairs in front of it. The scones were memorable even 20 plus years later. Try as I might, and I'm a fairly good baker, I cannot recreate those scones.

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    1. Our border is opening up in August, Ann. Yay!

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    2. I have given my youngest daughter tea at the Prince of Wales in NOTL for a couple of Chrismtases. They do it so well there. As Amanda points out, the border is opening for fully vaccinated Americans in a couple of weeks.

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    3. But it is complicated. Have to present a negative test within 24 hours of crossing and then get tested when we get back, not to mention being vaccinated. Hardly worth the effort for a day trip. We shall wait until it’s easier

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  8. Welcome Vicki, now you have us all salivating. My favorite tea was at a lovely B and B in Chatham Mass. The tea came with the lodging (along with wonderful breakfasts) and it was delightful. The place was decorated with teapots and you never knew which one you'd get. The only problem was not eating so much that you couldn't fit your dinner in later...

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  9. Thank you Vicki for bringing up the beginnings of afternoon tea and for a good new book to read.
    My best afternoon tea was in Bath. At the end of the visit of the Roman baths, there was a tea room : fabulous place, fabulous decor, fabulous trio of musicians and fabulous food and tea. Did I say that I liked it ? :)

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    1. I'll bet it was Sally Lunn's, Danielle. I've had tea there, too, and it's the most famous tea room in Bath.

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    2. I have Sally Lunn's on my wish list for next time in UK

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  10. Congratulations on your new release! I've enjoyed afternoon tea all over England, each better than the last. Which I've tried to duplicate (cucumber sandwiches, tea cakes) with varying success. Celia Wakefield, I'd love to try your afternoon tea menu.

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    1. The Tea by the Sea books have recipes in them for things served in the tea room.

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  11. Having never been a coffee-drinker, I'm glad to see tea get it's "due."

    I think the best high tea I had was at the William Penn Hotel - my Sisters in Crime chapter went for a Christmas get-together one year. Very fancy!

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  12. Oh, this is so fascinating! And every bit of it is new to me. Thank you! This sounds so lovely. And we used to have tea parties when we were little, didn’t you? Very elegant affairs as I remember, with all our stuffed animals in attendance.

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  13. My real introduction to afternoon tea drinking was by a Canadian neighbor who was at home with a toddler while I was working from home. She'd often invite me to her apartment for tea, and she was shocked that Americans hadn't yet adopted the habit wholesale. I love all the carb laden goodies associated with the menu. For a tea room that is central to a mystery, I can point you to Kate Ellis' A High Mortality of Doves, set in post WWI England.

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  14. I had no idea of that very fascinating history! Thank you, Vicki! And now I know I have really missed out on a fabulous experience - afternoon tea in a tea room. I'll have to search for an opportunity soon.

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  15. We’ve dubbed ourselves the PERFECTS (Public Employees Registered Female Engineers Conversation and Tea Society) and gather from across SoCal to drink tea, eat scones and cream, and wear fancy hats! I’m looking forward to renewing this practice.

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    1. Of course, sometimes the experiences make us laugh. Like the time I called a place I thought was promising and asked if they did afternoon tea and was answered with, “we have tea, and you could drink it in the afternoon.” Knew that wasn’t the experience we were hoping for. Or going to the Biltmore in DTLA and getting teabags in a thick white coffee mug. They have since improved.

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    2. I'm glad to hear that (about the Biltmore, I mean)

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  16. What a great history, Vicki! I had no idea of the history of the tea room. Fascinating. The first tea I remember was with my mother. I was a toddler and we had tea in the tea room at Lord & Taylor in NYC. I remember I headed right for the tarts on the top tier and earned a gentle reprimand and lesson from my mother.

    I find it interesting watching Midsomer Murders that coffee is offered and requested more than tea.

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  17. My most memorable afternoon tea experience was at the Royal Crescent Hotel in Bath - it was amazing. A close second was afternooon tea at the Plaza Hotel in NYC. When I was last in London, I had a sightseeing day all to myself, and at tea time popped into Liberty of London. I enjoyed a lovely tea and was not at all self-conscious at all about being on my own.

    Like many people, I thought that tea had been popular in England forever, not coffee. There is a novel about the early days of the coffee trade in 17th century called The Coffee Trader by David Kiss that is fascinating

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    1. It's David Liss, I think, and that was a fascinating book.

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    2. What wonderful places you've been to, Celia.

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  18. I love tea. I never got into the habit of drinking coffee, so it's tea for my morning caffeine, and lately, tea mid-afternoon when I a moment to breathe. Coffee places, like Starbucks, just never get it right.

    I've been thinking back over all my experiences with afternoon tea and, although I've enjoyed it at fancy tea rooms and hotels, my most memorable afternoon teas were very humble affairs. When I was little, we would come home from school and my mother would make a pot of tea, butter some graham crackers, and we'd all sit on the floor around the coffee table in the living room to sip and snack and tell her about our day. I've loved tea ever since.

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    1. Gigi, I love that image of you sitting around the coffee table for your afternoon tea! Thanks for sharing!

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  19. My Aunt Vivian served a wonderful high tea -- not the formal kind described here, but family style with the large table laden with bread and butter (had to be eaten before we were allowed cake), cake and biscuits. This 'meal' brought us all together again after our early-afternoon activities and before the evening-time started. Such good memories.

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    1. What your describing is indeed high tea, which is different from afternoon tea

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  20. Thanks, Vicki for the information on the origins of the tea room. I knew that coffee had been big business in the 1600/1700s and that tea came after, but the history of the tea room makes perfect sense as a space for women. This is the first I've heard of your tea shop mysteries--will be looking for Lily's first adventure.

    When under the weather, I'll have a cup of milky tea, otherwise I'm an iced tea kind of person. Best iced tea, hands' down, was in Charleston, South Carolina. Not too sweet, not watered down, brewed perfectly so not bitter at all. I could have mainlined it gladly (that southern heat and humidity could wilt more than this northerner!).

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  21. Vicki, I loved this post and will go find your tea series ASAP. I'm a real tea drinker and have great tea memories in England. One is accidentally stumbling across the tiny original Twinings building right in the middle of the big city. And the rest are the quaint tea shops in small villages, with home made pastries. And the elegant hotel teas, much later, when I went on work trips. But maybe it started here: I was a little girl from a small US town, visiting relatives in Ottawa with my grandmother. She took us for an afternoon treat to an elaborate restaurant ( Chateau Laurier?) and we had "tea". With cinnamon toast! I think it made a life-long impression.

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  22. We enjoyed tea at the National Gallery. It was recommended because of the view of the skyline. My most memorable tea was in the lounge at the Ritz in Hong Kong. It featured French pastries. Everything was exquisite. Locally we are blessed with a new tea room in Elora, Ontario called The Wild Tart. The pastry chef came from a Michelin one star hotel in London, U.K. The pastries ate just as wonderful as the ones at the Ritz.

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    1. What a great name for a tea room! I'm looking it up online...though Manitoba is too far away for an afternoon outing.

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    2. Went to one in Dublin called Queen of Tarts. I like this even better.

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    3. The picture above of me and my daughter was taken at the National Portrait Gallery. We will be on the lookout for The Wild Tart!

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  23. Vicki, this was fascinating! Another example of history that never gets taught - instead, like most cultural items designed by and for women, tea houses are treated as frivolous. Certainly not as serious or as important as coffee houses and pubs. And yes, I'm drawing a parallel to literature, like romances and cozy mysteries, which are (mostly) written and read by women. Certainly not as serious and important as young man's bildungsroman or a noir mystery...

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    1. Another example of same old same old in male/female relations.

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  24. So happy to meet you btl on JRW"s Vicky. I love your style and commitment to the world of mysteries. My first experience with tea rooms was as you suggested, connected to a hotel. It was the Empress in Victoria B.C. I was about 12, visiting with my not well loved grand mother. The elegance and wonder of the experience took away the sting of her determination to mold me into her idea of a proper young lady.
    Back to tea and empowerment. I see tea rooms as the next step from the sewing circles in the 18th century. Wonder if Zoom or f2f networking will be preferred. Me? I am all for f2f and sharing food + luscious lovely tea. Thank you for creating a new series to love.

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  25. I've had some lovely teas in London and Edinburgh but the most memorable for being unmemorable was in Tobago. A hotel puts on a bird tea every afternoon outside on the terrace. Birdfeeders are filled and birds swarm the place. One of the hotel ladies tells you about the birds and it's interesting. But the tea. . .not so great. We laughed about it later. Expecting tropical elegance we got heavy ceramic tea cups like you'd expect in a cafeteria. Hot water and tea bags. A couple of slices of nut bread that you had to eat fast before a bird grabbed it. It was comical!

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  26. sorry for the thought fragment.. I meant to say if in the future will f2f tearooms or internet tea rooms be the fashion.

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  27. Hi Vicki! What a terrific post! I knew a good deal about the history of tea and coffee in the UK, but I hadn't put tea rooms in the context of the women's suffrage movement. So interesting!

    I've had many memorable afternoon teas (and just to clarify, "high tea" in the UK is an early evening working class meal, often with things like boiled eggs and beans on toast) but a couple stand out. My very first proper afternoon tea was on my first trip to London with my parents, at the Grosvenor House Hotel in Mayfair. I've since had tea at the Ritz, at Fornum's, at the Connaught, and at Brown's Hotel (the setting for Agatha Christie's Bertram's Hotel) among many other places, but the absolute top of the list was afternoon tea with my daughter at Gordon Ramsay Claridge's. It was exquisite but, alas, not to be repeated, as Gordon no longer has the Claridge's venue.

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    1. PS Vicki, I've just ordered the first Tea mystery--the books sound delightful!

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    2. Thanks Debs, I hope you enjoy it. Cheers!

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  28. Vicki, thank you for a lovely read about tea and tea rooms. My dream existence is one where I live in a posh setting and have tea served every afternoon. The tea is great, but it's the little sandwiches and pastries that get me really excited. It has been ages ago, so long that I can't remember where I was, but it was in a fancy hotel, and they had a tea in the afternoon, which I was wide-eyed and thrilled with. One of the main things I want to do when I visit England is get in as many teas as I can.

    The Tea by the Sea Mysteries sound like a perfect series to provide some relaxing reading. I don't mind a murder or two mixed in with my tea.

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  29. I had tea at the Orangerie in London a few years ago, and I can still taste the stem ginger cake I had with my Darjeeling. Bliss! The old Helmsley hotel in NYC offered a tea that was not only delicious and generous, but featured a harpist in the balcony playing Baroque music. And now, I am off to order the Tea by the Sea mysteries - they sound just wonderful!

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    1. I've never had tea at the Orangerie, but I have stood outside looking it. It looks so marvellous.

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  30. In Baltimore our ancient tea room was called the Women's Industrial Exchange. It was heaven and had a store of handicrafts in the front they sold for women in need. Lovely tradition

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    1. The Women's Industrial Exchange sounds exactly like the sort of early tea room I'm taking about.

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  31. In Baltimore our ancient tea room was called the Women's Industrial Exchange. It was heaven and had a store of handicrafts in the front they sold for women in need. Lovely tradition

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  32. Usually, my twin and I do our own tea parties on special occasions but occasionally we will treat ourselves at the downtown tea room.

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  33. Vicki, this is such a delightful post. Next time I see you, we must take tea together. My fave afternoon tea was at the Brown Palace Hotel in Denver. Soooo lovely!

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    1. I'm in! And we'll invite Kate too. And all the Reds!

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  34. I've had some wonderful afternoon teas. My first was in Naples, Florida at the Ritz Carlton. My husband took me for my birthday. A wonderful tea with the entire spread, a piano player, and a fashion show. A friend invited me to go with her to the London Tea Room in St. Louis, Missouri, where Deborah Crombie was appearing, talking about her latest book. And, I took another friend there for Christmas tea, with Christmas crackers. They do a wonderful tea!

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  35. Vicki, fascinating. I knew some of this because I've researched high and low tea from the food angle, but I didn't know about the feminist aspect. Truly successful blog, because now I want to investigate the series.

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  36. So fascinating! I had no idea.

    Here in Boston (home of the Tea Party) we've always had a few places where you can enjoy an authentic afternoon tea. The fanciest is at the Taj. The Park Plaza had a tea sommelier. Probably discontinued during covid.

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    1. The Boston Atheneum used to do a grand afternoon tea. Not sure if they still do.

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  37. Congratulations, Vicki (again) for what sounds to be a fabulous series! Alas, I seem to a lone one here; I have never had an afternoon tea in any place other than my home. I love tea, also, (I trade back and forth for weeks at a time between coffee and tea) so I am surprised I haven't ever started having "afternoon tea" instead of coffee with a small snack. Actually, that so good I shall begin that tomorrow! Thank you for the wonderful research (my other love - research of interesting topics.

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  38. Lovely piece of history, like learning of the "sewing circles" in which wives helped organize the Pullman Porter strikes (Patricia McKissack’s book). My favorite tea room, Miss Aimee B's, closed a couple of years ago. I still feel sad when I pass by that lovely old house, and wish someone would buy it and reopen.

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    1. I'd love to learn more about the sewing circles you refer to. I'll look for more

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    2. McKissack, Patricia and Fredrick
      A Long Hard Journey: The Story of the Pullman Porter
      I think there's a bibliography at the end of the book.

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  39. I'm surprised no one has mentioned the beautiful Willow Tea Rooms in Glasgow with the fabulous Rennie Mackintosh furniture. The service and food is out of this world. The tea rooms are modelled on Kate Cranston’s Ingram Street Tea Rooms from the early 1900s. Definitely a treat.

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    1. I’ve been tomScotland but never to Glasgow. If ever I do, I’ll be sire and try to visit Willow Tea Room

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  40. Afternoon tea is a favorite pastime for our family. My Nana was English and Irish so I was raised on tea. Funny, because both my parents were coffee drinkers, but all the us girls drink tea. One sister's church had a tea every year for years. When that ended we found tea shops. One year I invited all the "kids" over for afternoon tea on Mother's Day. We've celebrated birthdays, retirements, and no occasion at all with afternoon tea. Going right now to look up you books.

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