Set yourself upon the spiral staircase to the airdock, or pop in your TARDIS and enter landing bay 7. If you prefer, set your coordinates for transporter room 13. Climb aboard the Airship Thistle Rose. Hang your weapons, coats, 14 foot scarves and other accouterments where you will and relax.
You are most welcome.
Port out, starboard home, Posh with a capital P...O...S... H... *
Call this my virtual Tea Room. Someday, I plan on opening up a real Tea Room and Gift Shop. Eventually, here, you will find tea information, specifically the British "Tea", as well as unique gifts. Picture, if you will, a quiet, peaceful, richly decorated room in an antique Victorian house. Battenburg lace curtains with leather tiebacks over the brass portholes in the teak bulkheads, various bits and pieces and gears of brass, copper and such, weaponry of all kinds, greenish iron scroll Bistro tables and chairs, Fine China tea cups and plates, shimmering silver, and the scent of and tea and leather oil everywhere. Freshly brewed tea with warm from the oven scones, perfect Devon cream and homemade strawberry, raspberry or rhubarb preserves.
This is my dream Tea Room.
Now, for those who know me even remotely well, know that this style, frilly lace and big flower prints and high society, is not me. This is definitely not my style. Not even close. I'm of the demin jeans and t-shirt variety; tie-dye, oak and simplicity. I am, however, big into Steampunk and other historical genres and time periods. I'm a Scotsman (woman) for the most part with a bit of Cherokee and other things for fun. So why the Victorian Tea Party setting? Well, as I learned working the Renaissance Faire in California years ago as a Scottish Wench, it's theatrically correct. It sets the mood for the typical British "Afternoon Tea". And we all know how theatrical I can be. With a steampunk twist. What's a Tea Room without the richness? So why a Tea Room? Simple. I love tea. I've loved tea since I was very young. I don't know a great deal about the different teas, but I do love to drink it. I am also married to an Englishman, so tea is a staple in our house. Scones are also a regular feature in our home, though we prefer black currant jam or orange marmalade. For those who feel tea is not their... ahem... cup of tea... I would have fine and various coffees.
A Proper Tea
It would seem in my readings of late that drinking tea is not simply drinking tea - it's a high-society function complete with a thousand ways to screw it up and insult someone. At least in Great Britain. Ok, ok... the Chinese and Japanese did it first - having specific tea drinking ceremonies, not to mention the French and Dutch. This is an observation from someone who makes tea with a tea bag (gasp) in a very large mug (at least 20 oz) and I DON'T drink milk in it. I can pick on my dear English hubby who was raised with the proper etiquette that I have not had the pleasure of experiencing, as of yet. Someday, maybe. Until then, I have to take the word of the "experts", or those who know and/or have experienced the proper ways of tea.
I won't go into the complete history of tea as there are many good sites out there that have all this information, as well as the proper ways of making and drinking tea. I think my Tea Room is based on the Cream Tea, loosely based on the Afternoon Tea.
Cream Tea: This is where you get to eat scones lavished with Clotted Cream, preferably from Devon, which is very rich (the cream, not Devon necessarily) and jam. Traditionally you would use strawberry, but as my hubby is allergic to strawberries, we use others such as black currant, raspberry, blueberry, and orange marmalade. And have some tea, of course.
Afternoon Tea: This is the high-society get-together where rules are strictly obeyed in drinking tea and eating goodies. Evidently it was started by the Dutchess of Bedford (One of Queen Victoria's ladies-in-waiting) early in the 19th century as she wanted something between lunch and supper, and it caught on. Also known as "low tea" as it was traditionally served in a parlor where there were low tables, the primary function being socialization.
High Tea: Oddly enough, this isn't what most people think it is. It's more of a meal, heavier foods, also known as the "meat tea", served at a table (thus "high" tea, high table), with tea, of course. This was more often what the commoners participated in.
Elevenses: Basically, tea and a snack at 11 am. A bit of something to hold you over until the next meal. Known now as Morning Tea.
What you would find in my tea room are the fresh, homemade scones, imported clotted cream and jams, homemade jams, imported biscuits and candies, tea cakes, and a variety of coffees. I love coffee. Tea is served either traditionally (loose tea in a teapot with a strainer) or American style, hot water in the teapot with the bag on the side. Also available would be reading material - newspapers, books of interest, travel guides.
It is also a gift shop, so you would find a variety of gifts - tea pots, tea cups and accessories, teas, coffees, tins of candies and cookies (biscuits), tea towels, books, gift baskets, and the like. Anything that says "British" and other cultural tea related items. It is a place to relax, unwind, and forget about life for a while.
Thanks for coming by! ~Lisa
Another History of Afternoon Tea
High Tea vs. Afternoon Tea
History of High Tea
Tea Time Etiquette
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