2.jpg (1421 bytes)


TEA – THE LEGEND. According to Chinese legend, the Emperor Shen-Nung discovered tea when traveling the provinces he requested his servants boil some water for him. Some leaves from the camellia bush branch they had used to start the fire blew into the pot of boiling water. It is said that he so enjoyed the flavor that the leaves gave to the water that tea as a beverage was born. 

The English tradition of afternoon tea as a time for relaxation, refreshment, and socializing dates to the 1840s. It can be traced to Anna, the 7th duchess of Bedford. One day, the duchess asked that a tray of tea and some bread and cakes be brought to her room about 4 PM, to tide her over until the customary 9 PM dinner hour. This practice spread among her friends. Over time, what began as one woman’ s late-afternoon pick-me-up developed into a social occasion. However, it was Queen Victoria who popularized the custom of taking afternoon tea.

The ritual of having tea has been a source of fascination and pleasure for more than a century and a half. For many of us, our first encounter with this ritual occurred when we were children. Charmed by the smallness of the cups and saucers, delighted with tiny sandwiches and other treats, we were thrilled to step away from our everyday selves and enter a world of beautiful politeness. See pictures of the tea room here.

TEA TIME AT THE GRAND
SEVERAL VARIETIES OF LOOSE LEAF TEA

SHORTBREADS - CHEESE STRAWS - FINGER SANDWICHES - SCONES - PETIT FOURS
CHOCOLATES - CREAM PUFFS - STRAWBERRIES FILLED WITH WHIPPED CREAM -