Since the dawn of smartphones (with the capabilities of instant messaging, email and facetime), communication that is instantaneous is expected, if not, demanded. Our world has gotten even more fast-paced and impersonal than it was just a few short years ago. Many of us yearn for personal interactions and attempt to slow the world down a little and enjoy the special moments and friendships we have built. One way to do this is the beloved Afternoon Tea.
Believe it or not the stereotypical British tea time is somewhat of a misnomer. While the British do enjoy afternoon tea and scones, the tradition of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China and was later popularized in England around the 1800’s. Since the custom was first introduced in Britain around 1840, the English have practiced this cherished afternoon tradition with tea and small finger sandwiches. At first, the tea time was meant to ward of late afternoon hunger before dinner, but it eventually evolved into social events meant as a time to share stories and gossip between the ladies of the Victorian Era. During the 1880’s upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.Tea Receptions could be either intimate affairs with a handful of special guests or larger events with hundreds of visitors sharing Afternoon Tea together.
Today, Afternoon Tea is a beautiful tribute, of sorts, to a slower and easier time. It is a great time to meet with friends, celebrate a special occasion such as a birthday, baby shower or upcoming wedding. Afternoon Tea is no longer just a “bridge” between meals, but also a time to slow the world down and enjoy the company of good friends and good food. We must hold on to these traditions in our “rush, rush, rush” world we live in. Stop in soon for this wonderful tradition at the Wenham Tea House..