When Anna the 7th Duchess of Bedford began the tradition of afternoon tea, she did it because she suffered from “that sinking feeling” between her morning meal and dinner at 8. I bet if she were alive today she’d be both shocked and pleasantly pleased to learn that her little tradition has had staying power, and further comforted to learn – well that other’s suffer from that sinking feeling too, and that a cup of tea, whether accompanied by the frills of a cucumber sandwich, a pot of clotted cream, a buttery scone, or any of the other delectable treats that have come to make up “High Tea” – provide a good deal of comfort indeed.
These days, as the blustery wind blows, and the raindrops fall – my isolation has me turning to the kitchen and a pot of hot tea, again and again throughout the course of the long day. It’s amazing how cheerful I can be made by the whistle of my teapot, and the warmth of the mug in my hand.
I’d like to design a whole room in the fashion of a single delicate tea cup and banish all those that felt it too precious for their sensibilities. Tea, after all, is the consummate diplomat. It’s welcomed in the noblest of homes, and on the roughest boats in the rockiest of seas in equal measure. It is sipped, and slurped, celebrated in good times and bad – and is friend to those young and old.
I think I’ll throw a party when this pandemic is over…tea anyone?