Friday, February 27, 2009
"Tea an Everyday Indulgence"
"Tea is one of the most social and popular events of the day and the taste and refinement of the hostess are readily recognized in the manner in which it is served. Everything should be as dainty and attractive as possible. The tea itself should be of the best that can be afforded and must be well made..."
From the clearance table at Anthropologie comes this 2007 book from Copper Beech Publishing in Great Britain, "Tea an Everyday Indulgence." Although it doesn't exactly say so, I am assuming this book is a compilation of the tea and etiquette advice from vintage publications. A discussion of which foods may be eaten with one's gloves on, for instance, seems quite quaint today, but it's still fun to read. And it's been a while since I've dressed like the lady in this illustration at dinnertime!
A quick and easy read, this small book included quite a few tidbits I've never heard before. On teaspoons: "Up to the time of Waterloo, teaspoons were adjusted chiefly to the calibre of female mouths." Another fun fact: "The scalloped shell which appears on so many tea spoons originates from the time oriental merchants placed a real scallop shell in the tea chests so customers could inspect it before making their decision to buy." There are also a few simple recipes in the book, but the social customs and courtesies are what I most enjoyed reading.