Thursday, July 31, 2014

"Tea at Downton" by Elizabeth Fellow

Tea friends are the best at sharing great shopping tips, and I got a fine one recently when Joy e-mailed to let me know that the Kindle version of a book on my Amazon wish list was available that day for free! I had been debating whether to order a paperback book or the e-book version of Elizabeth Fellow's "Tea at Downton," and of course I claimed a free e-book as soon as I heard about this deal!

Fellow includes information on the origins and history of teatime as well as the proper way to make a pot of tea. She writes, "Traditionally the pot would have been placed, by the tea boy, in front of the hostess in order that she could serve to her guests. If however something occurred to stop this happening, then the person closest to the pot should offer to take over. The traditional way to do this is to ask the question 'Shall I be mother?'"

I'd heard of asking "Shall I be mother?" before, but I must say I have not heard of having "a tea boy." I don't know about you, but I'd much rather have a "tea boy" than a "pool boy." (If we're daydreaming about house staff, I mean.) Fellow refers to Downton Abbey's staff by noting that we can learn from Mrs. Patmore, who "would make use of what she had" when cooking, and I quite agree! Recipes in the book include traditional teatime fare such as sandwiches, scones and sweets, and for the Downton fan it's quite fun to consider whether to make Lady Mary's Smoked Salmon and Dill Sandwiches, Mrs. Hughes' Cheese and Egg Sandwiches, The Countess' Lemon Curd, Anna's Egg Custards, Mrs. Patmore's Yorkshire Curd Tarts, or Carson's Sunday Afternoon Parkin (a soft cake). Now that I'm up to speed on all the "Downton Abbey" episodes, I am eager to host a Downton-themed tea next winter when the show returns to PBS. If that strikes your fancy as well, you can check out this e-book, currently selling for $2.99, here!


  1. I'm laughing at the thought of a tea boy which I've never heard of.
    I have a Kindle app on my iPad but rarely read on it as I prefer my Kobo reader. (Canadian)
    I'd love to come to your DA tea in the winter. :-)

  2. Joy thoughtfully sent a "heads-up" e-mail to me too, but since I don't have a Kindle, I ordered the actual book. I'm eager for it to arrive. I'm planning a Downton Abbey tea for my daughter's annual b-day party. I don't have a date yet, but it'll be the end of August or first part of September. [Her b-day is Aug. 28]

  3. I think I'd like to have a "tea boy" AND a "pool boy", which of course would mean I'd have a pool. I'm not likely to have either one but at least I have tea and teapots! Glad you're enjoying the book.

  4. What great fun! Even a tea boy!

  5. I purchased this book for my Kindle a while ago (paid $2.99). Thanks for the review and for reminding me to have another look.

  6. Had to smile at having a "tea boy" instead of a "pool boy" - me too!


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