Tuesday, April 20, 2010

An Afternoon Tea

An Afternoon Tea..

Recently, one of our ladies from WOW (Women of Worth) leadership team from my church won a contest at a local radio station where she could invite 8 ladies to Tea at the Ritz Carlton in Sarasota. We were all pleasantly surprised and dropped any plans we'd made that Saturday, so we could attend.

I love sipping on Tea's and setting up pretty tablescapes in our home. My family probably thinks I'm nuts setting up the table that we rarely sit down to eat. It's basically for looks, but sometimes I surprise them and serve a meal there.

See, the above pics of our recent trip to the Ritz Carlton. It was a very nice weekend. The weather was beautiful and it was Easter weekend too! I came across information from a blogger I follow and asked her permission to copy this info. She was so was kind and consented. So, this comes from her. I found it quite helpful explaining Tea's.

From: "The Thrifty Groove"

Afternoon Tea
This is the one that comes to mind when people think of English tea ceremonies. It all began back in the mid 1800s, when the Duchess of Bedford started having a tray of tea with bread and butter served to her in the mid-afternoon. You see, in those days, lunch was served at noon but dinner was not eaten until 8 or even 9 o'clock at night. The Duchess found herself hungry during those long afternoon hours. It became a regular occurrence and as she began to invite other high-society ladies to join her, having Afternoon Tea became the 'in-thing' for the upper-class women. Along with tea, there would be small pastries with clotted cream or preserves, delicate sandwiches, and scones.

High Tea
Many people use the term "High Tea" to describe the event I've mentioned above, probably because it sounds more elite. But High Tea is a much different thing. It was served later (around six in the evening) and consisted of a full, dinner meal for the common people. Tea was still served, but there would also be meats, fish or eggs, cheese, bread and butter, and cake. It was more of a man's meal, than a ladies social diversion.

Source; About.com

High Tea is often a misnomer. Most people refer to afternoon tea as high tea because they think it sounds regal and lofty, when in all actuality, high tea, or "meat tea" is dinner. High tea, in Britain, at any rate, tends to be on the heavier side. American hotels and tea rooms, on the other hand, continue to misunderstand and offer tidbits of fancy pastries and cakes on delicate china when they offer a "high tea."

Afternoon tea (because it was usually taken in the late afternoon) is also called "low tea" because it was usually taken in a sitting room or withdrawing room where low tables (like a coffee table) were placed near sofas or chairs generally in a large withdrawing room. There are three basic types of Afternoon, or Low Tea:

Cream Tea - Tea, scones, jam and cream

Light Tea - Tea, scones and sweets

Full Tea - Tea, savories, scones, sweets and dessert

In England, the traditional time for tea was four or five o'clock and no one stayed after seven o'clock. Most tea rooms today serve tea from three to five o'clock. The menu has also changed from tea, bread, butter and cakes, to include three particular courses served specifically in this order:

Savories - Tiny sandwiches or appetizers

Scones - Served with jam and Devonshire or clotted cream

Pastries - Cakes, cookies, shortbread and sweets

Source:Whats Cooking America

Have a cup of Tea!

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