English Afternoon Tea Party

Conversation Piece, Royal Family at tea

Etiquette, Manners and Customs of the English Afternoon Tea Party

Do you ever dream of hosting your own afternoon tea party? Which food and teas re appropriate to serve? Is there a correct way to pour the tea? What is considered good and bad table manners at a tea party. Is it really necessary to worry about tea party etiquette and what is it that we are talking about here?

The politeness of an English afternoon tea party

What is it about a tea party that makes us it up straighter, wear a pretty dress or jacket, and worry about our table manners? The aim of this class is provide an understanding of the the phenomenon that is known as the English afternoon tea party, and leave you feeling confident and inspired to bring your own ideas into this traditional ritual.

The Englishness of Tea

Tea was first imported from China to Europe in the latter part of 17th Century. Today we continue to quench our insatiable thirst for tea from foreign import, sourcing our English Breakfast, Earl Greys, and Orange Pekoes primarily fro India, Sri Lanka and East Africa. How then did this exotic foreign beverage come to be regarded as part of the British character? How did tea makes its way from the porcelain in the parlours of the rich in to the chipped builders’ mug?

Come and join your hostess, Caroline Hope for an authentic English afternoon tea party. This is an excellent chance to enjoy superior English style teas, freshly baked scones and cakes, and most importantly, conversation during which Caroline will impart information to help you understand and appreciate the context and relevance of the English afternoon tea party.

What’s included ….

  • Overview and guide to the manners and etiquette associated with the English tea table.
  • A discussion about the traditions of tea-taking from 1700 onwards with a focus on the social group who shaped the customs of the English tea party.
  • English tea as party of daily life, both inside and outside the home.
  • Advice on hosting your own tea party and how to behave as a guest.
  • Your private afternoon tea party in Caroline’s home
  • Discussion about the table manners and concepts of etiquette related to the English tea table plus information concerning their greater or lesser importance in different social spheres.

PRICE: £250 for a group of up to six people

To help you understand and appreciate this cultural phenomenon, Caroline will draw on wealth of contemporary paintings, diaries and etiquette manuals. For this reason, it is recommended that you have a good understanding of spoken English to make the most of this event. This tea party is available on request. Please email Caroline to enquire about possible dates or any questions.

May 2021 Update: Because of the Covid pandemic it is no longer possible for me to run this class as a regular activity on scheduled dates. There is the possibility that it will be possible to take bookings for families / private groups in the future. Please don’t hesitate to contact me to discuss any enquiries.

Please see the online series of videos and online tea parties as a possible alternative to gain some insights into this cultural phenomenon.