English Tea Consultancy

english afternoon tea Consultancy

Still Life: Tea Set; Jean-Étienne Liotard (Swiss, 1702 – 1789); about 1781 – 1783; Oil on canvas mounted on board; 37.8 × 51.6 cm (14 7/8 × 20 5/16 in.); 84.PA.57 Getty Museum

Caroline Hope offers a variety of different English Tea Consultancy options, each one focused on a different aspect of interpreting the phenomenon of English Tea.

The term  ‘tea’ is fraught with confusion. Each British social ‘tribe’, whether stratified by region or social class, has their own version of ‘tea’.

An example of this can be found in Mrs Beeton’s Book of Household Management, Ward Lock, 1893.

“Under the head of “Teas” how many different meals are served? We say “meals”, perhaps, incorrectly, for the afternoon cup of tea (in many fashionable houses the only tea served) can scarcely come under this head: but independent of this, we have wedding teas, high teas, “at home” teas, ordinary family teas, and in some old fashioned places, whose inhabitants have not moved with times, still a quiet tea where people are invited to partake of such nice things as hot buttered toast, tea cakes, new laid eggs, and home-made preserves and cake. A pleasant meal, that is only the precursor of a good supper, of which we shall speak later on.”

Is it the tea that is most important or might it be the food? Or perhaps it is the manners and etiquette? We all watch with fascination as ‘experts’ give their views on how to eat a scone, or how to place the spoon on the saucer. Are these little rituals really that important?

Caroline will show you how and why certain rituals have grown up around the English tea table. Her aim is to illustrate the concept of  ‘elegant economy’, so exquisitely described in the novel Cranford by Elizabeth Gaitskell,  published in the mid 19th century, and how understanding this will unlock the door to English tea culture.





Contact Caroline to learn more about some of the most interesting and complex questions surrounding English tea culture or with any general questions.