TEA FOR TWO AND TWO FOR TEA , AND ME FOR YOU AND YOU FOR ME……. See Here A little post on Irelands favourite pastime…….The daily ritual of Tea Drinking!!!!!! and its connection to the fabulous Tea Dress…..
Believe it or not, Ireland drinks more Tea than we do alcohol now that’s saying something……….
In order to understand the origins of tea drinking in Ireland I need to explain how tea was introduced in Britain as both countries were so closely bound together for all sorts of reasons. Tea was first introduced in Britain by Catherine of Braganza queen of Charles 11 . She was a lover of tea since childhood in Portugal. She brought tea drinking to the English court and set a trend for the beverage among the aristocracy in 17th century England.
The fashion soon spread beyond the elite classes to the middle classes and it became a popular drink at London coffee houses where men discussed business. Some coffee houses sold loose tea so that it could be brewed at home and could be enjoyed by women who didn’t frequent coffee houses at the time. It was fairly expensive and was only enjoyed by wealthier households where the women would gather together for tea parties. These kind of parties would be a genteel affair and delicate china cups would be used to drink from , the tea which would be poured from silver kettles would be set up by the servants and then poured by the hostess.
Both black tea and green tea were available and sugar often added. In the 17th century it was still unusual to add milk. In the 18th century the British took to drinking tea with great enthusiasm and there was a gap between the number of people who wanted to drink it and the people who could afford it and so the Tea Smugglers came into force. Tea was smuggled into the country and as there was no tax paid on it was sold much cheaper. By the end of the 18th century more smuggled tea was bought than legally bought tea.
The history of the Tea Dress was started by Anna Maria Stanhope in England in 1841. She formed the habit of drinking her tea at around four o clock in the afternoon and would dress in pretty flowing dresses to fully enjoy the ritual. She started a new “Craze” and thus a new wardrobe was created for the part taking of “Afternoon Tea”. The Tea Dress became an important part of fashionable ladies wardrobes and became an important way for a lady to express her tastes. These dresses were luxurious loose and floaty and were often accessorised with parasols, fans, furs, handbags and jewels .Tea Dresses of course have changed over the years to suit the styles and fashions of the times. However, the vintage inspired style of the 1940’s and 1950’s have got to be one of the most popular styles of the century and are still worn today by those lucky enough to have found an original vintage gem or those that embrace the vintage inspired variety of styles available on the high street. Here are some of my favourite vintage inspired tea dresses……
Tea was introduced in Ireland in the mid 18th century and it was received just as enthusiastically among the upper and lower classes as it was in England. Today Tea Drinking is a culture all on its own. The Irish drink more tea per capita than anywhere else in the world, averaging 4-6 cups per day!!!! In the 1960’s Irish Tea companies started buying tea straight from the source cutting out the middle man. Assam tea from India was blended with Ceylon from Sri Lanka giving us the invigorating tea that the rest of the world now know as Irish Breakfast tea.
There is a definite etiquette to tea drinking in Ireland and the UK. A “proper” cup of tea is always made in a tea pot which is scalded first and then loose tea added with boiling water and left to brew for a few minutes before serving in (ideally) delicate china tea cups Then the ritual of tea drinking and socializing begins. Many the chat is to be had and many the problem solved over a decent cup of tea!!! Phrases like …….Tea and Sympathy, Put the kettle on……., Tea For Two……., Home for a cuppa….. are all too familiar in most Irish households.
Violinkit is rather partial to her cup of tea……being ever so slightly addicted !!!!!!!! Ha Ha Ha…….. Having never actually counted I reckon it must be somewhere between 6-8 cups per day…….
In the famous words of “Mrs Doyle” from the infamous vintage Irish comedy “Father Ted” Will you have a cup of tea??? Ah go on……..go on….go on ……….go on………….GO ON!!!!!!!!!!! Ha Ha Ha!!! See Here
HAPPY TEA DRINKING! LOTS OF LOVE VILOLINKIT XXXXX