A Brief History of English Teatime Tradition
Being half British, every day at four o’clock in the afternoon at Granny and Grandpa’s house, tea was served. This was not simply a mug of tea with a bag on a string. We are talking serious tea, carried into the living room by Grandpa, on an antique silver tray. Piping hot tea in a gorgeous antique silver teapot (Victorian of course), rich cream in a matching creamer, sugar cubes (ok this was a nod to convenience) in an ornate silver sugar bowl with an antique silver spoon, and of course, a silver strainer to pour the tea through into our porcelain tea cups, were all presented on a gorgeous silver footed tray. Naturally, biscuits (cookies really) were served with “Tea”. (No wonder I was a little rounder then!) This tradition made an indelible mark and gave me an appreciation and love for these stunning silver tea sets and the joy of family tea time.
My beloved grandparents gave me a beautiful antique tea set as a wedding gift, dating from 1896. This gorgeous set is displayed in my dining room, ready for tea time when my parents visit. Otherwise it sits proudly as silver sculpture, a historic and beautiful set, handcrafted by skilled silversmiths. This is truly one of my prized possessions. I wondered why Brits love tea and how tea-time tradition evolved.
This elegant tea time trend and refinement in silver-smithing was a perfect marriage which resulted in the design and development of gorgeous tea services. Schweitzer Linen has a stunning Tea Set available from this era. The ornate feet, swirling motifs and detailed handles and tops are beautiful examples of the high level of artisans of the era. These pieces present themselves as works of art and should also be used to bring the family together to enjoy afternoon Tea.