Strange how the tea pot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.
- Author Unknown -
The following was inspired by an article in this past month's British Country Living. I had packed it with me and took it up to the cottage where it sat for the majority of the little holiday, on the coffee table, waiting to be read. Finally, on one of the more breezy days, I made myself a cup of tea, picked up the issue and settled myself comfortably into the couch. It's always amazes me how lost I can get in good issue of one of my favourite publications. I especially love the British country inspired magazines because it's the style that I'm most fascinated with. What is it about the British? I've come to think that I'm so drawn to their relaxed, yet rustic, style because it just exudes comfort. It's a style the reflects the simple beauty found in nature and the joys and splendor found in the English countryside. Cottages are true cottages and villages are true villages. They're old and they boast character. Everything about this particular style is comfortable and welcoming (which funny enough, isn't always how the British themselves are portrayed). When I think of British country living I think of sheep grazing lazily in the meadow, small stone cottages surrounded by stone fences. I think of comfy wool sweaters with Hunter wellies, picturesque little rows of shoppes in a quaint little village, and probably, above all else, tea time.
On this side of "the pond", we don't have tea time. Most don't even own a set of china tea cups. Oh, we drink tea - it's just usually in a paper cup from the drive-through of our choice. When did tea time cease to exist here? When did we stop taking that short break in our day to sit and enjoy and nice cup of tea? How inviting and simply wonderful does that sound?
My proposal is this: Let's, as the article was so simply titled, bring back tea time. Dust off the pretty cups and saucers, open a tin of something other than Red Rose (although even that tastes better when it's from a proper tea cup!), fill a plate with something scrumptious and do tea. Tea is always more fun when it's with someone, however, alone with a good book can be just as nice sometimes. " It's a respite from the ho-hum routine of the day." So put the kettle on and see where the conversation that always ensues will take you.
There are few hours more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.
- Henry James; the Portrait of a Lady -
The mere chink of cups and saucers tunes the mind to happy repose.
- George Gissing -