Enjoying Afternoon Tea may not be the first activity you may think of when planning a vacation getaway to Ocean City, but you can savor the elegance of this historic repast right here on the island!
A Short History of Tea
Apparently, Catharine of Braganza (who was Portuguese) grew up drinking tea. When she arrived in England to marry Charles II in 1662, she brought a casket of tea and became known as the tea-drinking queen — England’s first. Customarily, she invited her female friends into her bedchamber to share tea with her.
During the 18th century Tea Gardens became popular. The idea was for ladies and gentlemen to take their tea together outdoors surrounded by entertainers. Tea Gardens made tea all the more fashionable to drink, plus they were important places for men and women to meet freely.
It is said that the tradition of Afternoon Tea began with Anne, Duchess of Bedford. She requested that light sandwiches be brought to her in the late afternoon because she had a “sinking feeling” during that time because of the long gap between meals. She began to invite others to join her and thus became the tradition.
Various Tea Times & Traditions
- Cream Tea — A simple repast of scones, clotted cream, marmalade or lemon curd and tea.
- Low Tea/Afternoon Tea — An afternoon meal including sandwiches, scones, clotted cream, curd, 2-3 sweets and tea. Known as “low tea” because guests were seated in low armchairs with low side-tables on which to place their cups and saucers.
- Elevensies — Morning coffee hour in England
- Royale Tea — A social tea served with champagne at the beginning or sherry at the end of the tea.
- High Tea — High Tea suggests elegance, when in fact it was an evening meal most often enjoyed around 6PM as laborers and miners returned home. High Tea consists of meat and potatoes, as well as other foods, and tea.
Emily's Restaurant, 11th St. & Ocean Ave, Ocean City, NJ. 609-399-1000
Historical information about tea was excerpted from, An Afternoon to Remember: Fine Tea & Gifts
Carol & Gus, Innkeepers
an Ocean City NJ Bed and Breakfast