28th April 2016
When we had the photo shoots for our design Charlotte Rose, we thought a spot of Afternoon Tea would look pretty in pictures. It also meant we got to eat the props afterwards…
Afternoon tea was actually stared by a close friend of Queen Victoria, Anna, The 7th Duchess of Bedford. She would often complain, late in the afternoon of ‘having that sinking feeling’ due to those in high society having their dinner late in the evening and usually people only had two meals a day. To satisfy this hunger, afternoon tea became a concept- not too large of a meal, just to see her through until dinner time- originally, it wasn’t the affair it is today, instead a pot of tea and a light snack. Tea consumption during this time had increased dramatically, though still expensive it was drank by the elite.
After a time, during summer, she began to invite her friends to these afternoon teas at Woburn Abbey, which she enjoyed so much she carried it on when she returned to London, sending a note to friends requesting they join her for “tea and a walk in the fields.” Since she was a prominent figure in London society, and so other social hostesses quickly copied Anna and soon the tea was respectful enough it was moved into the drawing room- before long, all of fashionable society were drinking tea and eating sandwiches in the afternoon!
Today, afternoon tea is a meal composed of delicately cut sandwiches, cakes and pastries, and a scone with jam and clotted cream. it wasn’t actually until the 20th century however, that scones were introduced into the tradition of afternoon tea.
Charlotte Rose is one of our favourite designs, we purchased a late 1800-early 1900 French archive, and faithfully restored this design to its former glory, and decided to produce a range in it! We have tablecloths in various sizes- 58″ round, 52 x 70 and 52 x 90, as well as placemats, napkins, and fabric and bias by the metre– phew, what a mouthful!
One of our favourite things is that if you buy our PVC fabric, due to it not fraying, you can buy it to the nearest half metre, and have a ready made tablecloth!