Etiquette Tuesday: Tea for Two

[ 1 ] March 22, 2011 |

Here’s to the old age phrase:  You can have a lot of money, but you cannot buy class.  Hence, we turn to this week’s Etiquette tip:  how to put on a tea party.  Some want to sip with their lips pursed wearing hats that cost the price of a couple of utility bills on a high month but do not want to invest the energy into what a tea party really entails. 

Let’s take for example one of my readers who recently attended a “tea party”.  It ended up being more like an early cocktail party minus the cocktails.  The hostess showed up to the venue over an hour late (*1st No No…) where the function was supposed to begin at 3 pm.  Upon arrival, the guests were not engaged in enjoying the tea, rather they proceeded to engage in some other ludicrous games that should have been reserved for post-tea rather than during the tea hours (*2nd No No…le sigh).  Needless to say my reader did not get out of there until after 7 pm (*3rdNo No). Here’s how its done, people:

1. Afternoon tea is between the hours of 3 pm-6 pm with the tea being served promptly @ 4 pm (*in most instances).

2. Slurping, blowing, etc. are totally unacceptable…that’s what the good conversation is there for, so you can wait until the tea has had a chance to cool.

3. Teacup+saucer=A married couple.  Use these together but if you choose to leave the saucer on the table it is not an absolute tea etiquette deal breaker.

4. Miniature pastries should be served.  Tea is not a time for Thanksgiving.  Avoid piling your plate like it’s the third Thursday of November.

Spring is here.  Time to break out the wide brim hats and fitted white gloves…be on time!

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Category: Etiquette Tuesday, Food.Fun.Stuff.

About the Author ()

Johnna French is a Harlem NY native with deep roots in Panama, Washington, DC and North Carolina. All four places have heavily influenced her life and the foods she loves today. After graduating Howard University School of Law and beginning her life as a young professional in the city she was led to start Johnna Knows Good Food in November 2007 to keep family, friends and colleagues updated on where to go and what to eat while dining in the nation’s capitol. French, who still practices law, leads a team of three writers to cover the ever expanding Washington, DC food scene. French has been featured in print and television, appearing in Washingtonian Magazine and is a regular contributor to various local TV affiliates including WUSA 9, FOX 5 DC and WJLA (ABC Affiliate) News Channel 8. During the 2016-2017 football season, Johnna aired on Comcast Sports Mid-Atlantic (CSN) show, Redskins Life, as the weekly tailgate host. Johnna is currently a regular contributor to the FOX Baltimore Weekend morning show.

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  1. Just to add my 2 cents – let’s not forget the best part of the whole event ! Clotted cream and jam on scones !

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