Wednesday, March 21, 2007

A Bloggers Tea Party

Over at Artsymama there's a tea party going on and bloggers all over the world are invited. Make sure you stop by, have a cuppa, snack on some of the yummy looking snacks she already has displayed, and enjoy the artsy tea chatter.

It's late and I'm off to bed soon, but I wanted to post this now so that those early risers/readers have a chance to participate if they're so inclined. I'm hoping to have time to post some more tea talk (after eight hours of sleep, give or take an hour), so check back here as well later today.

For the time being, I'll just add a bit of tea trivia:

One of my favorite Buffy quotes:

Buffy: "I just want to be alone and quiet in a room with a chair and a fireplace and a tea cozy. I don't even know what a tea cozy is, but I want one."

Here's a tea cozy that would be just perfect for her.

*********

One of the best things about visiting the UK last spring was that it was an entire country (three countries actually) full of people who didn't look confused or entertained at the way I take my tea. In the U.S. I have to order my tea very carefully to make sure I get milk or cream. In England if I ordered tea I almost always got not only an entire pot of tea but also a pitcher of milk, sugar, a cup and saucer, and a tea spoon. Often I'd also get an additional pot of hot water - so I could "freshen" my tea pot. Even on the trains, when a cup of tea meant just a paper cup of tea, they would automatically fill up an extra cup with little containers of milk and sugar and a stir stick to take back to my seat. So. Cool. To be amongst Tea People.

We went to several tea rooms while we were there. Apparently one we went to in York, Betty's Tea Room, is quite well known. We actually went to Little Betty's Cafe. It was lovely. We sat at a first floor (second floor for us Yanks) open window watching folks walk below on the cobblestones, while a light rain fell in a musical patter on the baskets of flowers hung just outside the windowsill.

Here was my tea. Don't those sugars "cubes" look like little snowballs!"

This odd little pastry had a kinda scary name, which I can't recall at the moment. I do remember he was quite tasty however.

Another thing I remember is how we had a long, friendly chat with the nice young waiter. Eventually, after an embarrassingly looooong time, it finally dawned on us that he wasn't just passing the time, he was patiently, and so politely British...er... Britishly?, WAITING for us to leave. Seems we were the last customers. Nay, we were the last people left in the building. Even the other employees seemed to have left, and the poor kid was waiting for us to finish so he could lock up and go home himself.

I truly don't want to admit how long it took us to figure this out. I will admit that this was not the first time this happened to us - it was the second. The first time was in a shop in Conwy, Wales. Fortunately the lesson finally sunk in and it was the last time we made the same mistake. (At least I hope it was!) Hey, we're used to American employees, who would have no hesitation at hinting that they were ready to close. Not that they wouldn't be friendly or polite about it, but they'd mention they were closing, or they might lay down our check and ask if we needed anything else, or they'd make some discreet (or not so discreet) cleaning up activities nearby. But not the Brits. Nooooooo. After that we were careful to pay close attention wherever we went, to make sure there were other diners/shoppers/customers still around.

Yawwwwn... well, I'm off to bed. More later.



7 Comments:

Blogger crafty said...

So glad you enjoyed your tea drinking rituals in the UK. It's a world all of it's own, isn't it?
I'm from London and an avid tea drinker, have lived in Italy for the last 18 years and the tea bags they have here are so weak compared to the dark tea we use in the UK, that I have to have my tea shipped out from the UK. Now that my kids like an english cuppa too it's costing me a fortune !!!! LOL
hugs
crafty joan in Italy

3:02 AM  
Blogger Natasha Burns said...

Funny how different cultures are even if we do all speak the same language! Here in Australia they would be more like what you are used to, give you the bill and ask if you want anything else after they turn off most of the lights and the music!! LOL! Little Betty's Cafe looks so warm and inviting!!!

4:58 AM  
Anonymous Linda and Laura Lilly Cottage said...

Happy tea party day, what a fantastic day, we have been awake for hours and we are quite full from all the lovely treats we have had and the beverages yummo! I had the opposite tea problem when I was living in London and when I asked for English Breakfast Tea the girl looked at me as if I had two heads, maybe she was too young but you would think that would be a fairly standard request. Laura is not a tea girl she is a coffee girl through and through but she has the same issues ordering coffee as she hates hot milk and always asks for a long black with cold milk on the side. You would be amazed at the different drinks she has been served. Oh well, will definetly pop back in later, thanks for such a nice visit, come visit us at Lilly Cottage in Australia and we will make you the perfect cup of tea (or coffee). Linda and Laura Lilly Cottage.

5:28 AM  
Blogger FrenchGardenHouse said...

Thanks for sharing your tea adventures! I drank a cuppa (really strong English tea) this morning, in honor of the day.

I LOVE those sugar cubes, makes you want to just eat them, they are so cute. Please visit Claudette (and me!) today...I am just up down the coast a bit.:)

Lidy

8:32 AM  
Anonymous karla said...

It is not everyday that I get to read a quote by a fellow Buffy fan! Thanks! Enjoy your first day and spring and the lovley teaparty we all have going on!

9:02 AM  
Blogger Susan Tuttle said...

So glad to meet you Laume--what a beautiful name! Beautiful photos of your tea spread in the UK--now that is serious tea!

Warmly,
Susan

11:45 AM  
Blogger catsmum said...

hi sweety
thanks for visiting... now you've made me feel like I need to go photograph the teapot collection and the milk jug collection but I draw the line at hauling out and photographing all the linens and the tea themed fabrics. At least I think I do.

7:59 PM  

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