It is said that the afternoon tea tradition was established by 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.
There are many ideas about tea etiquette and the when and how tea was first made popular in England. Charles the II grew up in exile at The Hague and thus was exposed to the custom of drinking tea. He married Catharine of Braganza who was Portuguese and who also enjoyed tea. Catharine had grown up drinking tea in Portugal-the preferred beverage of the time. It is said that when she arrived in England to marry Charles II in 1662, she brought with her a casket of tea. She became known as the tea-drinking queen — England’s first.
In England she invited her friends into her bedroom chamber to share tea with her. “Tea was generally consumed within a lady’s closet or bedchamber and for a mainly female gathering. The tea itself and the delicate pieces of porcelain for brewing and drinking it were displayed in the closet, and inventories for wealthy households during the 17th and 18th centuries list tea equipage not in kitchens or dining rooms but in these small private closets or boudoirs.” (Taken from “A Social History of Tea” by Jane Pettigrew — my favorite book about tea which is currently out of print). In the 18th century it was custom for highborn ladies to receive callers with their morning tea while “abed and bare-breasted.”
Queen Anne drank tea so regularly that she substituted a large bell-shaped silver teapot for the tiny Chinese tea pots. The earliest tea service dates from her reign.
Coffeehouses were popular in the 18th century. Women were forbidden to enter them. In 1675 members of the government persuaded Charles II to suppress them as centers of sedition. The men were so outraged that the king canceled the proclamation. Coffeehouses were also called “penny universities,” in reference to the conversation they bred and the penny admittance fee.
During the 18th century tea gardens became popular. The whole idea of the garden was for ladies and gentlemen to take their tea together outdoors surrounded by entertainers. They attracted everybody including Mozart and Handel. The tea gardens made tea even more fashionable to drink, plus they were important places for men and women to meet freely.
Now It’s Garden Tea Party Time in Palm Harbor
GARDEN TEA PARTY – 22ST ANNUAL TEA Saturday, March 5, 2022 OUTDOORS ON THE PATIO PALM HARBOR MUSEUM 2043 Curlew Rd, Palm Harbor 727-724-3054 Two Seatings: 11:30 a.m. and 2:30 pm, $35 per person, Tables for 4 – $150, Tables for 6 – $220 Eventbrite Tickets – Click Tickets available at the Museum Thursday – Saturday 10 am to p.m. Limited seating – Advance Reservations Required Custom Table Decorations available to sponsor a table – suggested donation $100 SPONSORS WELCOMED! Call Palm Harbor Museum 727-724-3054
The Mission of the Palm Harbor Museum:
To collect, preserve and share the heritage of the Palm Harbor area. Besides Palm Harbor, our communities include Ozona, Crystal Beach, East Lake, Curlew and Wall Springs. Each are distinct communities with strong histories. There is more information on our Communities page.
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The Palm Harbor Museum is grateful to have so many wonderful supporters in our community. These people and organizations, including the Rotary Club of Palm Harbor and Palm Harbor Fire Department, donate their time and services to benefit the museum and the community.
Palm Harbor Museum receives no government support and relies solely on donations and memberships from people like you, who care about cultural heritage and understand the benefits of preserving the past for future generations. We passionately believe in what we do and recognize the significance of our mission and the importance of history education to our residents and children of all ages.
We continue to strive for perfection in the preservation of our artifacts and in the edification of our many visitors. Docents and volunteers play a key role in the smooth running of our operations, and we welcome new members to the museum family. Please consider becoming an annual member and receive some excellent benefits and be assured you are helping preserve the past for the future.
Go to our Membership Page and Get Involved in Palm Harbor History.
Behind the scenes photos of the creation of our two new exhibitions, “Revealing African American Contributions in North Pinellas,” and “Environmental Alterations: A Land Worth More Than Remembering.” So many talented individuals lend their vision and their time and expertise to create our displays, our video programs, our publicity, and our programs—we are deeply grateful to everyone.
Visit the Palm Harbor Museum after the holidays beginning January 6th on Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays from 10-2 each day to view these exhibitions, open to all at no charge (donations gratefully accepted). Visit https://www.palmharbormuseum.com/ The Palm Harbor Musuem is located at 2043 CURLEW RD. PALM HARBOR, FL 34683. 727-724-3054. They continue to strive for perfection in the preservation of our artifacts and in the edification of our many visitors. Docents and volunteers play a key role in the smooth running of our operations, and we welcome new members to the museum family. Please consider becoming an annual member and receive some excellent benefits and be assured you are helping preserve the past for the future.
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