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Photography: Alan Mirabelli

In our last post, we introduced you to a ritual of the proper Victorian afternoon tea – an occasion to visit, nibble and chat – we’re pretty sure Victorian Ladies had a better vocabulary, but we digress. The next several postings will introduce you to other Victorian rituals like the Morning Call, the At Home, The London Season and concluding with the Presentation at Court. Needles to say, a good cup of tea was instrumental in every occasion.

Many have asked us why we focus exclusively on Victorian afternoon teas in our catering business. The simple answer is we love the Victorian era – a time in history full of pomp and pageantry, a time full of orderly rituals and a time full of great promise. The era began in 1837 and ended  in 1901; during the intervening 64 years, England and the English people experienced extraordinary changes and upheavals. There were good outcomes and there were bad outcomes.

For instance, this historic era saw England become a naval super power and endure the tragic Irish potato famine. For better or worse, English law and order went to the four corners of the world, and at home, the Industrial Revolution saw the end of a way of life and the dawn of a new way of life. The Crimean War was considered one of the first “modern” wars because railways and telegraphs brought news of the less than stellar warfare into the breakfast rooms of the nation. Civic engagement became more commonplace, yet women could not vote. But by the by, elected officials came to trust ordinary folk and women in England got the vote nine years after the end of the Victorian era.

images-1Through the good, the bad and the ugly times, the Victorian era, ruled by a formidable female monarch, enjoyed peace and prosperity; refined sensibilities and unsurpassed national self-confidence. It was a time when Britannia Ruled the Waves and much else.

It is our firm belief that the well-brewed pot of tea played an integral role in this historic unfolding.

If you have any thoughts on the Victorian era, please comment on our blog.