News and Articles

January 2007
The Daily Home Talladega, Sylacauga-Pell City, Alabama

Dear Millie,

My friend and I enjoy visiting tearooms and having tea. We have experienced many types of tea services and china, and we were wondering about the definition of a tea plate.

Dear Reader,

The tea plate is native to England and Europe and is customized to hold a teacup without a saucer. The plate is embedded with a shallow well to secure the teacup, so the food and tea can be served on one plate.

If you do not have a tea plate, it is customary to either use a salad or dessert plate of seven to eight inches or a bread and butter plate of six to seven inches.

Dear Millie,

Several friends and I are giving a tea for a bride. I am hosting the tea and need someone to pour. We decided to have our teenage daughters do this. What is the correct etiquette for these girls to demonstrate?

Dear Reader,

Pouring is usually done by close friends or family of the party givers. These people should be asked beforehand if they will "do the honors". For relief, rotate the pourers every half hour.

As a guest, you say, "May I have a cup of tea please?" The pourer should smile and answer. "Certainly!" How do you like your tea? Strong or weak? Would you like cream or lemon?

If the guest says, "Weak," boiling water is added, and according to the guest's wishes, sugar, cream or lemon. The pourer should not fill the cup of tea to the rim. This will result in messy spills in the saucer, which causes dripping tea as you lift the cup to your lips.

If the guest prefers coffee, he or she should ask for it at the other end of the table. Make pleasant conversation but remember to keep the guest moving if there is a line.

Dear Millie,

In going out to tea, some of the hotel or tearooms have various titles for their tea offerings, Cream Tea, Full Tea, and Royal Tea. Aren't they all alike?

Dear Reader,

Different tearooms and hotels offer on the menus the names of different teas.

A Cream Tea originated in the southwestern part of England around Devon and Cornwall. The menu is only scones, jam, clotted cream, and your choice of tea.

A Full Tea is a four-course menu which includes finger sandwiches, scones, sweets, and dessert and choice of tea. The addition of the finger sandwiches called savories as a first course gives this tea the name Full Tea.

A Royal tea includes the four course menu of finger sandwiches, scones, sweets, dessert and glass of champagne or sherry. The addition of champagne or sherry gives this tea the distinction of being called "Royal Tea".

If you want a pleasant tea experience during "April in Talladega" you should make your reservations for the English Tea at The Gables which will be held during the two days of activities.

Questions on etiquette are appreciated and may be sent to Millie Chastain at 812 Chastain Road, Talladega, Alabama, 35160 or e-mailed to Spring and Summer Programs 2007: Those wishing to attend "Everyday Etiquette for Children" may register or receive information by e-mailing.