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Thursday, July 23, 2009

Pictorial Tea Tour ................ QUEEN ANNE (c.1711)

Queen Anne

Eighteenth century English society was, according to one author, "the most amusing and attractive society" that England ever knew. It was a society addicted to among other things, tea. They were using a quarter million pounds of the stuff a year.

Queen Anne was a regular and hearty tea drinker. She drank so much tea that she substituted a large, bell-shaped silver teapot for the tiny Chinese pots that were at that time so fashionable. The earliest anqitue silver tea services date from her reign.

Tea (black tea and green tea) was now a daily beverage for the middle and upper classes. It was still expensive, though, and for the working class, still a luxury. Adding sugar to tea was now popular.

[EDITED TO ADD: One William Fortnum was a footman in the household of Queen Anne. When he retired, he used his royal connections by going into the grocery business with his friend Hugh Mason. Ever hear of a little shop in London called Fortnum & Mason???]

(Purchase the Queen Anne print here)

1 comment:

Angela McRae said...

I think I would like to *live* at Fortnum and Mason if they should ever "let" rooms!

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