Thursday, April 6, 2017

In Home Tea Salon

Anna, seventh duchess of Bedford (1783 to 1857), as legend would have it,  would become quite hungry between breakfast and dinner took to her boudoir mid-afternoon and demanded slivers of bread spread with “good sweet butter,” on which, together with “mackeroons,” cheesecakes, tarts, biscuits, small cakes and other niceties, she secretly gorged.  Other ladies soon found out and began joining her in the habit.  Soon Afternoon Tea became not only acceptable, but most fashionable and tearooms were opened for business.  From The Afternoon Tea Book by Michael Smith

Tea in the afternoon started in the home.

As Bruce Richardson wrote, many early tearooms began in homes that opened their doors on weekends to travelers looking for home-cooked meals.  Unlike the British tea room movement, the centerpiece of many American establishments was not hot tea and scones, but iced tea and chicken salad.

Tea in homes was the first wave of roadside eating places in America.  It took very little capital and women knew how to bake, says Jan Whitaker in her book, Tea at the Blue Lantern Inn.
Doing a web search for tea salon, Google translated that to tearoom.  In my mind a salon is a bit different than a tearoom.  It isn’t as much about making a profit as providing a safe place to sip tea, nibble a bit, and carry on a conversation on the issues of the day. I picture these women sitting in secret enjoying a sip and nibble.  Gossiping and stories of the day were included in this afternoon adventure.  To me this would constitute a "salon" for tea.

A safe place "in home" to enjoy the company of others
while sipping tea.  Visits of friendship, visits of comfort,
visits of celebration with tea served buffet style,
a more casual setting while sitting at a low table.
Sometimes I imagine my own home as a "salon" for tea.

Do we still have "in home" tea experiences?
 Yes, I believe we do in many formats when opening our
home for friendship, comfort, celebration, and
shared conversations of the events of the day.
Let's continue the tradition with tea in our homes.

A shared cup of tea and conversation is a very good thing.
Why?  Because it satisfies the soul.

A day early, but happy weekend dear friends!

linking to Bernideen at


Jean | said...

Marilyn, I so agree! I'm a lifelong tea drinker (learned from my English grandmother and mother) and drink tea about 8 times a day. Now worries, I seem to have inherited not being bothered by the caffeine in tea. I'm all about tea!

Jennifer said...

Best blog post yet, Marilyn!

Sylvia said...

I enjoy a cup of Tea anytime of the day weather it's morning or mid afternoon. I got hooked on Tea some years ago when a friend and I would have a small tea party at the nursing home my friend worked at. Having tea in my home with a friend is always a pleasure.

Tracy said...

VERY much appreciated this expansion of tea knowledge, Marilyn! I didn't realize that tea & food served in homes in America like that was really the beginning of the eating out culture. I like the differences between tea room and tea salon. Tea at home is one of the life's many gifts, I think... and especially tea enjoyed with a loved one. A day without eat would just have something too big missing for me... LOL! I have to be careful with caffeine and so only two cups of full-caffeine tea per day. The rest of the day I enjoy tisanes of one kind or other. At the moment I've really loving mint tisanes. Happy Sipping... :) ((HUGS))

Bernideen said...

What a wonderful study on tea time! Lots of good information shared! Thanks for linking.

Jacqueline~Cabin and Cottage said...

Such lovely thoughts about tea. Tea at home really is best! A little chat break anywhere late in the afternoon would be welcome to anyone I think. I'm always really for a nibbble! :0)

Lorrie said...

What a lovely, informative post, Marilyn. Mrs. Butchart, creator of the gardens by the same name, used to serve tea to the people who drove out from town to see her garden. She charged nothing, until it all became too much. Hospitality of this sort was very common back then.

Jeanie said...

So that's how it began?! Of course you know!

I love the concept of a tea salon. Very different from a tea room. Tea at home is so delightful with a good friend, a few nibbles. Of course, it's pretty darned good out somewhere, too! Lots of lovely info here, Marilyn, and of course the photos are lovely!

Estelle T. Barada said...

I love my tea Salon in my home, It is a very rewarding adventure.