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Countdown to Boas & Tiaras: How do you take your tea?

May 17, 2017

Let the countdown commence to Boas and Tiaras 2017! Fresh Fiction’s annual afternoon tea at the Adolphus is on Saturday, June 10, only one month away. From now until tea time, join us online every week for Fun Facts about all things Boas and Tiaras. Since this is our fanciest afternoon tea of the year (no offense to our lovely monthly afternoon teas ), our events committee decided the best place to start is with tea time trivia! We shall begin with a bit of history.

Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford

Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford

Afternoon tea as we know it was first popularized by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the 1840s, when breakfast and dinner were the only main meals of the day. The Duchess was known to enjoy hot tea and a light snack in the afternoon to lift her spirits. This practice progressed into a social event when the Duchess began inviting friends to enjoy afternoon tea with her, sparking a trend and tradition that carries on to this day.

If you are an avid historical romance reader, then you are probably familiar with the do and do not guidelines of afternoon tea. But if this is your first experience with the time-honored tradition, in real life or in fiction, perhaps you would like to know what to do and what to expect. Let’s begin with a common etiquette misconception: Keep those pinkies tucked in! Contrary to popular knowledge, sticking one’s pinky out while sipping tea is not proper. Not only will you look a bit strange to a seasoned tea-goer—you might be more likely to spill Earl Grey in your lap. (Trust me—I learned that lesson the hard way.)

ladiesboasSpeaking of attire, you may be wondering what to wear to afternoon tea. Dress code typically depends on the venue. A simple sundress or slacks could do for some tea venues, while a more elegant ensemble may be required for others. At Boas and Tiaras, the name gives you all you need to know—toss a boa over your shoulders, don your favorite tiara, and take this tea as an excuse to dress your best! And do not worry if you lack a tiara. You can purchase one at Boas and Tiaras for $20 in one of three styles—Delicate, Princess, or Empress!

Many tea traditions are hotly debated, such as the age-old question, Which should be spread onto a scone first: jam or clotted cream? Others are fairly clear, such as instructions to never leave your spoon in your tea cup and to refrain from slathering chocolate all over yourself during the dessert course. But the main guideline to follow at Boas and Tiaras is simply this—enjoy yourself! Savor every bite of petite sandwiches, scrumptious scones, and delectable desserts without worry or care. You’ll be rubbing elbows with fellow booklovers and 14 fabulous authors—including keynote speaker Julie Ann Walker—in the beautiful historic Adolphus hotel. I imagine the Duchess herself would be proud.

To learn more about Boas and Tiaras and purchase your ticket, simply click here. And be sure to visit us online again next week for more Fun Facts!

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