Food is a wonderful blessing to be enjoyed with family. Whether it is a lunch out in Paris with friends or a grand wedding catering in the Philippines, it is an undisputed fact that people enjoy eating.

Sometimes, people enjoy food so much that they would rather eat a heavy lunch than have to suffer through hours of foodless work until the next great meal comes. Luckily, the British answered this call with what we now know as Tea.

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Tea is actually a type of meal in the United Kingdom and its various commonwealths. While Asians know and love tea as the herbal drink, Europeans enjoy tea as in tea with cakes and sandwiches.

While Tea time may actually seem informal, it is actually surrounded by a set of rules that govern how and what kind of tea should be served. Here are a few examples:

Dress Code: Before partaking in afternoon tea, one must know how to dress for it. Most places will require their customers or guests to be in “Smart Casual” in order for them to be able to join afternoon tea. However, this may be optional in the privacy of your own homes.

Snacks to serve: Frankly speaking, there aren’t really any restrictions as to what food a host may or may not serve at a tea party. Tradition, however, dictates that “scones, sandwiches and cake” are three essential foods to serve during a tea party.

Tea Dipping: As a rule of thumb, never under any circumstance dunk biscuits or scones into your tea. The act of tea dipping is generally considered rude and foul by traditional etiquette. However, this can be done in the safety of your home but the act of doing so outside is highly discouraged.

Ideal time for Tea Service: Traditionally, tea time was enjoyed at four in the afternoon but most modern hotels and tearooms in the Western world serve tea from three in the afternoon to five.

Tea Time 2

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Invitations: Invitations to a tea service may be given through a telephone call, a face to face conversation or through mail. It is recommended to give the recipient ample time to prepare for the tea service; this is done in order to maximize the enjoyment and preparation that the host can prepare for the tea service.

Guest of Honor – If the host has someone to honor during the tea service, etiquette dictates that the host must let the attendees know who they are honoring. Also, when the guest of honor is present, nobody is supposed to leave until the guest of honor does.

Tea to serve – The variety of tea to be served in a tea service is left directly to the discretion of the host.

Stirring – Stirring tea is done with finesse and grace. The cup and the spoon is left in the four o’clock position on the saucer when not in use. When stirring, stir in a small arc back and forth ideally in the center of the cup. This must be done noiselessly.

Are you ready to drink tea like a Gentleman or a Lady? While there are indeed many rules and traditions to follow in a tea service, what’s most important is to have fun doing so.

Author’s Biography

Pam De Guzman, a.k.a the kid from the North, is a frustrated writer, event organizer, business owner and an aspiring director and writer of a personal/fashion/movie/book/travel blog. She’ll be writing about pretty much anything under the sun.

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About The Author

Ginger is the General Manager of She is also the co-founder of a tech start-up company called Turn Up Trumps, Inc. She is a business coach and has her own program called Love the Leap. She has been a blogger since 2005, writing for, and She graduated MA in Communications Major in Integrated Marketing Communications from the University of Asia and the Pacific. She worked as an account executive for a couple of ad agencies. She also managed a food franchise store. Her longest corporate stint was as a product manager for a known bank in the Philippines.

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