Events Diary

  • Thursday 26 September, 2019 Back to All Events

    “Taking Tea” with Member, Mr Mark Blackburne


    Event commences at 2.15pm, Afternoon Tea served post presentation at 3.45

    £20 per person, to include a chilled glass of Cava, talk & afternoon tea

    by ticket only

    Further Information

    Since its introduction in the late 1600’s, the tradition of tea drinking has become inextricably linked to British and Irish social culture. First discovered in China as far back as 2000 BC, it was for hundreds of years the exclusive reserve of Chinese Emperors and the Imperial Elite. When it was introduced to Britain in the late 17th century by returning missionaries, it caused a sensation; however, its exorbitant cost limited its consumption to the more affluent classes. This exclusivity made its possession and use a huge status symbol, and an intricate set of rules and procedures regarding its preparation and consumption quickly followed.

    Tea drinking reached its zenith in the Georgian period where it became the focus of a carefully choreographed social ritual. ‘Taking Tea’ on the drawing room circuits of the great houses was not only an opportunity to declare wealth and social position, but also provided the perfect environment to make carefully planned social introductions and exchange news and gossip. In many ways, this social networking and information exchange was the Facebook of its day.

    Join our member, Mark Blackburne, as he takes you through the fascinating history of the nation’s favourite amber refreshment, demonstrating the highly refined etiquette that accompanied its preparation and serving. Find out the difference between ‘High’ tea and ‘Low’ tea, how to discreetly signal to your hostess that you are finished and ready to depart, and how a peckish Duchess was the accidental creator of our modern Afternoon Tea. This informative and entertaining talk will also include the opportunity to discover and sample for yourself some of the world’s finest teas.