“You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me.”
“Drink your tea slowly and reverently, as if it is the axis on which the world earth revolves – slowly, evenly, without rushing toward the future.”
Thich Nat Hahn
I love afternoon tea and recently invited some of my favourite women friends to my balcony overlooking the train tracks and tower blocks of London for just such an occasion. With copius amounts of prosecco a fine time was had. It was only after I’d sent out invites that I realised I didn’t have a tea pot. Would Darjeeling taste the same in a cafetiere? It all turned out well though more Mad Hatter’s than Ritz with everyone bringing something from a funky teapot found in a charity shop, to the drizzliest lemon drizzle, to a divine chocolate cake that had to be dragged off the spoon by firm lips. I even tried my hand at my first ever scones, which were rather deformed, but all the tastier for it. A splendid way to spend a bank holiday Monday afternoon, conversation only pausing when the passing trains drowned us out. Read more for some great literary quotes about afternoon tea.
A Mad Tea-Party
There was a table set out under a tree in front of the house, and the March Hare and the Hatter were having tea at it: a Dormouse was sitting between them, fast asleep, and the other two were using it as a cushion, resting their elbows on it, and talking over its head. ‘Very uncomfortable for the Dormouse,’ thought Alice; ‘only, as it’s asleep, I suppose it doesn’t mind.’
The table was a large one, but the three were all crowded together at one corner of it: ‘No room! No room!’ they cried out when they saw Alice coming. ‘There’s plenty of room!’ said Alice indignantly, and she sat down in a large arm-chair at one end of the table.
Alice looked all round the table, but there was nothing on it but tea. ‘I don’t see any wine,’ she remarked.
“Love and scandal are the best sweeteners of tea.”
“Strange how a teapot can represent at the same time the comforts of solitude and the pleasures of company.”
“Each cup of tea represents an imaginary voyage.”
“There is a great deal of poetry and fine sentiment in a chest of tea.”
Ralph Waldo Emerson
“I am a hardened and shameless tea drinker, who has for twenty years diluted his meals only with the infusion of this fascinating plant; whose kettle has scarcely time to cool; who with tea amuses the evening, with tea solaces the midnight, and with tea welcomes the evening.”
“Tea is a cup of life.”
“There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”
“Another novelty is the tea-party, an extraordinary meal in that, being offered to persons that have already dined well, it supposes neither appetite nor thirst, and has no object but distraction, no basis but delicate enjoyment.”
“What part of confidante has that poor teapot played ever since the kindly plant was introduced among us. Why myriads of women have cried over it, to be sure! What sickbeds it has smoked by! What fevered lips have received refreshment from it! Nature meant very kindly by women when she made the tea plant; and with a little thought, what a series of pictures and groups the fancy may conjure up and assemble round the teapot and cup.
William Makepeace Thakery
“If man has no tea in him, he is incapable of understanding truth and beauty.”
“While there’s tea there’s hope.”
Sir Arthur Pinero
“Tea’s proper use is to amuse the idle, and relax the studious, and dilute the full meals of those who cannot use exercise, and will not use abstinence.”
“Stands the church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?”
“Never trust a man who, when left alone in a room with a tea cozy, doesn’t try it on.”
“Come, oh come, ye tea-thirsty restless ones, the kettle boils, bubbles and sings musically.”
“My dear, if you could give me a cup of tea to clear my muddle of a head I should better understand your affairs.”
“Wouldn’t it be dreadful to live in a country where they didn’t drink tea?”
“One sip of this will bathe the drooping spirits in delight beyond the bliss of dreams.