Enjoying Afternoon Tea may not be the first activity you may think of when planning a vacation getaway to Ocean City, but you can savor the elegance of this historic repast right here on the island!
Apparently, Catharine of Braganza (who was Portuguese) grew up drinking tea. When she arrived in England to marry
Charles II in 1662, she brought a casket of tea and became
known as the tea-drinking queen — England’s first. Customarily, she invited her female friends into her bedchamber to share tea with her.
During the 18th century Tea Gardens became popular. The idea was for ladies and gentlemen to take their tea together
outdoors surrounded by entertainers. Tea Gardens made tea all the more fashionable to drink, plus they were important places for men and women to meet freely.
It is said that the tradition of Afternoon Tea began with Anne,
Duchess of Bedford. She requested that light sandwiches be brought to
her in the late afternoon because she had a “sinking feeling” during
that time because of the long gap between meals. She began to invite
others to join her and thus became the tradition.
- Cream Tea — A simple repast of scones, clotted cream, marmalade or lemon curd and tea.
- Low Tea/Afternoon Tea — An afternoon meal including sandwiches,
scones, clotted cream, curd, 2-3 sweets and tea. Known as “low tea”
because guests were seated in low armchairs with low side-tables on
which to place their cups and saucers.
- Elevensies — Morning coffee hour in England
- Royale Tea — A social tea served with champagne at the beginning or sherry at the end of the tea.
- High Tea — High Tea suggests elegance, when in fact it was an evening meal most often enjoyed around 6PM as
laborers and miners returned home. High Tea consists of meat and
potatoes, as well as other foods, and tea.
There are two types of “teas” offered at Emily’s Restaurant in Ocean City – both on Thursdays during the summer months. Their “High Tea” includes a selection of items in three categories: Savories, Sandwiches, and Desserts. There are two seatings – at 12:30 PM and 2:00 PM. The cost is $27.95 (including tax & gratuity). “Afternoon Tea” is Scones and Sweets for $16.95 (including tax & gratuity). Both include tea, of course! The specific menu varies and reservations are suggested.
Historical information about tea was excerpted from, An Afternoon to Remember: Fine Tea & Gifts
Carol & Gus, Innkeepers
an Ocean City NJ Bed and Breakfast