Maggie May Clothing- Fine Historical Fashion


  Queen Victoria's 200th birthday tea party
Queen Victoria's Afternoon Tea:
The year 2019 marks the 200th birthday of one of Great Britain's most loved monarchs- Queen Victoria. And we are celebrating in high style!

Born on May 24, 1819, Victoria inherited the throne at the youthful age of 18. She married her cousin, Prince Albert in 1840 and the couple had 9 children together.

Under Victoria's rule (1837-1901), Great Britain and The United Kingdom enjoyed relative peace and stability. Queen Victoria was one of the first female monarchs to have children while in the palace, and thus becomes one of history's first "working mothers."

Despite having a highly active political life (this would not be revealed until after her death when a series of memoirs were published), Queen Victoria and her people enjoyed the rise of leisure-time activities. Perhaps the most well noted of these is tea time.

History tells the story that "the very British ritual of ‘Afternoon Tea’ as a meal found its ‘raison d’être’ in the dressing room of Anna Maria Russell, née Stanhope, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, one of Queen Victoria’s Ladies of the Bedchamber and a lifelong friend.

Anna, who was too hungry to wait for dinner (which, in 19th century, used to be served as late as 9:30pm...) requested a little bit of bread with butter, biscuits and cakes, to enjoy with a customary cup of Darjeeling tea. She invited her friends to the dressing room, and when The Queen learnt of this activity, she instantly loved the idea. Victoria herself enjoyed having light cake with buttercream and fresh raspberries – later known as Victoria Sponge Cake – to accompany her precious spot of tea. The tradition of Afternoon Tea was born." (Clelia Cane, The royal tradition of Afternoon Tea: From Queen Victoria to Elizabeth II;

This intimate meal amongst friends is a tradition that has carried on. In America, tea time enjoyed popularity amongst the upper class beginning in the 1860s. It hit its peak at the turn of the century but was severely curtailed by the outbreak of WWI- when tea was scarce but coffee was plentiful. After the war, Afternoon Tea in America was limited to hotels, high end restaurants, and a handful of tea houses. More....

About the Venue:

Built in 1925, The American Legion Hall in South Pittsburg, Tennessee was purchased from Sears Buildings of Chattanooga and is in the Egyptian style. The Hall has served as a schoolhouse, the first library, and a community center for the town of South Pittsburg. The Hall was fully restored in 2017 and still showcases all its original 1920s era woodwork. The South Pittsburg American Legion Hall is on the National Register of Historic Places.

South Pittsburg, Tennessee was established by English investors in 1876 in hopes that pockets of coal and iron in the surrounding mountains would make the town "The next Pittsburg of the South." However, this planned community did not take off as anticipated and was sold in 1886 to a Nashville banker. With his intelligent marketing and adept planning, the town of South Pittsburg attracted many new industrialists including a man by the name of Joseph Lodge from Pennsylvania. More...

About the Event:
Drawing from Her Majesty's memoirs, notes, and historical records, we will try to replicate an authentic Afternoon Tea as it might have been during Queen Victoria's time. We will have a variety of yummy finger sandwiches, scrumptious scones, an array of cheeses, delicate cakes (it is a birthday party after all), good fun, and of course lots and lots of tea! Full menu...
  • Attendees are welcome to come in "Victorian" fashion or modern attire- whichever suits your fancy!
  • Children over the age of 5 are welcome! (It might be a little to much fanciness for the little ones).
  • We will have a display of English finery (hint- It has to do with the royal wedding!)
With its English heritage as the foundation of the city, the quaint little town of South Pittsburg is the ideal location to host our Victorian Era English Tea. Neatly laid out streets with beautiful turn of the century homes sit tucked just below the Cumberland mountains. With easy access from the interstate, South Pittsburg is just 90 minutes from both Nashville and Huntsville; 40 minutes from Chattanooga; and little over 2 hours from Knoxville. Please note this event is located in the CENTRAL TIME zone.

About our Co-host:
Ms. Freda Stevenson is a native of Nottingham, England. She moved to the United States in1980 and settled in Denver, Colorado. After spending the majority of her life in the city, she found herself drawn to a slower pace of life and relocated to South Pittsburg in 2015. Ms. Stevenson is an avid lace maker, accomplished watercolorist, and all around beautiful person. Her favorite tea is Sainsbury Black.

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