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|-QUEEN VICTORIA'S 200th BIRTHDAY TEA-
|Queen Victoria's Afternoon
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; royalcentral.co.uk)
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.
|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
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.
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!
|About our Co-host:
Freda Stevenson is a native of Nottingham, England. She moved to the
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
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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