Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Tea With Miss Janice, Post #10

At the Tea Table
~Taking Your Seat
Each guest will stand behind the chair at their place setting and enter their chair from the right-hand side of the chair, after the hostess has been seated.
~Saying Grace
When you are a guest in someone's home, be prepared for the custom of Grace before the meal. If you don't practice this custom, simply sit quietly out of respect to the hostess. Grace is usually said by the hostess or a guest may be asked to say Grace.
Grace is usually said after everyone is seated and before anything is touched on the table. Don't pick up your serviette/napkin or take a sip of water until Grace is said.
~Serviette Etiquette
The napkin should be placed on top of the plate, unless food is on the plate when the guests arrive at the table; then, the napkin should be placed to the left of the fork. The napkin should be folded with the closed edge to the right and the open edge to the left or placed in a napkin ring. At tea time, serviettes are used. The serviette is a tea napkin, 12" square. It is picked up and unfolded on the lap, not above the table, only after the hostess places her serviette on her lap. A tea serviette is opened completely. Proper etiquette dictates that you blot your lipstick with a tissue before using any cloth napkin at the table. When using a serviette, blot your lips and don't use the serviette as a handkerchief. If you leave the table temporarily, place your serviette on your chair, not on the table. At the end of the tea, the hostess will pick up her serviette and place it loosely on the table, to the left of the tea plate. You will then place your serviette loosely to the left of your tea plate.
~Will you be "Mother?"
Being "Mother" goes back to the Queen Victoria era when mothers traditionally poured the tea for family and guests. It is considered an honor to be "Mother." The pourer should have sterling social graces and no one should pour for more than 15-20 minutes. The pourer or "Mother" will hold the teacup and saucer in her left hand and ask each guest, "Do you prefer your tea weak or strong?" If weak tea is preferred, pour the teacup about one-half full, add the hot water and then ask, "With sugar, lemon, or milk?" If strong tea is preferred, pour the teacup three-fourths full, and then ask, "With sugar, lemon, or milk?" You will only place a teaspoon on the saucer if the guest request sugar/milk. Remember that you don't want to use lemon and milk together as the acid from the lemon will curdle the milk. Also, please remember to use milk instead of cream. If the guest request sugar, ask "One lump or two?" Should you add the milk first or last? The milk should be added after the tea has been poured. Just remember that the Queen of England adds her milk last.
Tea is never passed around the table; the pourer should hand the tea directly to the guest. And, it is more polite to ask guests if they would like tea, rather than asking if they would like MORE tea.
Tomorrow, I will address the styles of dining--American and Continental. Please stop by again!

27 comments:

Kristens Creations said...

Hi Miss Janice, I'm learning so much from you! What great posts!

I will have more frames posted in a few days. I am still working on designing some different ones.

I'm still praying for your friend, I hope she is doing well. Kristen

Suzann @ Lavender and Roses said...

So much to learn about the customs of tea. I love that it is so proper!!

~CC Catherine said...

Hi Janice! Happy Wednesday! I enjoyed Post #10! I had tea with one of my British friends recently, she insists that in England where she was raised that they poured the milk in first. I remember reading why this was done, but don't recall. Can you refresh my memory? As..I prefer milk in my tea after, as you listed in today's etiquette post. Also...stop by Catherine de th`e Cups today, I'm featuring a pic of my silver teapot in my Mother's Iris garden for Outdoor Wednesday's post. Thanks for your visit & comment on Tablescape Tuesday! Au Revoir, ~CC (Oh how I wish we lived closer, theres such a lovely teahouse in Clarksville GA I frequent - you'd love it!)

Sincerely Yours said...

Good Morning Miss Janice! So many helpful lessons here. I'm not a tea drinker as I've mentioned before but I believe most could benefit from the many table manners listed and applied to all types of dining! In our "fast food" society many could learn a thing or two when it comes to proper manners!lol Have a beautiful day - Sincerely, Jeannette

Kappa Prep said...

Oh, cream in tea is just horrid! I am so glad you reminded people that is a no, no and that you must wait until the end to add you milk! Very important!

An Accomplished Woman said...

Janice, thanks so much for this series. You should open a charm school. I am a charm school graduate and would love to bring my children to you for etiquette hints.

Miss Janice said...

Catherine,
You should pour the milk in last so that you can judge the strength of the tea by the color. I am off to visit your tea setting!

Miss Janice said...

Accomplished Woman...I do have an etiquette school. I am an etiquette, hospitality, and tea educator. Visit my website at www.MissJanice.com to learn about the programs I offer.

Susan said...

Another wonderful post... I am learning so much! Thanks for sharing your knowledge with us!

An Accomplished Woman said...

Oh I Oh I stand corrected. You are offering a wonderful service to our youth. Good job.

Glenda said...

I have a question.
Is there an alternative to sugar offered to someone that might be restricted from sugar for health reasons? If so, how would that be handled? Should the guest just decline the sugar and take their tea without any type of sweetener?
I am learning so much. Thank you again for this series of posts.

Lady Katherine said...

Such an ejoyable article, I always have honey on hand, for a lot of my guest, take honey in their tea.
I do hope your friend Theresa, is doing well, I think of her and say a prayer.

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

What great information you are sharing! I have learned a lot and been reminded of a lot I had learned long ago. Thank you. laurie

Steve said...

Oh my goodness - these posts brought back so many memories of my mother's injunctions and sixth grade cotillion!

I have an etiquette question - one that has come up since we moved to Vermont. When being introduced to someone outside in temperatures below freezing, is it permissable to shake hands while wearing gloves?

Impoverished Preppy said...

Oh for goodness sakes - my husband was still logged in to the computer. The above comment and question are not from my husband, but from me!

Thanks!

Impoverished Preppy

Miss Janice said...

Impoverished Preppy, This is a question that I get a lot! Yesterday, I was watching bits & pieces of the inaugural festivities and noticed during the farewells to the former President and Vice-President, EVERYONE took off their gloves to shake hands (EXCEPT Mrs. Cheney). Maybe it was a slip up on her part...but, even in cold weather, you should never shake hands while wearing gloves.

Impoverished Preppy said...

Thanks!

prof en retraite said...

Hi Miss Janice...I am learning so much! Can't wait until tomorrow's post, having lived in France. The table manners are almost polar opposites!! Have a great day...Debbie

Miss Janice said...

Glenda, please e-mail me at www.MissJanice@MissJanice.com. I will be glad to answer these questions. I actually have a question to ask you:-)

carolinajewel said...

I love your etiquette lessons! I have learned a lot (and I actually thought I knew a lot - ha-ha!!!) Thanks!

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

I want a table exactly like the one in your picture on your banner. It's beautiful. laurie

CIELO said...

Very interesting... and refined! Thank YOU Miss Janice! Love visiting you, I always learn something new.

Hugs

cielo

Lynne (lynnesgiftsfromtheheart) said...

Good evening Miss Janice, I have learned so much from your posts. I went back and read the previous post. Most of that I had confused. Thanks for clearing up so much. I appreciate you visiting the grape themed table. I'm glad you enjoyed it. hugs ~lynne~

Jules from "The Roost" said...

These post are so informative and necessary in this day and time! Thank you!

Happy To Be said...

Just a wonderful post Miss janice...I always learn so much from you..thanks for sharing and love your header picture that is so you..hugs and smiles Gl♥ria

Europafox said...

I have just found your site though Kappa Prep, and I just love it! can't wait to have a ood look through your own posts - i will be so interesting for me getting an American perspective on good form! Beautiful blog!

ann said...

Ms Janice.I have an award waiting for you.It is for always knowing what to say and when.If anyone deserves this,it definitely is YOU...Ann