Thursday, October 2, 2008

Tea for Two

So, yesterday I went out to afternoon tea with a friend. We tried to go to the Sheridan Palace at first, but the website I found their hours on was off a bit. Saturday only (sigh). It has a beautiful lobby, though, don't you think?

So, troopers that we are, we regrouped and headed over to Samovar, which is lovely if you want Japanese style Russian tea. Or Russian style Japanese tea, I wasn't quite clear. The English Tea Service was a bizarre combination of Asian and British styling that didn't quite make it all the way to endearing. Not quite in the spirit of Her Maj, in my opinion. The quiche was good, though. So, to prevent future mishaps I sat down and made a Google map of all the tea shops I found in San Francisco so far, with (correct) hours. Good job, Jenna.

I would also like to clear up a misconception about low tea and high tea. All these places are serving low tea, not high tea. "High" does not refer to the fanciness of the occasion, but to the height of the table it is traditionally served on. Low tea, or afternoon tea, features little cakes and fiddly things on toast. It was developed in the 1800s as a way for the wealthy classes to pass the time with friends. The lady of the house poured, and the servants were sent away so that guests could talk without being overheard. It is traditionally served on low tables in a parlor, hence the name "low" tea.

High tea was the working classes' dinner, and was usually served around 5 in the evening. It consists of meat pies, treacle tarts and other knife-and-fork dishes and was served at the family dining table, hence "high" tea.

Are we quite clear? Good. Moving on.

Afterwards I went to Britex Fabrics. I can't believe I have waited this long to go, because it's four floors of awesome. The prices can't touch the fabric districts of New York or LA, but who can? It's less expensive than some places I've been to, and the selection of gorgeous fabrics is staggering. Ah. Drool. Can't wait to make some new clothes!

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