A Social History of English High Tea with Gillian Perry

A Social History of English High Tea with Gillian Perry


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The novelist Henry James once said, "There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea." We couldn’t agree more and have dedicated a seminar in the discussion of this delectable drink. In this illustrated talk, we will cover how tea-drinking was first introduced into England, how it was popularised, and how afternoon tea became a social institution. 

We’ll explore the variety of delicious tea menu items from the assortment of beverage options to the array of sweets and savory goods that were on offer. We’ll talk about the, often unsaid, customs and etiquette surrounding afternoon tea. We’ll explore some examples of the finest silver and porcelain tea ware that were common during teatime and hear about the background behind such ornate pieces.

Our conversation will cover the surprisingly risqué connotation of afternoon tea gowns as well as the rise of public tea rooms and tea dances which provided much entertainment for the attendees. We’ll finish up by talking about the ancient symbolism of birthday celebrations and the current nostalgic popularity of vintage afternoon teas. We’ll emerge at the end of our seminar with a great understanding of this curious history and in the need of a cuppa!

Gillian Walnes Perry was the Co-founder and Executive Director of the Anne Frank Trust UK. The Trust was set up in 1990, along with family and friends of Mr. Otto Frank. When Gillian retired in 2016 the Trust had a staff of 35, taking educational programs to combat prejudice and discrimination to schools, prisons, and communities in all parts of the UK.

Gillian now lectures on the life and legacy of Anne Frank, as well as other social history topics, in the UK, the US and other parts of the world. She also acts as an ambassador and advisor to the Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect in the USA. She has spoken at the United Nations in New York, 10 Downing Street, and most recently the Clinton Presidential Center in Little Rock Arkansas. Her first book, ‘The Legacy of Anne Frank’ was published in 2018.

In 2010 Gillian was awarded an MBE (Membership of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire) by Her Majesty The Queen for her work in education.

This conversation is suitable for all ages.

90 minutes, including a 30 minute Q&A.

Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
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Guess I’ve heard too many high tea talks
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Customer Reviews

Based on 8 reviews
75%
(6)
0%
(0)
13%
(1)
0%
(0)
13%
(1)
E
E.
Time for Tea
E
E.
P
P.
Guess I’ve heard too many high tea talks
W
W.
E
E.