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Home :: Archive :: 2001 :: May ::
Re: Tea Time
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 12.1297  Thursday, 31 May 2001

[1]     From:   Melissa D. Aaron <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:12:44 -0700
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1285 Tea Time

[2]     From:   Stuart Manger <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 May 2001 20:47:00 +0100
        Subj:   SHK 12.1285 Tea Time

[3]     From:   Harry Hill <
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        Date:   Wednesday, 30 May 2001 18:57:14 EDT
        Subj:   Re: SHK 12.1285 Tea Time

[4]     From:   John Briggs <
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        Date:   Thu, 31 May 2001 09:13:21 +0100
        Subj:   RE: SHK 12.1285 Tea Time


[1]-----------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Melissa D. Aaron <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 May 2001 12:12:44 -0700
Subject: 12.1285 Tea Time?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1285 Tea Time?

>Is tea time in the UK 3 p.m. or 4 p.m.?

I assume you're asking about afternoon tea, as opposed to high tea.
These things vary according to personal taste, but 3 pm sounds awfully
early.  4 pm is more like it, 5 pm is still really reasonable and closer
to my preferences. Afternoon tea--tea, scones, crumpets, cakes, and
itty-bitty sandwiches-- is supposed to tide you over until drinks and
dinner, which probably won't happen till about 8ish, maybe later.  High
tea *is* dinner--a simple one-- and usually around 6 pm.  Nursery tea is
high tea--dinner for the kiddos, served separately, long before the
adults settle down to their own, more formal repast.  Or that's the way
I remember it.

You'll notice that this varies drastically according to social strata,
geography, and personal preference.

MDA
Melissa D. Aaron
Dept. of English and Foreign Languages
California Polytechnic State University at Pomona

[2]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Stuart Manger <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 May 2001 20:47:00 +0100
Subject: Tea Time?
Comment:        SHK 12.1285 Tea Time?

What a can of worms you are about to unlid!

Rupert Brooke gives one notion in 'The Old Vicarage at Grantchester' -
the time by the churchyard clock etc.

I have always thought that civilised persons never ever appear for
afternoon tea before 4 p.m., and actually 4.30 is closer. If anyone says
to me drop round for tea, then 4.30 p.m.-5 p.m. might be thought about
right.

Stuart Manger

[3]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           Harry Hill <
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Date:           Wednesday, 30 May 2001 18:57:14 EDT
Subject: 12.1285 Tea Time?
Comment:        Re: SHK 12.1285 Tea Time?

For Richard Burt:

                    Afternoon tea is about 3.30.
                    High tea is our "dinner."

        Harry Hill, hungry for scones at both.


[4]-------------------------------------------------------------
From:           John Briggs <
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Date:           Thu, 31 May 2001 09:13:21 +0100
Subject: 12.1285 Tea Time?
Comment:        RE: SHK 12.1285 Tea Time?

This is rather a mysterious question!  I rather think that most
Shakespearean scholars would ask for more context! (Time, place,
country, region, class...screening times for unspeakable movies?)

As this is obviously a literary question I would refer to Rupert Brooke
(1887-1915), "The Old Vicarage, Grantchester":

Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?

(Of course, the church clock could be broken!  Or ten minutes slow...)

John Briggs

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