Do people still "do" afternoon teas or is it a dying tradition. I know that my mum does a wonderful afternoon tea. A variety of slices, biscuits and usually something savoury is laid out on the table that has been carefully laid out with the best china.......Royal Albert Old Country Rose. The teapot is filled with loose leaf tea and the tea is always made with rain water brought in from the outside tank. Of course the teapot itself is part of the Country Rose collection along with the sugar bowl and milk jug. It is special.
We certainly kept the tradition going when I lived in Julia Creek. My group of friends would take turns in "doing" afternoon tea. The food was wonderful but the thing that was most important was sitting down with girlfriends and chatting. You can imagine that living in a fairly isolated community this was extremely soul soothing. My days were filled with the mundane jobs associated with running a cattle station and very rarely did I get the opportunity to sit down and chat with another woman. My world was surrounded by men so the get togethers with my girlfriends, understandably, was very important.
I was recalling these times today and I glanced at my cupboard filled with the "good china". My beautiful "Queen Ann" tea set has not been used since I moved to Julatten. Times change, friends change but I decided it was time to dust off the tea set and start using it.
I made myself a pot of tea, with loose leaf, and water straight from the sky. I cut myself a large slice of sponge cake that I had made earlier in the week and carefully placed it on the plate. It looked almost too lovely too eat, but eat it I did. And that cup of tea. Why is it that drinking from a bone china teacup makes the tea taste just so perfect.
I have made a promise to myself that I am going to bring out the good china at least once a week and treat myself to this wonderful tradition more often.