Afternoon Tea Etiquette

The ritual of afternoon tea owes its origins to Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford. Living during a time when it was common to eat only two main meals a day; an early breakfast and a late dinner. Anna decided to schedule time to take tea and snack each afternoon. This private ceremony was firstly done furtively in her bedroom, but over time other social hostesses quickly picked up on the idea and the practice became respectable enough to move it into the drawing room. Before long all of fashionable society was sipping tea and nibbling sandwiches in the middle of the afternoon.

As modern times come upon us there are many twists to the English tradition however one should always understand and practice the proper etiquette of afternoon tea.

On Sunday 28th September we will be joined with leading etiquette expert & broadcaster 
William Hanson to learn about the rich social history, social mores and etiquette that go with this idyllic meal.

Swot up on how to correctly hold a teacup, entertain guests and the changing shape, taste and pronunciation of the scone whilst enjoying an Eclectic Champagne Afternoon Tea.

Booking is essential with limited spaces available at £35 per person.
Please ring Great John Street on 0161 831 3211 to book your place.  

Please arrive promptly at 2pm, and the event shall be enjoyed through till 5pm

Black, red, green, white, infusions & oolong teas

How to brew, steep and serve the tea
Loose leaf vs. tea bags
Milk in first or last?
Lemon & sugar: other accompaniments for tea
Strainers, teapots, teacups, teaspoons
How to hold your cup & saucer
Stirring tea correctly (not round and round!)
Coping with spills
How to store tea
Tea faux pas

The History and Rise of Afternoon Tea
Anna Maria Russell, seventh Duchess of Bedford
John Montagu, fourth Earl of Sandwich
The rise of the Victorian tearoom
The changing face and shape of the scone
How tea is served at Buckingham Palace

Finessing the Food
Napkin etiquette 101
How to eat your finger sandwiches and other savouries
Preparing and layering your scone elegantly
Petit fours protocol 

Duties as Host or Guest
Invitations for tea
What time should you arrive?
Knowing when to start   
“Shall I be mother?”
Polite tea talk
Not outstaying your welcome
Thank you letters

Downton Dinner

You’ve watched the dining scenes of ‘Downton Abbey’ with wide-mouthed awe.. Now you can learn how to dine like they do at Downton with this new fun and fully interactive course.  Come along to Great John Street on Thursday 16th October and experience a dinner like no other.

Join the UK’s leading etiquette expert & broadcaster William Hanson and he will guide you through the Do's & Dont's of a formal dinner.  You may have seen or heard William recently on ITV’s Let’s Do Lunch with Gino & Mel, BBC Breakfast, ITV This Morning, BBC Radio 2’s Steve Wright in the Afternoon, and BBC Radio 5 Live.  He is also the author of the best-selling ‘The Bluffer’s Guide to Etiquette’. 

By the end of the three-course meal, guests will have mastered the difference between butler & silver service, remembered which knife & fork they should use for which course, and learnt how to dress for dinner.  The Dowager Countess would be proud! 

Thursday 16th October
Booking is essential with limited places available at £65 per person
A glass of Champagne on arrival
3 course meal with an additional “dessert” course and tea coffee & petit fours
Please ring Great John Street on 0161 831 3211 to book your place.  
Please arrive promptly at 6:45pm, sit down for dinner at 7:30pm

Etiquette Host:
Table manners now and then: why they still matter

Seating plans: who sits next to Lord Grantham?
Butler service: how to interact with Carson
The rhythm of dining (e.g. pace, waiting to begin)
Dressing for dinner (White Tie & Black Tie)

The British place setting – navigating your way
The tools of the table (flatware, glassware, cutlery & linens)
How Mrs Levinson and other non-Brits would eat… A cautionary tale of the American way of dining
Pudding and Dessert: not the same thing!

How to hold cutlery & glassware
Napkin placement
Polite table talk
Tricky foods (how to eat soup, burgers, caviar & peas with finesse)
What to do when Mrs Patmore burns the dinner: dealing with inedible meals
Unfamiliar food
How to handle difficult situations politely
Excusing yourself
Mobile phones (not very Downton but essential for modern age!)
Coffee, port & cigars
“Ladies, shall we?”
Taking your leave
Thank you letters


Something To Think About..

Enhance Your Stay
Summer BBQs GJS
Private Events GJS
Christmas & New Years Eve GJS Manchester