There has always been a romantic side to tea for me. It may just be because I read far too much 17th and 18th century literature in which it seems that a British courtship without tea would have been unthinkable.
Back then a tea table and an elderly chaperone must have been the equivalent of a romantic evening resulting in an invitation back for coffee today. You just knew where it was going.
Tea offered a safe and acceptable form of social intercourse in a society where flashing your ankles at a man would have been considered lewd behaviour. You could get to know your prospective suitor, surreptitiously check out their table manners and if it turned out it wasn’t meant to be then at least you had the cake to console you.
Over time the social constraints may have been relaxed but the romance of tea remains. Sharing a meal is the better known form of romantic dining but we all know how awkward and nerve racking a so called romantic dinner can be.
Much better to have tea. Easily managed, bite sized food which you’re much less likely to spill all over yourself. Nice, safe non alcoholic beverages protecting you from potential mistakes. No worries about the potential cost of the meal or behaving in front of snooty restaurant staff and absolutely no need to wear uncomfortable shoes.
So if you’re at a loss for what to do this valentines day why not stick the kettle on? Or if you have a certain someone you’d like to get to know better why not invite them over? No one suspects ulterior motives behind a cup of tea and who knows, maybe your eyes will meet across a plate of chocolate digestives and that will be it. Jane Austen would be proud of you.
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