You shiver in your delicate nightgown, the ruffles fluttering. A draft makes the flames of the candles snap and dim, your fist so tightly clenched around the silver candelabra that your knuckles ache.
Glancing out the window through a veil of fog mooting the shimmer of the rising sun,
The sent of damp wood, earthy clay, and the scent of rain. Exactly what you’d expect a haunted manor house to smell like, actually.
What was that sound you heard?
The clatter of china? Muffled footsteps?
Do to the holiday season, I thought I'd add a light touch to our Goth Monday.
Which brings us to this Monday's topic:
Tea and Elevenses
Paddington Bear and The Wind in the Willows will probably have heard of such English meals as Morning Tea, Afternoon Tea and some mysterious snack called ‘Elevenses’.
What are they?
These typically light meals became popular among the English upper-and-middle classes during the Victorian era. Changing social and work-habits meant that mealtimes changed drastically. Women of the well-to-do classes would go visiting. It was the man’s job to earn a living. It was the woman’s job to make all the social connections.
Morning tea and afternoon tea centered around tea, naturally. This beverage was once so rare and expensive, women kept their tea-caddies locked and had the keys with them at all times. But with the opening of China in the 1850s, the import of Chinese and Indian teas became cheaper and it was now available to a much wider range of people.
Tea was designed to be light, refined, and relaxed. Enjoyed with close friends and relations, or business-partners and colleagues. Tea consisted of small cakes, biscuits, and sandwiches – and yes, the classic cucumber-sandwich. Light snacks not designed to fill you up, but to distract from hunger until the main meals of the day,
Instead of morning tea, one might have ‘elevenses’, taken, as the name suggests, around ten or eleven o’clock in the morning. Since the Industrial Revolution forced people to wake up earlier and eat breakfast earlier (six or seven or eight in the morning), by midday, they could be especially hungry. Elevenses or morning tea was designed as a light snack, to be enjoyed halfway between breakfast and lunch.