Shall we have tea with the Queen?
Who knows if one day we will have the chance to be invited to tea with the Queen of England herself. In case that happens, we must be prepared and know the etiquette to be followed. Although it is obvious that the fact that this situation occurs is fairly remote, it is interesting to know how to act, either as hosts or as guests.
1. The decoration of the table is important. A nice tablecloth with its napkins, cups with their corresponding saucers and teaspoons, the teapot, etc.
2. As for the food, you can not miss the "scones" (a type of rounded roll, very typical in the United Kingdom), a wide variety of cakes, jam, butter and the star product to spread the scones, the "clotted cream" (it is more or less the cream that is formed when you boil fresh milk and then let it cool gradually).
3. The choice of tea is also very important. It is preferable to use loose tea, as its taste is much better than the one sold in bags. You can add milk or lemon but in any case, we pour the tea first and then the accompaniment of our choice.
Once seated at the table, we get down to business and that is where we must take into account a number of rules:
1. The napkin should be placed on your lap and when you want to clean your mouth, don't wipe it, just dab it. When we get up from the table we must leave the napkin unfolded to the left of the plate.
2. To stir the tea move the teaspoon back and forth, that is, in a straight line and not in circles. Clinking the spoon against the cup is not regarded as polite.
3. It is not acceptable to dunk cookies or cakes into our tea, so just don't do that.
4. When there is a bowl of jam and another one of "clotted cream" to share, we have to serve a little bit of each one in our plate, it will not be put directly from the bowl to the "scone" or biscuit.
5. Scones are not cut in half with a knife but with our hands. Moreover, once the two parts of the scone have been spread, they cannot be joined back together like a sandwich, but they will be eaten by hand individually.
6. If the tea is too hot, don't blow it.
7. The way to take the cup from the table to drink our tea will depend on the height of the table. If the table is low we will take both the cup and the saucer, but if the table is high we can only take the cup.
8. We should not pick up or hold the cup with the little finger extended. It may seem posh or refined to do so, but in fact it is not.
9. You should sit up straight, that is, without bending your back, and you should drink your tea in small sips. After each sip, leave the cup on the table.
10. The teaspoon should never be left in the cup, be it full or empty. It should be left in the saucer.
You are now ready to have tea with the Queen of England, so you should start thinking about what clothes you will wear for the occasion, for no matter how exquisite your conduct may be, if you are not dressed properly you may not get past the door of Buckingham Palace.
One more thing, in the privacy of your own home, do not follow any of these rules.