Man lives on tea alone, St. Annes-on-Sea, Lancashire.

I like tea.

You possibly like tea.

But not to the exclusion of everything else.

This fascinating and amazing tale from 1951 brings a whole new perspective to the health benefits of drinking tea.

Thanks for visiting my blog today.

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Who was Earl Grey?

Have you tried this lovely Japanese style green tea?

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Book of the Day

Have you time for afternoon tea?

The habit of drinking tea dates back thousands of years but didn’t become popular in England until the 1660s. However, it wasn’t until the mid 19th century that the concept of ‘afternoon tea’ first appeared.

Anna Duchess of Bedford
image credit: [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons
In 1840 afternoon tea was introduced by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford.

The Duchess would become hungry around four o’clock in the afternoon. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at eight o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner.

The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her.

This pause for tea caught on and became a fashionable social event for those with the leisure to enjoy it.

As Henry James said, “There are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.”

These paintings capture the mood for afternoon tea perfectly.

Afternoon Tea by John Everett Millais 1889

afternoon tea
image credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Afternoon Tea by Richard Edward Miller 1910

afternoon tea
image credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Le Thé à l’anglaise by Michel-Barthelemy Ollivier 1766

afternoon tea
image credit: [Public domain or CC0], from Wikimedia Commons

Afternoon Tea by Isidore Verheyden 1905

afternoon tea
image credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Afternoon Tea by Hilda Fearon 1917

afternoon tea
image credit: [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Thanks for visiting my blog today and hope you have time for afternoon tea.

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5 Best Literary Tea Quotes

Afternoon Tea, Sunday Tea and a very fine teapot.

Book of the Day

Body found (3)



Who was Earl Grey?

Most afternoons we have a cup of Earl Grey, the tea blend which has been flavoured with the addition of bergamot oil.

The tea is named after Charles Grey, 2nd Earl Grey (1764 –1845) who was Prime Minister of the United Kingdom from November 1830 to July 1834.

You might have seen Charles Grey played by Dominic Cooper in the 2008 film The Duchess, directed by Saul Dibb and starring Keira Knightley and Ralph Fiennes.

The tea was specially blended for Lord Grey to suit the water at Howick Hall, the family home in Northumberland. The bergamot oil (extracted from the peel of the Bergamot orange) was used to offset the preponderance of lime in the local water. Lady Grey used the blend when entertaining in London and it proved so popular that she was asked if it could be sold to others.

In addition to his affair with The Duchess (Georgiana, Duchess of Devonshire), Lord Grey had many other affairs. His wife, Lady Grey, gave birth to sixteen children of which only two failed to survive until adulthood.

Several variants of Earl Grey tea have evolved including:

Lady Grey of which Twinings Cornflower Lady Grey and Citrus Lady Grey combines Earl Grey tea with Cornflower and Seville oranges.
London Fog is a combination of Earl Grey, steamed milk and vanilla syrup.
A blend with added rose petals is known as French Earl Grey.
A variety called Russian Earl Grey often contains ingredients such as citrus peels and lemon grass in addition to the usual black tea and bergamot.

If you have £7 to spare you can indulge in some Earl Grey tea from the Rare Tea Company which offers “a clean and exceptionally bright infusion with exhilarating citrus notes.” Or my favourite Newby Teas does 25 Earl Grey teabags for £4.50 which are “refreshing, comforting and synonymous with British history.”

It must be time to put the kettle on again!


Thanks for reading my blog today.

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Afternoon Tea, Sunday Tea and a very fine teapot.

Have you tried these lovely green teas?

5 Best Literary Tea Quotes

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Time for tea?

Good Morning!

Is it time to put the kettle on?

image credit:


image credit:


image credit:

Hope you have a lovely day.

Thanks for stopping by my blog today. You might also like:

Have you tried this lovely Japanese style green tea?

Afternoon Tea, Sunday Tea and a very fine teapot.

5 Best Literary Tea Quotes

Book Promotion

cover2 £1.99

Afternoon Tea, Sunday Tea and a very fine teapot.

I got a bit carried away yesterday with #NationalTeaDay and downloaded some interesting images for tweeting.

This oil-painting is by artist Yehia Dessouki, an Egyptian painter and visual artist making contemporary art using diverse kinds of media both traditional and digital.

Image credit: By Artist Review [Public domain], from Wikimedia Commons.

Afternoon Tea (1905)  by Isidore Verheyden, a Belgian painter of landscapes, portraits and still life.

Image credit: Isidore Verheyden [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

Afternoon Tea: Rhymes for Children by J. G. Sowerby and H. H. Emmerson. London: Frederick Warne & Co., 1880.

Image credit: By John George Sowerby (1850–1914) and Henry Hetherington Emmerson (1831–1895) [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

In the 1950s, Sunday Tea was always the same.

The best cups and saucers came out of the cupboard along with the starched, white tablecloth and the two-tier cake stand.

Slices of buttered white bread and Hovis; a salad made up of one or two lettuce leaves, a few slices of cucumber and bottled beetroot and two quarters of a tomato; a lump of tinned salmon (preferably John West’s) with the bones picked out and the skin removed; half a hard-boiled egg; and a shake of Heinz 57 Varieties salad cream. For afters: tinned fruit in syrup with Carnation evaporated milk which always curdled if poured over tinned pineapple; fruit scones; sponge cakes; and tea with sugar and a splash of milk.

It was the same if we went to visit our relatives on a Sunday. Whichever aunt, great-aunt, granny or friend of the family we went to see the identical tea was served; only the patterns on the cups and saucers were different.

But the amazing thing is that my husband, who grew up at the other end of the country, had the same Sunday Tea as well. And he says it was exactly the same when they went to visit their relatives too.

The only difference between my family and his was that our cakes were home baked and his came from a baker’s shop. And he says they had custard on their tinned fruit.

Did everyone have this meal in the 1950s? Was it replicated from John O’Groats to Land’s End? Were there any regional variations? Not much difference between the West Riding of Yorkshire and the East End of London if our experience is anything to go by. And has anyone else, apart from us, continued the tradition?

(From Cabbage and Semolina: Memories of a 1950s Childhood © C Murray 2015)

Thankyou for visiting my blog today. You might also like:

It’s National Tea Day!

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It’s National Tea Day!

It doesn’t seem a year since I wrote It’s National Tea Day! and in 2018 there appears to be more opportunities than ever to enjoy and celebrate our national beverage.

I had an email from Betty’s yesterday with details of their partnership with The Royal Mint to a launch a new 10 pence coin on National Tea Day. This coin is one of a series of new coins and naturally features a teapot.

Chiswick House hosts the annual Fes.Tea.Val which is billed as a great day out for families, foodie enthusiasts, tea lovers and those who love to party. The event is filled with celebrity baking sessions, mixology masterclasses, top Dj’s, musician’s and entertainment and even the opportunity to take tea with Queen Victoria.

Guide Dogs is the working name of The Guide Dogs for the Blind Association and they are organising a big fundraiser to coincide with National Tea Day. The Great Guide Dogs Tea Party is offering a fundraising pack with lots of ideas to help this worthy cause.

I loved the design of this website and if I lived nearby I’d definitely go and try out afternoon tea. But as I can’t I’ll add an image of afternoon tea instead.


Happy National Tea Day!

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Have you tried these lovely green teas?

Does green tea have health benefits?

5 Best Literary Tea Quotes

Book Promotion

Jam for Tea
by Cathy Murray





Does green tea have health benefits?

Recently I’ve been drinking a lovely Jasmine Blossom Green Tea from Newbys.

The tea is quite expensive but has a lovely, delicate flavour.

For years I’ve been under the impression that green tea is beneficial to health without really knowing why so I’ve  consulted Dr Google.

The NHS choices website has an excellent analysis of the claims made for the health benefits of green tea.

The article explores a wide range of claims for the benefits of drinking green tea including:

Does drinking green tea protect you from cancer?

Can green tea aid weight loss?

Does green tea cut cholesterol?

Can green tea help prevent or delay Alzheimer’s disease?

Can green tea lower blood pressure?

Can green tea prevent tooth decay?

In concluding the article, NHS Choices refers to dietitian Alison Hornby

who says:

“In the Far East, green tea has been used as a treatment for a variety of conditions ranging from arthritis to weight loss, as well as a preventative measure for diseases such as cancer, although the evidence for the majority of these conditions is weak or lacking.

“However, as a social drink, it appears to be safe in moderate amounts, so lovers of green tea can continue to enjoy it.”

Overall, it seems that green tea won’t do any harm, might do a little bit of good but probably won’t make any difference. So, I’ll keep on enjoying my Jasmine Blossom Green Tea although I doubt that I will ever be paying £57 for 250g!

Thanks for reading my blog today.

You might also like 5 Best Literary Tea Quotes


Book of the Day at with details of a free Kindle download.




It’s National Tea Day!

April 21st is National Tea Day

and if you’re in London you can go to the official

National Tea Day

celebrations at Kensington Roof Garden.

I live miles away from London

but can offer two blogposts to celebrate the occasion.

You might like to know

How to make a cup of tea Victorian style.

And if you’re in literary mode you might like

5 Best Literary Tea Quotes.

The National Tea Day website recommends drinking four cups of tea per day.

I’ve only had one cup of tea this morning,

so time to put the kettle on!

Whether you’re a tea drinker or not, hope you have a great day.

Today’s book promo:

A Single To Filey

With such a baffling case to solve how can DCI Forward find time for “The Cherry Orchard”?

Follow this link to find out more and read a free sample: