For a five-o’clock tea-table to stand permanently in the drawing room or library, a pretty tea equipage is required, consisting of a teapot, cream jug and sugar basin and cups and saucers in some decorative china. Over this small table should be laid a handsome linen cloth ornamented by drawn work, embroidery and lace.
For an occasional five-o’clock tea there must be a larger table with a fine damask table-cloth and embroidered center-piece on which to stand a vase or basket of flowers. At one end of the table have a tea service; at the other a chocolate set. Piles of pretty plates and doilies must be neatly arranged on the tables. Sandwiches delicately made, cheese straws, cakes and bonbons are generally served.
The proper acknowledgment of a wedding or reception card when you do not mean to go, is your own visiting card sent either before or on the day of the event. If you do not send your card, you must call afterwards upon the person who has invited you.
A cracker jar is a pretty bit of furnishing for the table, and any crackers may be put in it that one desires to serve. Butter plates are put on the table at every meal and on all occasions, save for dinner parties.
It is still fashionable to give colored luncheons, teas and dinners, the color being given by the flowers, ribbons, embroidery of the cloth and center-piece, the porcelain and some of the viands, fruit, etc. A lilac luncheon is lovely in its color effects, and one of the favorites.
What is known as Dresden china embroidery is now much employed for the decoration of dainty tea cloths and little breakfast cloths, to be used when one uses a Dresden china at a little tete-a-tete breakfast or tea in the drawing-room.
When tea balls are used, the cups having been scalded, should be filled with boiling water, and the tea ball filled with tea, dipped in each until the desired strength is attained. The water must be boiling hot to make good tea.
Unknown (1892, June). Etiquette Notes. The Ladies World, XIII(6), 22. Retrieved from VictorianTimes.us http://victoriantimes.us/etiquette/etiquette-notes-june-1892-2. ^