The practice of having Afternoon Tea supposedly started when Anna, the 7th Duchess of Bedford is said to have complained of “having that sinking feeling” during the late afternoon. She would, indeed, after having eaten breakfast in the morning and nothing at all till supper at 8 o’clock! These days, stopping for Afternoon Tea has become an occasional luxury even for the British.
But thankfully, it is still available for us to enjoy, even here in Virginia! Aside from private Tea Receptions such as what we put together every year, there are many places that will indulge your inner Jane Austen.
TeaMap.com is a good place to start your search. It is an online Tea Room Directory: just plug in your zip code and you get a list of establishments with client ratings to guide you. Another directory is TeaGuide.net which also lists tea rooms in the US, Canada, England and other countries around the world.
The Pink Bicycle Tea Room in Historic Occoquan has been our personal favorite since our girls can hold teacups. Owner Lisa Johnson is a gracious hostess and understands the imaginations of little girls. The big hats in the waiting room add to the magic of the special outing.
Other nearby tea rooms that we’ve enjoyed:
Pinkadilly Tea in Fredericksburg
Tea Tyme and What Nots, also in Fredericksburg is tucked down the hall inside a shopping center
Serenity Tea Room in Frederick, MD
Hotels often offer Afternoon Tea. A few near us –
Entyse Wine Bar & Lounge at the Ritz Carlton
The Jefferson Hotel in Richmond even has a Teddy Bear Tea for their younger guests
Afternoon Tea Party by Mary Cassatt