Friday, September 24, 2010

Take Some Tea


Lauren discusses Anglomanie in France, which Marie-Antoinette encouraged by having her own tea parties in the English manner. To quote from the novel Trianon:
They came to a white octagonal building with a large window on each of its sides. It overlooked the small lake, and was not far from the grotto. A table with a linen covering was in the center of the one-room, neo-classical structure, the walls of which were decorated with murals of the Four Seasons. In the middle of the table was a silver tea service, with scarlet and white Sèvres porcelain plates, cups and saucers. There were crusty baguettes, gooseberry and apricot jams, fresh fruits, ices, chocolate and cream-filled puff pastries, raspberry tarts, pâté, charcuteries, and cheeses. The table was decorated with Elisabeth's lavender, sage, and asters, strewn amongst the dishes. There were large bowls of the Queen's fresh butter, made at the dairy at Trianon, along with pitchers of her cream and milk.... The ladies and children sat on benches, chairs and stools, drinking their tea. It was all so very English, and the Queen admired English customs....
~from Trianon by Elena Maria Vidal

Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles


(Photo: Interior of the Belvedere in the gardens of Trianon from Marie-Antoinette and the Last Garden at Versailles by Christian Duvernois.)
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6 comments:

Between Europe and China said...

Hmm, English cream tea, looks delicious. However, it's so different from Chinese tea. Traditionally, Chinese tea contains neither sugar nor milk, just the bitter taste. But now, more and more young people take a liking to sweet tea while I still stick to the tradition.

Amy @ Passages to the Past said...

Sounds so charming...quite different from the tea parties I threw in my bedroom as a child!

Vic said...

Oh, how lovely. We walked around this building but did not enter it. Now I wish I had.

Alexandra said...

This books looks so intriguing. I have a picture book of French gardens on my side table in the formal living room. This looks like another one I'd like there.

Oh, and I see you've added a film section to your Amazon store! Wonderful.

elena maria vidal said...

Glad you all enjoy tea at Marie-Antoinette's Belvedere. Yes, I have added a film section, with films I have reviewed and some I haven't gotten around to yet.

Alice Seidel said...

How I love taking tea! The picture of the interior of the Belvedere puts me in mind of what once was the 'pub' at Georgian Court University in Lakewood, NJ. The windowed doors opening unto a garden could be at the college itself!
I think I will be looking for a favorite devon cream recipe tonight!