This is the first sentence of Henry James' great novel The Portrait of a Lady. James rather misses the opportunity of his opening, for there is little else subsequently in the novel to interest the cricketer and even the centrality of tea rather fades after the first few pages. But this first sentence alone should ensure this great work's proper place high in the Test averages. It is a sentiment with which Fantasy Bob wholly agrees. In fact he thinks old Jamesy underplays it a bit - the truth is that in all circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to afternoon tea.
|Anna dressed for tea|
|No nutritional value|
As FB was growing up the ceremony of afternoon tea was more frequently observed than it has recently been. It was an occasion to go out for afternoon tea to a hotel. This was where FB had his first encounter with the doily. After several attempts he came to the conclusion that doilies were not for eating. He would stick to the scones and empire biscuits - a choice that has done him well to this day.
|Afternoon tea at the Savoy|
Here is a song by the ever wonderful Kinks which celebrates afternoon tea.