A Lady Grantham of Downton Abbey Tea Time

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We all long for a time of gentility, of refinement, of peace and calm, and a place in which to enjoy a pleasing cup of tea. That goal is embodied in the Lady Grantham Evening Tea from The Republic of Tea. This two-tea set, featuring both Lady and Lord Grantham, is from a local store called Cook’s Companion and More, a place chock full of all sorts of goodies for your inner chef (or even if you just like to dabble in the kitchen). As a tea lover and a bit of a Britophile (but not whole hog, as the saying goes), I was pleased to get this set. The tins themselves in their custom made gift box are quite an item to add to my tea tin collection. They are also great for a wonderful tea time photo such as this one, showcasing the tea amidst an array of genteel items for a relaxing image:


A few notes about the photo:

  • The jar candle at right is rose scented (a lovely Christmas time gift from hubby’s aunt whom we got to see after many years)
  • The rose in the vase at left is actually a rose scented candle (a gift to me from hubby and so lovely that I have not been able to get myself to actually light it after many years of ownership)
  • “An Ideal Husband” is one of my favorite Oscar Wilde plays – I have seen both movies: the 1947 version with Paulette Goddard (one of Charlie Chaplin’s ex-wives) and the 1999 version with Julianne Moore in the Goddard role.

The British TV series Downton Abbey has been a big hit, so it’s no surprise that the folks at The Republic of Tea glommed onto the idea. They concocted some cheap herbal mix, ground it to powder, and put it into those flat, round bags that fit inside their tea tins (along with lots of air that makes the tea even staler than it would be all ground up like that). Then they got the rights to using Downton Abbey characters on the labels and for the tea names. A marketing coup, apparently. The “tea” itself would certainly not be one that anyone in Lady Grantham’s social and economic sphere would have touched in real life.

The Lady Grantham Evening Tea is actually an herbal tisane and contains no true tea (made from the Camellia sinensis plant). Sadly, The Republic of Tea is one of many tea vendors labeling everything and anything “tea” to be part of the surge in tea popularity. They end up muddying the waters, though. I have met many confused customers in stores who, when asked if they needed help, would say that they were told by their doctor to avoid tea because of the caffeine but that an herbal tea was claiming to be caffeine free. I would follow this remark with a simplified explanation of the labeling jumble going on out there. Sigh! Someday, the folks at these various tea vendors will get their moral compasses on track and stop confusing people like this. Meanwhile, I do my best by continuing to bring it up as often as possible without being a bore.

But the tea was nice for this photo. Enjoy!

© 2015 A.C. Cargill photos and text


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