Tea drinking is a pastime closely associated with the English. Tea first arrived in England during Cromwell's protectorate and soon became the national drink, with tea drinking a national pastime for the English. As early as 1784, Rochefoucauld noted that "hroughout the whole of England the drinking of tea is general". Nevertheless, Anna Russell, Duchess of Bedford, is credited with the invention of afternoon tea. By 1840, it had spread to other parts of English society with the female manager of London's Aerated Bread Company attributed with innovating the first commercial public tearoom.
Thomas Twining opened the first known tea room in 1706, which still remains at 216 Strand, London. In 1787, the company created its logo, still in use today, which is thought to be the world's oldest commercial logo that has been in continuous use since its inception. Under Associated British Foods since 1964, Stephen Twining now represents the company's tenth generation. In 2006, Twinings celebrated its 300th anniversary with a special tea and associated tea caddies. Twining's is a Royal Warrant holder (appointed by HM The Queen).
There is a long tradition of tea rooms within London hotels, for example, at Brown's Hotel at 33 Albemarle Street, which has been serving tea in its tea room for over 170 years.
In the U.K. today, a tea room is a small room or restaurant where beverages and light meals are served, often catering chiefly to women and having a sedate or subdued atmosphere. A customer might expect to receive cream tea or Devonshire tea, often served from a china set, and a scone with jam and clotted cream – alternatively a High tea may be served. In Scotland teas are usually served with a variety of scones, pancakes, (Scottish) crumpets and other cakes. In a related usage, a tea room may be a room set aside in a workplace for workers to relax and (specifically) take refreshment during work-breaks. Traditionally a staff member serving food and beverages in such a tea room would have been called a tea lady.
In France, a tea room is called Salon de thé, and pastries and cakes are also served. It seems having a separate tea house was a culture in many countries in Europe. In Germany, one Teehaus was particularly famous during the Third Reich era where the German Dictator Adolf Hitler used to have his daily walk and tea on Mooslahnerkopf hill near his residence Berghof, in the Bavarian Alps. Hitler's tea house was a cylindrical structure built in the woods.
In Eastern Europe, countries like Latvia are located at the crossroads of trade routes between Western and Eastern Europe, and tea came both from the East and West. One example of mixed tea is a new type of tea room - Club tea culture. For example - a tea club Goija.
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