Public Service – Tea Etiquette
If serving tea for a group it is worth brewing a pot. Loose leaf tea will taste best. A second pot with hot water in it should be provided in order to dilute over-brewed tea if necessary. If a waiter places a teapot on the table without pouring the tea the person nearest the pot should pour for everyone.
The tea should be poured first and any milk, lemon or sugar added afterwards. Once you have stirred your tea remove the spoon from the cup and place it on the saucer.
When drinking tea hold the handle of the teacup between your thumb and forefinger. Don’t hold your little finger in the air.
Don’t dunk your biscuits in your tea unless in a very informal setting, and don’t make slurping noises – even if it is hot.
If you are served a scone with jam and clotted cream with your ‘cream tea’, bear in mind that the most practical way of consuming it is to split the scone in half, spread the jam first, then add clotted cream on top. This pragmatic method is favoured by the people of Cornwall, but it is thought that in Winchester the practice is to spread the clotted cream first.