The Old Vicarage, Grantchester
(Cafe des Westens, Berlin, May 1912)
And laughs the immortal river still
Under the mill, under the mill?
Say, is there beauty yet to find?
And certainty? And quiet kind?
The Meadows yet, to forget
The lies, and truth and pain?... oh! yet
Stands the Church clock at ten to three?
And is there honey still for tea?
Welcome to The Orchard
The Orchard, a corner of England where time stands still as the world rushes by. Relax, enjoy the genteel setting and soak up the atmosphere of a bygone era.
Tea drinking, that most quintessential of English customs is, perhaps surprisingly, a relatively new tradition for, whilst the custom of drinking tea dates back to the third millennium BC in China, it was only popularised in England during the 1660s by King Charles II.
It was later in 1840 that afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. The evening meal in her household was served fashionably late at 8 o’clock, thus leaving a long period of time between lunch and dinner. The Duchess, who would become hungry around 4 o’clock in the afternoon, asked that a tray of tea, bread and butter (some time earlier, the Earl of Sandwich had had the idea of putting a filling between two slices of bread) and cake be brought to her room during the late afternoon. This became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her. This pause for tea became a fashionable social event. During the 1880s, upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between 4 and 5 o’clock.
Please take your time. Delight in your own thoughts, marvel at nature and enjoy your friends, for you are in a place which, thanks to the benefaction of Mr Robin Callan, will, in the words of Rupert Brooke, remain ‘forever England’.
Orchard Tea Garden is under new management. We are trying to blend the traditions of the Orchard, which are so important to so many, with a customer-focused experience. We are seeking a slow pace of evolution keeping everything which so many people have loved about coming here for so long, but being “just a little bit better every day”. We truly value your feedback and if you find anything to be less than perfect, please tell us immediately and we will try and make changes; alternatively you can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
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