The New Domesticity: The Ceremony Known as Afternoon Tea


“Under certain circumstances there are few hours in life more agreeable than the hour dedicated to the ceremony known as afternoon tea.” Thus begins the first chapter of Henry James’ “Portrait of a Lady,” and thus begins what just might be a new chapter in the lives of some of our dear readers.

We’ve all been there, frantically navigating that squirmy hour between lunch and dinner. If we have little ones, it’s a post-nap, pre-dinner twilight zone where crazy things happen: time slows down, kids begin to fuss, the house is filled with clutter, and everyone is just a tad edgy. The solution may seem counterintuitive, for bringing down the fine china and sitting down with a gaggle of gigglers doesn’t really seem conducive to productivity.

But what if “the ceremony known as afternoon tea” is the key to making some sense of the hangry twilight zone? What if dainty teacups, miniature snacks, and gentle conversation could magically transform the most mundane of afternoons? Well, pour yourself a nice, hot cup of tea and join Afton Nelson (AKA Vancouver Family Magazine’s Wander Woman) and me as we consider how to “slowly, simply, and strategically” treat our children—and ourselves—to the simple yet meaningful ritual known as afternoon tea. I’ll be sharing ways to create this magic in our own homes, while Afton gives us a delightful glimpse into her visit to a local tea house in the following companion article.

To read more, pick up a copy of the December 2017 issue at any of these locations, or view the digital archive copy here.

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About Author

Julianna Lawson and her husband, Jamie, make their home in Vancouver with their four children, ages 13 to 20.

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