“Christopher Robin was home by this time, because it was the afternoon, and he was so glad to see him that they stayed there until very nearly tea-time, and then they had a Very Nearly Tea, which is one you forget about afterwards, and hurried on to Pooh Corner, so as to see Eeyore before it was too late to have a Proper Tea with Owl.” –The House at Pooh Corner by A.A. Milne (quote courtesy of Dawnya Sasse)

Whether you’re a tearoom owner, tea hostess, or seeking out an afternoon tea experience, do you seek out a Proper Tea or a Very Nearly Tea? What’s the difference?

Here are Tea Party Girl’s top ten thoughts:

  • A Proper Tea pays attention to the details. These include ironed linens, sparkling silver, and fresh ingredients.
  • A Very Nearly Tea lets the tea cool or run out.
  • The guest of a Proper Tea RSVPs in a timely manner and arrives promptly. They make time to groom to their best before they arrive and are better listeners than talkers.
  • The hostess of a Very Nearly tea shows her guests that she is stressed by the work.
  • A Proper Tea considers each element’s artistic contribution and thinks through how the tea, food, music, and table settings complement one another.
  • A Very Nearly Tea serves dry scones and tea bags guests are expected to brew themselves.
  • A Proper Tea provides comfortable seating.
  • A Very Nearly Tea crowds as many people as possible into tight places.
  • The Proper Tea guests are allowed to linger.
  • The Very Nearly Tea guests are rushed.
  • Think back through your experiences. What have made your tea-times unforgettable? When have you been disappointed? Please share YOUR thoughts with us on the difference between a Proper Tea and a Very Nearly Tea in the comments below.