Tea parties today are informal affairs.  But there are three small points of etiquette. It is ‘not done’ to crook your little finger as you drink your tea – a ridiculous affection which is fairly considered ‘genteel’. There is on the other hand no sound reason for putting the tea rather than the milk in first, but the fact remains that the more ‘upper class’ the home, the more likely is the milk to go in last. ‘Just as it comes’ is another class pointer. What you are supposed to do when your hostess asks you how you like it is to tell her exactly – ‘weak’, ‘strong’ or ‘very little milk please’.


The Pan Book of Etiquette and Good Manners 1962

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