LA cot­tage where Meghan learned eti­quette

Viet Nam News - - LIFE&STYLE -

Months be­fore meet­ing the Queen for the first time and hav­ing a “cuppa” with her Majesty, Meghan Markle brushed up on tea drink­ing eti­quette at a cot­tage near Los Angeles – where she was ap­par­ently a nat­u­ral.

“Well, she learned it all here,” Ed­mund Fry, the Bri­tish­born owner of Rose Tree Cot­tage in Pasadena, told AFP in an in­ter­view this week. “On a scale of one to 10, by the time she fin­ished com­ing to us, I would say she would prob­a­bly be a 9.5.

“But I have to say that be­cause I want her to come back for the other half point.”

Fry said the Cal­i­for­nia-born ac­tress, who will marry Prince Harry this week­end, on sev­eral oc­ca­sions vis­ited the pic­turesque tea room – decked out with all things Bri­tish – where she was given the in­side track on tea drink­ing.

“She came with friends and was very re­laxed and very much in con­trol,” he re­called.

Scones

He said he shared some tips on the quin­tes­sen­tial tea ex­pe­ri­ence with the soon-to-be new mem­ber of the royal fam­ily, as she munched on tra­di­tional fin­ger sand­wiches and scones.

“I do be­lieve that I men­tioned, as I al­ways do, that the han­dle of the cup is al­ways left at three o’clock of course ... and the spoon al­ways needs to be left at six o’clock and 12 o’clock,” said the 77-year-old, who dresses in tails and white gloves while serv­ing and ed­u­cat­ing his cus­tomers.

He added that Markle seemed like a nat­u­ral on her re­peated vis­its and was un­likely to make any faux pas – like slurp­ing or us­ing her nap­kin to blow her nose or wipe her glasses – while sip­ping tea with the Queen.

“I re­mem­ber telling her one of the habits in this coun­try is peo­ple tend to get much more palsy walsy with their cup ... and they move it in front of them,” Fry said, rais­ing his eye­brows in de­spair.

“Maybe it’s be­cause they have a ten­dency to drib­ble, I’m not sure,” he added.

“But this is not a good thing to do.”

An­other no-no he shared with Markle, he said, was chang­ing the ta­ble set­ting.

“If you were at the palace, you wouldn’t dream of mov­ing the cut­lery and the silver or the china away from the place where it should be,” he said.

Tra­di­tional English scones served with tea should also be sliced side­ways and topped with jam and clot­ted cream be­fore each half is eaten sep­a­rately, pleaded Fry, who looks like a char­ac­ter straight out of “Down­ton Abbey”.

“You don’t want to put the two halves to­gether be­cause it ends up look­ing like a quar­ter pound ham­burger, and the last thing you want is peo­ple hav­ing cream come down their jowls,” he said in his cut-glass Bri­tish ac­cent.

And please, when drink­ing tea, re­frain from slurp­ing or clink­ing the cup with the spoon when stir­ring, he added.

As for crook­ing the lit­tle fin­ger while hold­ing the cup and saucer, Fry said that was op­tional.

“It’s not wrong to have your fin­ger in, but ladies tend to leave the pinky slightly crooked,” he said.

Fry said he will be celebrating Harry and Meghan’s nup­tials on Satur­day with a wed­ding party, and will al­ways keep a ta­ble open for the new­ly­weds.

“She will al­ways have a ta­ble here, and Harry of course,” he said. “There will be the time when he wants real ba­con and he’ll come here for it.” — AFP

Tea time: Eti­quette ex­pert Ed­mund Fry ad­vised Meghan Markle on Bri­tish eti­quette be­fore she had tea with the Queen. — AFP Photo

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