How will they remember us?

My husband and I enjoyed high tea at the Pump Room in Bath on Thanksgiving. It was a treat to sit in the historic room listening to the pianist playing Handel while paintings of lords and ladies watched us eat scones with clotted cream. High tea is a great British tradition and in fact, historians have connected the decline in health of the British poor to low calorie, low nutrient tea replacing high calorie, high nutrient beer as their drink of choice. But I digress.

In America we tend to romanticize high tea because it isn’t a part of our culture and because of its historical connotations and innate pinkie raising elegance. My mother belongs to a Victorian group that dresses up and meets for tea. Even one of her social clubs with no Victorian connection is meeting for high tea and encouraging members to wear Victorian dress. Teahouses and hotels all over America offer high tea in elegant and not so elegant settings.

What I wonder is when the next drink fad finally replaces coffee and time has made us forget that there is a Starbucks on every corner (remember when 7-11 held that distinction?) will future generations romanticize coffeehouses the way we romanticize high tea? Will future entrepreneurs open coffeehouses decorated with old couches, glass jars full of biscotti and vintage Starbucks signs? Will the strains of Nirvana and other mope rock classics play in the background while people have a lark dressing in flannel and drinking whipped coffees? Will my grandchildren torture me with questions about hanging out in coffeehouses during open mic night while I shake my head in disbelief and feel very, very old? May I live so long.

1 comment:

Elizabeth Kerri Mahon said...

Georgie, I love having high tea in England. I've had high tea in the Pump Room in Bath along with Amanda Elyot years ago, and I recently had the pret a port tea at The Berkeley on my last trip to London a few weeks ago. I seriously hope that future generations don't romanticize over priced coffee at Starbucks!