I’m a big fan of Bill Bryson. For the past several years, since I discovered his writings, I’ve made a point of taking one of his books on my vacation. It ensures I will fall off my deck chair in stitches at least once.
I recently read his “At Home” which is a combination of history, humour and floor plans. Here’s a great quote for all us tea lovers:
“Between 1699 and 1721, tea imports increased almost a hundredfold, from 13,000 pounds to 1.2 million pounds, then quadrupled again the thirty years to 1750 … Not everyone got the hang of tea immediately. The poet Robert Southey related the story of a lady in the country who received a pound of tea as a gift from a city friend when it was still a novelty. Uncertain how to engage with it, she boiled it up in a pot, spread the leaves on toast with butter and salt, and served it to her friends, who nibbled it gamely and declared it interesting but not quite to their taste. Elsewhere, however, it raced ahead, in tandem with sugar.”
And you know, tea on toast? Perhaps just ahead of her time.