Dozens of older women, and a few men, gathered on August 8 at The Salvation Army’s Roxborough Corps Community Center dressed to impress. Many wearing fancy hats and gloves! It’s time for afternoon tea. Friends and fellowship are a great way to spend the afternoon, but tea and scones are sure to make it better! Click for the rest of the story and to see the coverage of all Philadelphia TV stations.
This was the inaugural afternoon tea party at the Roxborough Corps for as many as 70 senior citizens served by The Salvation Army in this Philadelphia community. The three course event featured three choices of tea, scones, tea sandwiches and dessert on chinaware. Party goers were encouraged to dress accordingly for the elegant affair, including fancy hats and gloves. Volunteers worked for days to decorate the fellowship hall for the special occasion.
According to historians, afternoon tea was introduced in England by Anna, the seventh Duchess of Bedford, in the year 1840. The Duchess would become hungry around four in the afternoon, as dinner was not served until 8pm. The Duchess asked that a tray of tea, bread and cake be brought to her room at that time. It became a habit of hers and she began inviting friends to join her. During the 1880’s it grew in popularity as a fashionable event where upper-class and society women would change into long gowns, gloves and hats for their afternoon tea which was usually served in the drawing room between four and five o’clock.
The Salvation Army serves more than 1,400 low-income residents in Roxborough each year with food, Christmas assistance, social programs and recreation. Its senior citizens program offers an array of activities including field trips, educational seminars, concerts, games, food, parties and fellowship.
Judging by the popularity of the event, organizers plan to make afternoon tea an annual affair!