For centuries tea has been the cornerstone of British life. Once only the preserve of the very rich, tea soon became more accessible to all and is now deeply embedded in the psyche.
Within the last few years looking back has taken us forward in terms of fashion, film, music and popular culture. Recently there has been a big trend on thoroughly British style and memorabilia.
The art of tea has had a massive resurgence of popularity with the young and hip. The elegant and dainty tea party has made it more cool, more 'frock & roll' than rock & roll.
Tea sets are being reinvented with a new vision of style but still with a foot firmly in the best of British.
People are falling over themselves to buy or make cupcakes and even have a cupcake tower for a wedding cake. Prices for a ready made cupcake from £1.50 and can even reach £4 in some places.
The tea party also has risen in popularity albeit with a tongue firmly in the proverbial cheek.
It is quite common to now receive an invitation for a tea party of a weekend with a full spread laid out in the host's home complete with cupcakes. The ridged etiquette and form of the traditional tea party has been dusted away with more of a focus on fun than formality.
Marks & Spencer has a wonderful range named Posy Gingham which captures the spirit of the modern tea party. Gingham printed saucers are complimentary clashed with floral printed cups for a sweet mix and match English eccentric style. A milk jug, teapot and plates are also available along with floral gingham print tea towels giving you everything you need to throw your very own tea party.