During the 18th Century Tea Gardens were the place to be seen in London. The eighteenth century produced far and away the most amusing and attractive society that England has ever known. It was a society addicted to among other things, tea. They must have drunk that first ship’s load down and sent it back for more at once, for by 1725, England was using a quarter million pounds of tea a year.
Tea was still “tay” in 1711, when Alexander Pope wrote The Rape of the Lock, with its often overlooked reference to Queen Anne presiding at Hampton Court:
Here thou, great Anna, whom three realms obey,
Dost sometimes counsel take and sometimes tea.
Vauxhall, Cuper’s Garden and Marylebone were amongst some of the most well known, and although they were used by royalty, everyone was to go to them for a stroll and a cup of tea.
Also during the late afternoon and into the early evening, concerts were held in the arbours with bands set up under gazebos and couples walking arm in arm under the night stars.
This popular trait is now becoming so popular throughout the UK and overseas that popular venues are booked up weeks in advance.