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  Why does tea-drinking appeal to women? 16 January 2004  
You might imagine the fashion world to be full of skinnies, surviving on cigarettes and champagne. But think again, as the beautiful people are forsaking the bubbly for a simple cup of tea.

Kate Moss was spotted sipping daintily at Claridge's, Liz Hurley celebrated her son's first birthday with a tea party and Elle McPherson's known to entertain friends over a herbal infusion. Even the Cannes party for the film Calendar Girls involved the glitterati wolfing down Victoria sponge with a mug of wash.

The ritual of afternoon tea is alive and well some three hundred years after the drink was introduced to Britain. So what is it about tea-drinking that is so attractive and why does it appeal so particularly to women? Maud Hand eavesdrops on today's ladies who take tea.

A Social History of Tea
By Jane Pettigrew 
Published by The National Trust
ISBN 070780289X

Tea


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