'Such a shocking waste of time,' says one.
'Much too fattening a meal with all that dreadful starch,' says another.
'Quite unnecessary, if one has had lunch or proposes to eat in the evening,' says a third.
All very true, no doubt, but what a lot of innocent pleasure these strong-minded people are missing! The very ritual of tea-making, warming the pot, making sure that the water is just boiling, inhaling the fragrant steam, arranging the tea-cosy to fit snugly around the precious container, all the preliminaries lead up to the exquisite pleasure of sipping the brew from thin porcelain, and helping oneself to hot buttered scones and strawberry jam, a slice of feather-light sponge cake or home-made shortbread."