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A Cup of Tea

A Cup of Tea
© David Sanger Photography/Alamy

Have a nice sit-down with a cuppa, maybe a chocolate digestive too. What could be more quintessentially English?

The most normal thing in the world. Yet the tea we drink isn't English at all. There's a good chance the tea cup isnt either... But wherever you go, right across England, you'll find cups of tea being served from your everyday greasy spoon caff to the Ritz.

The story of tea takes in all sorts of aspects of England's history, many of them unsavoury. It's the story of trade and clippers and empire, the story of medicine and hygiene and bone china.

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My favourite Icon of England has to be the Cornish Pasty.

Ian Baldry

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