Raise your teacup to Charles Dickens’ 200th birthday.

The Coventry Carolers at Cuthbert's Tea Shoppe.

The Coventry Carolers at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe.

The popular Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Holiday Party, which opened the weekend before Thanksgiving this year, is in extra celebratory mode, remembering the 200th anniversary of Charles Dickens’ birth.  Born February 7, 1813, Dickens created some of the most iconic stories and characters known to Western literature, which are brought to life at the Dickens Fair in Daly City at the Cow Palace.  Actor Robert Young portrays the author every year and conducts readings of his works throughout the six weekends that the Fair is open. The fair is open from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. through December 22nd.

Dickens’ characters are often found enjoying a cup of tea and some cake, so why not join them – and all the other visitors at the Dickens Fair – over a cup or pot of tea?  Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe is the most popular place to have tea, because you can sit in a Victorian tea room and be served by costumed waiters and waitresses, and if you are in costume yourself, you become part of the holiday scenery.  Be ready to stand in long lines to wait for a table, however, and if you want a full afternoon tea menu you need to reserve your spot in advance on the Cuthbert’s website.  Be advised that full afternoon tea seatings sell out quickly!

There are a few other options if you want to have some tea at the Dickens Fair.  Cuthbert’s has a “take-away” window at the back of the shop, where you can buy each of the tea menu items a la carte, and find your own seating outside the tea shop.  There is Mr. Brown’s Fine Coffee & Teas, which is one of the food vendor booths, where you can get tea, chai, scones, and other treats a la carte.  New this year is 2 English Ladies, a shop that sells cream tea supplies for your tea party pantry, like lemon curd, jam and preserves, and loose tea blends.  Cuthbert’s also sells teapots, if you need one of those.  There are many ways to enjoy a nice cup of tea and a treat for the holiday, and raise your cup to the joy and imagination of Charles Dickens’ works!

Copyright 2013, Elizabeth Urbach.

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For more information:
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair website http://dickensfair.com/
Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe website http://cuthbertsteashoppe.com/
Food booths at the Dickens Fair http://www.dickensfair.com/food-drink
Dickens 2012 website http://www.dickens2012.org/
“Charles Dickens in Pictures” from The Telegraph http://www.telegraph.co.uk/culture/charles-dickens/8954312/Charles-Dickens-in-pictures.html
“Review: Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe at the Great Dickens Christmas Fair” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/review-cuthbert-s-tea-shoppe-at-the-great-dickens-christmas-fair-review
“Tea-tasting San Jose area day trips: San Francisco’s Chinatown” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/tea-tasting-san-jose-area-day-trips-san-francisco-s-chinatown
“Tea 101: what do we mean when we talk about tea?” http://www.examiner.com/x-8683-San-Jose-Tea-Examiner~y2010m7d14-Teatime-101-what-do-we-mean-when-we-talk-about-tea
“What you need to make a good pot of hot tea” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/what-you-need-to-make-a-good-pot-of-hot-tea
“Tea 101: How to brew a pot of hot tea using loose tea” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/tea-101-how-to-brew-a-pot-of-tea-using-loose-tea
“How to have afternoon tea at the Dickens Fair in San Francisco” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/how-to-have-afternoon-tea-at-the-dickens-fair-san-francisco
“Last weekend for tea at the Dickens Fair!” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/last-weekend-for-tea-at-the-dickens-fair
“Enjoy traditional Irish seed cake with a nice cup of tea” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/enjoy-traditional-irish-seed-cake-with-a-nice-cup-of-tea
“Escape the rain in San Jose with a Cornish cream tea & Pirates of Penzance!” http://www.examiner.com/tea-in-san-jose/escape-the-rain-san-jose-with-a-cornish-cream-tea-pirates-of-penzance
“What should I keep in the pantry for tea parties?” http://www.examiner.com/article/what-should-i-keep-the-pantry-for-tea-parties
“By Dickens, a Victorian Pacifican serves up delectables at Cuthbert’s Tea Shoppe” http://www.mercurynews.com/my-town/ci_19393798?source=rss
“When the exhibits are people: first-person cultural interpreters at Dickens Christmas Fair.” http://www.examiner.com/x-19428-San-Jose-Museum-Examiner~y2009m11d29-When-the-exhibits-are-people–firstperson-cultural-interpreters-at-Dickens-Christmas-Fair

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