Tea is So Intoxicating - Mary Essex
Part of a curated collection of forgotten works by early to mid-century women writers, the British Library Women Writers series highlights the best middlebrow fiction from the 1910s to the 1960s, offering escapism, popular appeal and plenty of period detail to amuse, surprise and inform.
“I shall turn this into a tea-house, with lunches if requested, and shall serve pleasant meals in the orchard,” announced David, “and with my penchant for cooking I ought to make a fortune.”
“Oh dear!” said Germayne.
David Tompkins thinks it is a splendid idea to open a tea garden at his Kentish cottage. His wife, Germayne, is not so sure. The local villagers are divided on the matter, and not necessarily supportive, particularly Mr Perch at the Dolphin, who sees it as direct competition to Mrs Perch’s own tea garden. It doesn’t bode well when the official opening coincides with a break in the beautiful weather. Things are further complicated by the arrival of the ‘cake cook’ Mimi, a Viennese girl with a mysterious past, Germayne’s daughter Ducks, and finally her ‘rather stolid’ ex-husband Digby. With rumour rife that the couple are – whisper it – not actually married, the lady of the manor, who has failed to realise that nowadays that title carries no real weight, makes it her mission to shut the enterprise down.