Exploring the LAPL menu collection is an ongoing project in which we'll take a close look at the menus owned by the Los Angeles Public Library. Read about the project here.
LAPL.org Afternoon tea menu, Coral Room at Bullock's Pasadena
There aren't many meals you can trace through the LAPL's menu collection that have remained basically the same throughout the last 80 years or so. Styles change, tastes change, ingredients change. So it was interesting, when looking though the archives for examples of afternoon tea, to see that the ritual has remained fairly similar, at least since the 1940s and probably before that as well.
Of course, America is all about progress and England is all about tradition, at least if you buy the stereotypes. And afternoon tea is not our tradition, it belongs to Britain, so it makes sense that, as a borrowed ritual, we stick to the elegant pageantry of tea sandwiches and little pastries. In looking over the menus there are a few hints of the times in each one -- most notably prices, of course.More »