The Country’s first tea shop was opened in 1864 by the Manageress of the Aerated Bread Company. The company directors allowed the manageress to serve refreshments to favoured customers. Although Thomas Twining ‘s tea shop has also been claimed as the first, opening in 1706, and still remained at 216 Strand, London. However, 1717 is also given as a date for the first tea shop.
Then, demand for her service grew, which then sparked a new trend for similar shops across the UK. Within two years the Aerated Bread Company had opened 250 of its self-service tea shops.
These also helped to liberate the lives of women, as it was considered ‘perfectly proper’ and acceptable for a woman to meet her friends in a tea shop without needing an escort and without risk to her reputation.
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