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24 Oct 2007 353 views
 
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photoblog image Afternoon Tea at the Orchard

Afternoon Tea at the Orchard

 

A few miles from cambridge is the small village of Grantchester. The village stands on the River Granta and nearby is the Orchard, where tea and cakes are served to discerning customers.

The Orchard, first planted in 1868, became a Tea Garden purely by chance. A group of Cambridge students asked Mrs Stevenson of Orchard House if she would serve them tea beneath the blossoming fruit trees rather than, as was usual, on the front lawn of the House. They were unaware that, on that spring morning in 1897, they had started a great Cambridge tradition.

As the fame grew students used to take a punt down the Granta and cross the fileds to the Orchard. Very little has changed since those days, deckchairs still sit below the friut trees but visitors now arrive by car.

The Stevensons also took in lodgers at Orchard House and in 1909 Rupert Brook moved in. The charismatic young Brooke drew a constant stream of visitors, and eventually became the centre of a circle of friends, later dubbed by Virginia Woolf the 'Neo-Pagans'. Brooke had fallen in love with his idyllic life in Grantchester, and, while in a homesick mood on a trip to Berlin, wrote one of his best-known poems, 'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester': the famous final lines immortalising afternoon tea in the Orchard.

Brooke was sent Gallipoli aboard a troopship and on 23rd April 1915, aged 27, he died from blood poisoning. That same evening he was buried in an olive grove on the Greek island of Skyros, where a monument has since been built over his grave. Just a few months earlier he had written 'The Soldier', containing the prescient lines:

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England

There is also a small museum to Rupert Brooke and the Grantchester set in the grounds of the Orchard.

Afternoon Tea at the Orchard

 

A few miles from cambridge is the small village of Grantchester. The village stands on the River Granta and nearby is the Orchard, where tea and cakes are served to discerning customers.

The Orchard, first planted in 1868, became a Tea Garden purely by chance. A group of Cambridge students asked Mrs Stevenson of Orchard House if she would serve them tea beneath the blossoming fruit trees rather than, as was usual, on the front lawn of the House. They were unaware that, on that spring morning in 1897, they had started a great Cambridge tradition.

As the fame grew students used to take a punt down the Granta and cross the fileds to the Orchard. Very little has changed since those days, deckchairs still sit below the friut trees but visitors now arrive by car.

The Stevensons also took in lodgers at Orchard House and in 1909 Rupert Brook moved in. The charismatic young Brooke drew a constant stream of visitors, and eventually became the centre of a circle of friends, later dubbed by Virginia Woolf the 'Neo-Pagans'. Brooke had fallen in love with his idyllic life in Grantchester, and, while in a homesick mood on a trip to Berlin, wrote one of his best-known poems, 'The Old Vicarage, Grantchester': the famous final lines immortalising afternoon tea in the Orchard.

Brooke was sent Gallipoli aboard a troopship and on 23rd April 1915, aged 27, he died from blood poisoning. That same evening he was buried in an olive grove on the Greek island of Skyros, where a monument has since been built over his grave. Just a few months earlier he had written 'The Soldier', containing the prescient lines:

If I should die, think only this of me:
That there's some corner of a foreign field
That is forever England

There is also a small museum to Rupert Brooke and the Grantchester set in the grounds of the Orchard.

comments (6)

I am as beguilded with the text as I am with the photograph(s). Wonderful collage. (:o)
Les Auld: Thanks Rosalyn, glad you liked it.
What a story! The poem is a wonderful legacy for the place and that the traditions continue after all these years is wonderful.
Les Auld: One of Brooke's more famouspoems, glad you liked it.
  • Louis
  • South Africa
  • 24 Oct 2007, 13:13
As a form of illustration to some fact book of an area or place this is an excellent picture. I believe you can make this kind of thing into printable matter, e.g. commemorative books.

The person in the deck chair is not going to get any tea smile

I have very recently read a book where this poem is attributed to some main character of the book (it was a novel about WW1). Just can't remember title or author. Being a novel it was not true and may have been referenced - I just can't remember that kind of detail - but the poem I do remember.
Les Auld: The lines of the poem have been used in many diferent circumstances and keep cropping up. Glad you liked it Louis.
Great composit. This is so creative. Well done.
Les Auld: Thnaks Gail, I felt it cried out for a slightly different treatment.
  • Tracy
  • Great Britain (UK)
  • 24 Oct 2007, 20:54
Lovely collage and text is also fitting.smile
Les Auld: Thanks Tracy, it was an interesting place to visit.
  • Ellie
  • online but without any pictures
  • 25 Oct 2007, 00:06
Now that's nice, the mono inset pictures could almost be timeless, if you ignore fashion. I wouldn't mind betting that the proprietors of The Orchard would be able to sell this, as it stands, as a postcard.

Poignant tales are, unfortunately, usually those that are remembered. Have you been into the pub in Cambridge that has the airmen's signatures all over the ceiling?
Les Auld: Thanks for the praise Ellie. Unfortunately I have not been tot hepub you mention, sounds interesting, I suppose there are a few around Cambridgeshire.

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