Picking up a Jane Austen novel acts as an escape from the modern lifestyle for me.
She is wonderful satirising and celebrating human nature. Her characters and their emotions are timeless and we can recognise and relate to them today.
How Jane has influenced my life
I was first introduced to Jane Austen aged 10 back in 1995 when Andrew Davies’s Pride & Prejudice was on TV. I remember it being on a Sunday, late in the afternoon, and I would watch it with my mam whilst she was ironing. I loved it: the characters, the costumes, the scenery, the humour, the drama and the romance.
From that moment on I was hooked and read all her books. I decided to study English Literature at University, even choosing Bath because it was largely unchanged since the Regency period.
Take a look at this little 1 minute video we made to show on the Airport Bus which runs from Bath city Centre to Bristol airport and back again.
Its a bit of fun and shows Martin and Centre Guide Elle as well as the Regency Tea Room.
The Jane Austen Centre aims to be not only informative but exciting and illuminating. With knowledgeable staff, a lovely period atmosphere, exclusive film, costume, contemporary exhibits, maps and books. It is the perfect starting point to an exploration of Jane Austen’s Bath.
The Centre at 40 Gay Street in Bath houses a permanent exhibition which tells the story of Jane’s experience in the city between 1801 and 1806 and the effect that living here had on her and her writing.Gay Street is the ideal location for the Jane Austen Centre in Bath, set between two of Bath’s architectural masterpieces, Queen Square and the Circus.
Enjoying a taste of Georgian England
Jane Austen actually lived in Gay Street (higher up the hill on the same side, at No.25) for some months in 1805.
Celebrating Bath’s most famous resident.
“They arrived in Bath. Catherine was all eager delight; her eyes were here, there, everywhere, as they approached its fine and striking environs, and afterwards drove through those streets which conducted them to the hotel. She was come to be happy, and she felt happy already. They were soon settled in comfortable lodgings in Pultney Street”.
In Persuasion, the snobbish Sir Walter Elliot is relieved to find that Admiral and Mrs Croft, visiting Bath for the Admiral’s gout, are staying where he will not be ashamed to visit them: “The Crofts had placed themselves in lodgings in Gay Street, perfectly to Sir Walter’s satisfaction”.
It is rather impertinent to suggest any household care to a housekeeper, but I just venture to say that the coffee-mill will be wanted every day while Edward is at Steventon, as he always drinks coffee for breakfast.
Jane Austen to Cassandra
June 11, 1799
Regency coffee and milk has been part of the European kitchen since the 17th century (there is no mention of milk in coffee pre 1600 in Turkey or in the Arab world). ‘Caffèlatte’, ‘Milchkaffee’ and ‘Café au lait’ are domestic terms of traditional ways of drinking coffee, usually as part of breakfast in the home. Public Cafés in Europe and the US it seems has no mention of the terms until the 20th century, although ‘Kapuziner’ is mentioned in Austrian coffee houses in Vienna and Trieste in the 2nd half of the 1700s as ‘coffee with cream, spices and sugar’ (being the origin of the Italian ‘cappuccino’).
Café au lait is a French coffee drink. The meaning of the term differs between Europe and the United States; in both cases it means some kind of coffee with hot milk added, in contrast to white coffee, which is coffee with room temperature milk or other whitener added.
But indeed I would rather have nothing but tea.
A perfect pot of tea does not begin with a mug of hot water and tea bag. The perfect pot takes time and careful planning.
Start with a preheated pot or cup. This prevents the tea cooling too quickly. To warm the it, pour boiling water into the pot, swish it around, and pour it out again.
Use freshly drawn or bottled, not reboiled water.
Bring water to a rolling boil for approximately 10 seconds. Remove kettle from heat. Don’t boil the water for too long as this will boil away the flavour-releasing oxygen.
Wait until the water is just off the boil before pouring it onto the tea. This brings out the rich aroma and avoids scorching the tea.
Use one tea bag per person, or Start with 3/4 of a level teaspoon of loose tea per 6 oz. of water.
Steep for 3-5 minutes, according to taste. If possible, cover the teapot with a towel or tea cosy while steeping to retain heat. Remove the tea bags or leaves
If you would like to add milk (milk, not cream) pour it in the cup or mug before adding the hot tea as this will allow the milk to better blend with the tea without curdling.
Sweeten as preferred or serve with a slice of lemon. Infuse (steep) green tea for two minutes, semi-black tea for seven minutes, unless instructed otherwise based on the tea you have purchased. Both may be infused several times, depending on the tea you have purchased. Though they may be slightly more expensive than black tea by weight measurement, Green and Semi-black are ultimately less costly due to the number of times the leaf may be infused.