Hello, I'm Anna Jones and I have been invited to talk in this programme about London life. And in today’s programme we’re looking at a very English custom - the custom of tea-taking. I think the whole art of tea-taking is a very elegant and a very English thing to do. This whole ambience of tea-taking makes you be elegant.

I am the director of press and public relations at the Ritz hotel in central London. The Ritz hotel is one of the most famous hotels in London and is celebrating its centenary. It opened 105 years ago in 1906. The Ritz is especially well known for its wonderful teas but taking tea at the Ritz is not an everyday event – it’s usually reserved for a special occasion like a birthday or anniversary. Tea is served in the beautiful surroundings of the Palm Court. Displays of flowers and palms add to the experience of tea-taking. The whole character or quality of the Ritz makes you feel elegant. It makes you feel attractive and you behave in a very graceful way. And it’s not just a cup of tea either – it’s almost like having a 3 course meal.

The actual food items on the tea menu come on a three-tiered cake stand. The bottom being the finger sandwiches – very traditional – and the waiter will explain what the fillings are. Then we do our scones in the middle and we do our cakes and pastries on the top. It’s done almost like courses.  

Well, we say that the food arrives on a “three-tiered cake stand - there are three levels, one on top of each other and on each level there’s a plate for holding the food. And what food is there?    There are finger sandwiches – these are small sandwiches filled with a variety of different things.    This kind of sandwich is “very traditional” – it’s something that has been going on in the same way for a very long time – so finger sandwiches have been a part of the traditional English afternoon-tea for a long time. In the middle of the tier there are scones which are small round cakes which are often eaten with jam and cream which is known as a cream tea. And finally, at the top of the tier there are various cakes and sweet pastries.

People say that tea is its almost done like “courses” - a part of a meal which is served separately from the other parts of it. Now what about making the tea? How do you make a proper cup of English tea? What is the most important thing about making a cup of tea?

The most crucial thing about tea-making is to make sure that the water is “piping” hot – it is very hot and has just boiled. Then after pouring the water onto the tea leaves you let the leaves “stew” or absorb the water to make the tea. If you hear someone talking about “stewed tea” they are describing tea that has been left too long in the tea pot before being poured and tastes strong and bitter.   

What about the milk? What is the tea making etiquette? What are the rules or socially accepted ways of adding the milk? Does it go in to the cup before the tea is poured or afterwards? Well at the Ritz the etiquette – or the accepted way – is to add the milk afterwards so that the guest can decide how strong or weak they would like their tea.   

Well as we mentioned earlier the Ritz is a very famous London hotel – so famous in fact that its name now appears in the dictionary as an adjective. What do you think it means? Even the name The Ritz has become generic in the dictionary, people talk about things being “ritzy” and even if something is not very ritzy or something is very ritzy and that all comes from the name. If something is described as “ritzy” it is expensive and fashionable – for example you might describe someone’s dress or car as ritzy. Well its 4 o clock now so it must be time for a cup of tea!


这是上一篇以Afternoon tea at the Ritz为题的文章。Ritz是著名的豪华连锁大饭店,英国的下午茶也是出名的。本篇文章前半部分讲述了下午茶的佐餐,后半部分主要讲如何沏茶。文章虽然有点长,但是与生活相关,内容分布也比较明显,易于理解,如果考生平时多读些文化生活方面的英语文章就会倍感轻松。

在这里,就这篇文章提供给大家一点点小建议:首先,听力里面基本上不会涉及到很复杂的句式;其次,如果碰到一个很难的词汇,请大家仔细听是否有and, that is or that means , which 等词,因为很有可能后面跟的就是一个同义词,或者解释该词的从句;最后,大家要记住口译考试中的听力填空并不要求一定要字字正确,所以,如果实在想不起该词,可用同义词代替,毕竟,口译要求的是传达说话者的意思,而不是完全正确复制整篇文章。


anniversary  n. 周年纪念;

elegant  adj. 优雅的;

ambience  n. 气氛;

course meal  主菜;

three-tiered  三层;

filling  n.  馅料,填充;

scone  n. 烤饼;

pastry  n. 油酥点心;

piping hot  滚烫的;

stew  v. 炖,焖;

etiquette  n.  礼节,礼仪;

ritzy  adj. 豪华的,高级的;

The Ritz  丽兹(里兹)大饭店;

Palm Court 棕榈阁(大堂酒廊)