Why not start a tea room?
One means of livelihood for the woman of refinement and reduced circumstances
Among the many plans adopted by young women as a means of support, there is one somewhat popular in New York that may be commended as practical. It is nothing more nor less than a tea room.
Not the masquerading restaurant, but an actual tea room where the wearied shopper may go for the rest and refreshment of a cup of tea and a delicate cake, sandwich or ice — nothing more.
There is one such in the heart of the busy shopping district in New York, which might serve as a model. It occupies the first floor of a large old-fashioned dwelling in a street almost wholly given over to business. All the walls are papered in delicate chintz design of large blue flowers on a white ground. The decorations are few and simple, but all in the same harmonious coloring.
In the “back parlor,” which still preserves its outlook over an old-fashioned garden plot with fine trees, there are easy chairs and couches, in summer of cool rattan, in winter of warmer construction.
Small tables hold magazines and writing materials, and the customer may have her cup of delicious tea, hot or frappe, served here if she prefer.
The mistress of the establishment, a well-bred, well-dressed woman of thirty-five or six, herself asks what you will have, as if she were hostess and you her guest. Then the neat English maid serves you with quiet celerity in dainty blue and white china.
Of course, such a place does not assume the functions of a cafe but serves admirably in the hours “between meals” when one is in need of refreshment yet does not desire a substantial repast.
The expense of opening and conducting such a room is much less, of course, than if it were on a more extensive scale and also allows its owner to retain her dignity and individuality as the larger cafe could not.