Fold your pinky in!” I’m holding a porcelain teacup in my hand, pinky jutting outward, about to tilt the china to my lips and savor a first sip of smoky Lapsang Souchong tea, when I’m startled by this chide. I’ve just settled in for an afternoon tea service at London’s ultra-fashionable ME London when a staff member, a copy of Joan Cazal’s hefty Tea Time: London’s Best Afternoon Teas tucked under her arm, interjects a bit of etiquette that many of us have gotten and continue to get wrong.
“The pinky should not be out,” she explains, smiling yet firm. “That’s a misconception. It’s silly looking and even a bit rude.”
“Really?” I ask, nervously trying to prevent my pinky from springing outward, as nature and instinct seem to want it to do. It was a struggle, believe me. Across the room, I see a trio of sassy queens, one with pinky out, and I’m jealous.