In naming her tearoom in Pinehurst, North Carolina, Marian Caso was inspired by the story of Anna Maria Stanhope Russell, the seventh Duchess of Bedford. Lady Bedford, a lady-in-waiting to Queen Victoria during the 1840s, is credited with inventing the British custom of afternoon tea.
She experienced “a sinking feeling” every afternoon between luncheon and dinner, so Lady Bedford asked her maid to bring her a cup of tea and a light snack around 4 o’clock. Soon she began inviting friends to join her, and other people adopted the habit. By the end of Queen Victoria’s 63-year reign, afternoon tea had become a British institution. Marian thought Lady Bedford’s Tea Parlour was the perfect name for her tearoom, which opened in 2008.