Lady Gaga has inspired a new wave of young women to take up the traditional British pastime of afternoon tea.
The eccentric star appeared on Tonight with Jonathan Ross last year sipping from a teacup and saucer, and has been regularly photographed carrying the chinaware around with her.
She was even rumoured to have sent a taxi on a £35 round trip to pick up some crockery she had left in a hotel.
Now department store Debenhams has reported sales of china cups and saucers have risen by 119%, while items such as teapots, plates and cake stands are also increasing in popularity.
The store has now decided to launch a Civilised Drinking Campaign to ensure customers are educated on the correct way to enjoy tea, and shop assistants will be asking all customers if they are aware of the rules surrounding drinking.
Ed Watson, spokesperson for Debenhams, said: “Lady Gaga is driving this trend towards tea drinking, and surprisingly it seems that the American pop eccentric knows a lot about traditional British etiquette.
“While the uneducated may feel that raising of the little finger is de rigueur with their Darjeeling and proper with their PG, Gaga’s pinkie remains firmly aligned to her remaining digits – the correct way to take your cuppa.”
Ladette to Lady Social & Etiquette Expert, Liz Brewer added: “Traditionally, English afternoon tea epitomised elegance and has thankfully returned to fashion not only as a daily ritual, but as a way of impressive entertaining, especially for those on a limited budget!
“I’m afraid the ‘pinkie’ may have returned in some circles due to the increase in tea drinking but it is in fact incorrect. Raising a pinkie is totally unacceptable, and unkindly – it is considered a pretense to good manners indicating the owner doesn’t have any.”