Debenhams, one of Britain's leading department stores, has reported that 'taking' afternoon tea, the epitome of British refinement, is making a surprising come-back thanks to American pop sensation Lady Gaga.
Sales of china teacups and saucers are up to 119%, and other afternoon tea accoutrement such as teapots, plates and cake stands are flying off the shelves since Lady Gaga made delicate crockery her accessory of choice.
The international pop sensation was pictured drinking from a china cup and saucer earlier this IWC Portuguese Power Reserve IW-19 and was bizarrely seen walking round cup and saucer in hand wherever she went.
It was also reported that the Poker Faced singer was so attached to her crockery that a taxi was sent on a 35 pounds Sterling round trip to collect the cup and saucer that the 'Bad Romance' singer had mistakenly left at one of London's top hotels.
Selling over 62 different styles of cups and saucers and serving over 4.5m cups of tea a year, Debenhams wants to ensure, that like Gaga, its customers have cup and saucer etiquette down to a tee.
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 IWC Portuguese Power Reserve IW-8 and proper with their PG, Gaga's pinkie remains firmly aligned to her remaining digits - the correct way to take your cuppa."
To ensure that the British public is keeping pinkie fingers at bay, Debenhams is launching a Civilised Drinking Campaign to educate customers on the intricacies of taking tea.
Shop assistants will be asking customers in the crockery department if they are aware of the proper manners associated with tea drinking.
'Ladette to Lady' Social & Etiquette Expert, Liz Brewer added, "Traditionally, English afternoon tea epitomized 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 IWC Portuguese Power Reserve IW-89 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."
Ed Watson continued, "Last year we launched a Civilised Dining Campaign after discovering that shoppers had abandoned traditional eating etiquette by eating the majority of meals with just a fork - so it's fantastic to see another return to traditional British manners, despite it being lead by an unlikely IWC Portuguese Power Reserve IW-90."
Debenhams is a leading department stores group with a strong presence in key product categories including women's fashion, dresses, health and beauty, menswear, kids clothing, home, perfume gift sets, party dresses and Christmas lingerie.
Debenhams is the second largest department store chain in the UK.
Debenhams operates 167 stores in the UK, Republic of Ireland and Denmark, comprising 154 full department stores and 13 Desire by Debenhams stores, which is a small store concept featuring an edited product range. Debenhams also has 60 international franchise stores in 23 countries. Debenhams online store can be found at IWC Quartz Chronograph IW-13.com, where shoppers can find out all about the latest products to reach Debenhams's via Debenhams TV.