There's some debate as to when the British turned the afternoon tea into an actual meal. The apocryphal version is that, in the early 19th century, the Duchess of Bedford was having "sinking feelings" during the period between the hearty English breakfast and the evening meal (then served at 8 p.m.). So she began inviting friends to join her for a late-afternoon snack of small cakes, bread-and-butter sandwiches, sweets and hot tea. Americans never really took up the practice, but that hasn't stopped Shawnee's Mark and Mary Mollentine from offering a prix fixe, three-course "tea luncheon" Wednesdays through Saturdays. A few months ago, the Mollentines stopped serving dinners in the 153-year-old Reeder house, former home of a Kansas territorial governor, to focus on the tea trade. Now, from 11:30 a.m. to 2 p.m., the Mollentines pour tea into English china cups and serve a meal that begins with homemade soup; continues with quiche or two different sandwiches; and concludes with a dessert table laden with miniature pots of chocolate crme brûlée, freshly baked scones, chocolate brownies and lemon tarts. No one will confuse Shawnee for Suffolk, but the Mollentines have brought a little gentility to the wild, wild West.