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The Pleasures of Tea

14 years ago

I'm waiting for it to warm up enough to go outside and start working in the garden. While I'm waiting, I'm reading a library book, Victoria: The Pleasures of Tea. It's full of wonderful recipes for sandwiches, scones, cookies, and tea. It also has some beautiful photos of the food, tea cups, tea rooms, etc.

So I started wondering, how many of you like tea? Does anyone have a special place for tea outside? I love tea, my favoite is Earl Grey, but I also like herbal teas and jasmine. With tea, it's fun to make sandwiches and special cucumber sandwiches, scones with rose petal jam and lavender sorbet. These recipes are just giving me more ideas of how to use favorite plants from the garden.

This year, while I'm drawing up designs for my cottage garden, I'm also planning to have a special place for tea. Just a small metal table with a few chairs, but with the roses around and the herbs nearby, it will be a place to enjoy tea and enjoy the garden...two of my favorite things :)

Comments (57)

  • 14 years ago

    Well,as long as we are talking of tea pleasures.

    Tea strainers ( I use the one on the far left - over the cup type):

    Pots and cups.

    More cups (Queen Elizabeth stands guard):

    A well stocked tea and coffee cubby. The can of Maxwell House is for company and it's only, let's see, 4yrs.old. :)

  • 14 years ago

    -schoolhouse, I had to laugh about the 'Lady Jane Grey' tea. I remeber you were very interested in the Tudors- thought you might have found a Tudor style tea! Lovely china by the way...

    I have discovered that tea just doesn't cut it for me- need my coffee!! I do like sweet iced tea in the summer, and maybe a cup or two of Earl Grey in the winter. But that is about it, lol. ;-)

    -LL, I think you said before that you were going to make a tea garden. I asked about making teas out of herbs a year or two ago and got some really interesing info. Here is the thread if you are interested: Do you make herbal teas from your plants?

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  • 14 years ago

    Schoolhouse, I love your tea cabinet, and I love that extra large strainer! How nice!!
    I love hot tea. My hubby is more a cold tea man, but this winter I've caught him drinking quite a bit of hot tea. I've mainly switched to enjoying herbal teas or blends like Earl Grey or some Celestial Seasons - or my own blend. Today I sowed lemon catnip for tea. My hubby really likes Red Clover tea too.
    I need a kettle and more tea pots. I have one child's teapot and it's not big enough when my Mom comes to visit. I also love "tea time" although we rarely have tea "time" anymore. I LOVE coffee though, and drink several cups a day even though I should not (it depeats the bones).

  • 14 years ago

    Thank you christinmk. Yes, I had the Tudors on my mind; and you make me wonder now just what tea they partook of in the castle. An interesting subject to research. After I posted the pics, I had to laugh too. Where else but on the Cottage Garden forum would I show the contents of my cupboards! dust and all!

  • 14 years ago


    This has been one of the most fun ones I've read.

    Lavenderlass, I wish I were invited to high tea when your fairy tale garden is at its peak! (rose petal jam and lavender sorbet! I'll take some lavender lemonade on a hot day. :)

    I like tea more than coffee. I like unsweetened loose-leaf green tea, Japanese green tea, Luzianne sweet iced tea, and an occasional black tea.

    However... more than teas, I prefer tisanes. My favorite one I invented and it's like a cottage garden in a cup--rose petals, jasmine flowers, lavender buds, rose geranium leaves, (all fresh, of course); with a little cinnamon and honey.

    I also recommend lemon verbena and spearmint (dried first).

    Lilacs and sweet violets also make a refreshing brew. :)

    I recommend the brand "The Republic of Tea" to those of you who don't buy from them. Yes, they can be a little pricey, but the goodness! lol I like the honeysuckle as well as the jasmine scented white tea. I also recommend their rose petal black tea. A truely magical Victorian first experience! It's what got me obsessed with floral drinks.

    Even though it's rare, some (too few) companies sell delicious lotus perfumed teas.

    Lastly, if you want a refreshment without brewing, buy all-natural rose water or orange blossom water from a middle eastern or indian grocery store. I get the brand cortas. All you do is a a spoonful to a glass of cool or room-temperature water. It will center your spirit. :)

    I wish I could be cool like all you and have a tea area in my garden! The problem is that I have WAY too many bugs where I live. (between Atlanta and Chattanooga). Besides, it would a a long hilly walk with a silver platter with fine china on it with a pot full of boiling water. lol

    BTW-- if you do get to a middle-eastern or indian grocery store to get you flower waters (which you can also get online), I do NOT recommend a drink called Rooh-Afza. It's a terrible red syrup that you add to cold water that has the weirdest herbal flavor with rosy overtones. YUCK!!!

    Oh yeah-- just for schoolhouse-- I never knew there was a Lady Grey Tea! I just looked it up and learned that its like earl grey but lighter on the perfume. If you like the perfume, you can add some lavender to your earl grey (or lady grey) :) ~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~~****~~~**~*~*~*

  • 14 years ago

    GGG, good choice with the catnip and red clover teas! I used to grow catnip in lots of pots on my bedroom window sill when I lived in Miami, and always loved the flavor. I'm gonna plant some this year. (Just hope the neighbor's cats don't kill it.) :)

    Also, last year I learned just how good lemon basil can be. Although I didn't brew it, I know it would be a good tea b/c it does not have the same scent and flavor of other basils.

    Lemon balm is good, but not as potent as the lemon verbena and lemon basil.

  • 14 years ago

    -schoolhouse, I seem to remember reading a long time ago that they did not drink tea during the Tudor period, or anything that was water-based (as the water was very unsanitary then- unfit for drinking). Ale and spirits were the beverages of choice I think, at least for the wealthy.

  • 14 years ago

    christinmk, I tend to agree with you. In fact I was thinking the very same thing awhile ago - not tea for the Tudors, beer, ale and spirits. Thanks.

    floweryearth - I have some rose water (see cubby pic, to the right, the pretty little blue bottle!), bought for a recipe one time; I will have to try your suggestion. As far as Earl Grey, I buy Twinings; but one time long ago I did buy some of The Republic of Tea brand (again,see cubby); the empty container was perfect to hold my cinnamon and sugar mix for toast.

    Lady Grey has bits of blue cornflower petals, one of the prettiest teas I've seen. Smells delightful and tastes good,too.

  • 14 years ago

    I am not a big tea drinker but I certainly have enjoyed this.
    Schoolhouse I love your collections and the wonderful outdoor areas for tea (or for me, coffee). Yes, it does make you long for warm weather doesn't it?

    I did pick up on some things I need to plant this year, catnip and lemon basil. I have lemon balm that I have been trying to get rid of for years! I wonder if purple perilla would make a tea? It is very fragrant.

  • 14 years ago

    floweryearth, do you read Poirot while sipping those tisanes? May have to give those a try!

  • 14 years ago

    Tea is an Asian beverage that didn't become popular in Europe until the British East India trading companies became established. Even then, it was extremely expensive with the 'cachet' that drinking vintage champagne and single malt whiskies have today. You'll find Georgian references to "Bohea" which was a popular brand of tea. Tea was kept in locked chests - yes, locked! - and for everyday use, tea leaves were reused up to four or five times.

    Adulteration of used tea to be resold was common, often using poisonous chemicals. When you read about what 18th and 19th century Londoners actually ingested with some of those adulterated foods and beverages, you're amazed any of them ever lived beyond the age of two! Bread, for example, for the common laborers was often heavily cut with plain chalk dust.

    This thread is inspiring me to plan to use a couple of my smaller sitting areas for 'tea time' or something similar. We have problems with yellowjackets in the summer which has discouraged us from eating meals out there. Any whiff of grilled meat or sausages and they come flying over!

    But tea and scones...hmmm, don't think they would come out for that. I love the possibilities! We like both coffee and tea. Our favorite commercial brand is Republic of Tea - my DH likes Mango Ceylon and I prefer Vanilla Almond (black tea), although we both like Earl Grey too. Sometimes we splurge on Mighty Tea's Organic Earl Grey, which comes in little silken bags and is soooooooo good!

    We're still searching for good bakeries in our area. I can get good scones - one of the local bakeries makes very nice walnut whole-wheat scones - but what my DH really loves are crumpets, toasted hot and dripping with butter, lemon curd, and whipped cream (he doesn't like Devonshire, sadly)! Of course you can't get any more unhealthy food than that, so maybe a nice blueberry-lemon coffeecake might take his mind off those buttery crumpets?

    These photos of our seating areas are several years old, so this thread may impell me to update some of my photo records, too, LOL. These two areas are right next to one another. The shed is shaded all year long, the patio outside it gets shade in the hottest part of the late afternoon by the house itself.


    and outside - I know these photos are older because the plants are all grown up to block the neighbor's balcony!

  • 14 years ago

    jkom - you're making me hungry! I may have to create a new area to partake, surrounded by blooms like yours. Nice.

  • 14 years ago

    Floweryearth, we also grow many other tea plants. I make home brewed Earl Grey whenever I have enough Bee Balm (and this year, I'm hoping too!!!) Rose hips - which have taken experimentation to get big ones growing here in the South, but I found several types that fit the bill. Rose petals - delicious made into a syrup with honey to sweeten the tea as is lemon grass. Lemon Balm I prefer cold in black tea as it has a nasty color when brewed and strong cold back tea hides the color (the only black tea we drink here is Tetley's British Blend unless my friend brings me something back from England) when he goes). We have many other tea flowers and herbs. I make Tisanes and then add these to a cooled tea for my hubby as that is more familiar flavor for him, and he still gets the goodness of both tannins in the tea and the herb properly brewed. I do not like mint teas, however, there is a catmint called Nepetila which is an herb commonly used in Italy for mushrooms. It makes the most amazing tea and covers up the nasty herb flavors of some herbal medicinal teas. I bought the seeds from Richters several years ago after speaking to the owner in the store about what my goals were. It was a wonderful suggestion and I grow many plants now every year for local herbalists and herb lovers as you never see this simple to grow plant for sale. It's so pretty. And cats HATE the minty smell :)

  • 14 years ago

    It's such a romantic idea to have a place in the garden to drink tea and I hope you will show us pics of yours when it's done LL! I have two places outdoors, a patio and a deck, where I could drink tea but seldom do. Either have coffee in the morning there or another beverage later in the day after the gardening day is over and the sun is over the yardarm! ;-) I have similar visions of a place for tea in my 'hidden shade garden' which so far has not reached reality but may. After a lot of work this summer it could be reality if I make it a priority.

    I have never known a time when I didn't drink tea because in my family children are given both tea and coffee at an early age. My DGF gave us silver tea which we called Grandpa tea. Either hot water or diluted tea with milk and sugar and we loved it partly because he made it for us and because we felt so grown up.

    I now drink coffee in the am as I'm not an early-bird and sometimes need to be. However tea is the drink of choice the rest of the day. Hot in the winter and either hot or iced in the summer. At the moment my favs are Chai and Earl Grey altho I occasionally try different ones. Can't tolerate chamomile or hibiscus which are in many blends. I've grown a few herbs to use for tea - mint, lemon balm, lemon thyme, lavender, anise-hyssop, at various times.

    When we lunch out I usually have Earl Grey tea altho hate those tiny metal teapots some restaurants use. Love when they have a proper good size white ceramic one. Sometimes when we travel we have tea or lunch in an antique shop with tearoom attached. DH doesn't mind but has coffee and I get to try a different tea and enjoy it in a bone china cup while ogling the surrounding antiques. I occasionally use one of my many china cups/saucers at home as well but have fallen into the habit of using my fav Denby pottery mug most of the time as it holds more. Seems so elegant and decadent to use a silver tray with doily and bone china cup and saucer but I only occasionally do so.

    Schoolhouse, love your tea cupboard! Tea really does taste better in nice cups.

    This is a larger teacup which I believe is for breakfast.


    This for afternoon tea with the ladies! ;-)


    Fun thread!

  • 14 years ago

    Cyn, you know -- I had never heard of the lit. you mentioned, so I just googled it. I think that is funny, because my grandmother is a huge Agatha Christie fan. :)

    As for me, I can never get enough gardening books. I just bought a small library of cottage garden books on Amazon last Wednesday!

    Schoolhouse, it made me smile when you said that you have rose water and republic of tea in your collection, so I went back to the pix and played where's Waldo until I saw them. :)

    Girlgroupgirl, I have also heard about making earl grey tea from bee balm. The thing was that when I got it, it smelled more like a sweet oregano to me than bergamot lol. But you know, I have come across a cultivar of Monarda that is supposed to be rose scented. Never smelled it in person, but have seen it online.

    jkom, speaking of lemon curd... I just tried that stuff last summer and its sublime. :)

  • 14 years ago

    Glad to see I'm not the only one who likes Catmint tea! Years ago, I had an awesome neighbor who gave me a chunk of her unknown-variety catmint. It was a very pretty little plant, the same leaf/flower combination as English lavender or Russian sage, and more floriferous than either. It made a delicious tisane, quite unlike catnip, which I find skunky. I couldn't get my friends to taste it, though. They would always look suspiciously at the brew, and insist on knowing what it was before they would try a sip. Then, once I told them, they would politely decline.

    I was a renter then, and I'm a renter now. I've moved several times and left the catmint behind. I'm just starting to garden outdoors again, after five years in apartments where I didn't have permission to. Now I have a nonexistent yard, but a sunny porch for containers and a landlord that lets me have them. Do any of you know the name of the Italian catmint variety? I'd love to try it.

  • 14 years ago

    Be careful luckygal, I'll come steal those cups!

  • 14 years ago

    I too have enjoyed reading this thread! I love tea though I do drink coffee in the morning as tea just isn't enough 'get up and go' for me. lol When I was growing up we used to have Sunday dinners all the time at my grandmother's house and after dinner and when they were all done washing the dishes the adults would all sit around with their tea, eat cookies and talk. For whatever reason my mom didn't think was old enough for tea and so I remember how I couldn't wait to be old enough to join them. So I remember how happy I was to finally be able to join them for tea and oh how I enjoyed it. We are all still big tea drinkers and though I have moved away I still enjoy my afternoon tea.

    For my daughters 9th birthday I had a beautiful tea party for her. I made beautiful big hats like you see girls where back then with pretty lace and flowers and ribbon. Everyone got all dressed up pretty and even my son who was 2 years younger put on a little suit. I bought a beautiful rose tea set and made scones and bought all the fixens from World Market and had tea sandwiches ect. It was such a lovely party and one of my daughters favorites!

    I would love to create a place outside but right now I don't have enough shade and with our southern temps and blazing sun in the summer it is just too hot. Though spring would be very nice! Hmmm

  • 14 years ago

    As a matter of fact I am drinking tea now! It's so funny this morning, I turn on my computer in my office at work, heat up the water for my tea, set the tea bag in my cup to steep then start to sip and I see this thread! I have tea every morning in my office. I do love coffee, but I only allow myself it on the weekends. I really splurge too because my husband makes whipped cream fresh. My body is sensitive to caffiene due to Premature Ventricular Contractions in my heart that overreact. So the tea gives me just enough caffiene to help wake me up, but not bother me. As of late my tea of choice has been Black Chai english style (with milk). It's soothing on these winter days. I usually only drink Yogi tea an organic brand.

    I always have on hand a honey/lemon tea when I get sick. I have a raspberry leaf tea (yuck) for women troubles. I also have a Green Tea that contains Ginseng, it's really yummy.

    I've been drinking tea for some years now, but I think it was my cousin who really got me into it. She lives in Oregon near an organic herb farm, so she has all loose tea for every ailment. Now I could not live without it. I look forward to it every morning. I enjoy it in a darling gardening cup that has a bucket of tulips, trowel and fork, wheelbarrow full of flowers, sunflowers in red pot, and watering can with yellow daisies. Then on the top it reads: "Nature gives us the variety we crave."

    I'm with floweryearth when it comes to drinking tea outside in my garden. I did at my last house on a swing on my porch all the time and I loved it. Now I have a sun room in my house and I hope to enjoy many cups of tea in it, away from the skeeters!

  • 14 years ago

    Meghan, that little party you had sounds too cute to be real! The little brother put on a suit for his big sister's tea party... Cute

    Darstar, I like the way your cup sounds. My mother and grandparents occasionally give me English tea cups (that are shaped like little bone china mugs) that have pictures like what you described. My favorite one has European honeysuckle, wild roses, sweet violets, blue cranesbill geraniums, black berries, and what look like ripening cranberries. :)

  • 14 years ago

    So many great pictures of tea cups and wonderful garden spaces in which to drink tea! Also, some great links for tea information. I'm so glad I'm not alone in my love for tea :)

    CMK- Thanks for the herbal tea link. I'm thinking of growing a lot more herbs than I originally planned. Most are safe for the kitties, horses and visiting children and I seem to be moving more towards edible gardening...with lots of roses!

    Floweryearth- You are invited to tea in the fairy garden anytime...and we will make rose petal jam, lavender sorbet and lavender lemonade (LOL) Seriously, I wish I could sit and have tea with all of would be so much fun! I think I'd need to get my arbor with the BIG table and chairs done for that get together :)

    Luckygal- I'm going to take some "before" photos in the next week or two and try to figure out how to post them. At least you can see the farm and the horses...and the beginnings of the garden.

    Meghan- How fun to have a tea party with fancy hats and the kids all dressed up. It sounds like so much fun. I have to admit, I wouldn't mind wearing a fancy hat to tea, myself!

    The nicest place I've ever had tea was at the Empress Hotel in Victoria BC. My mom has always loved tea, so we went there years ago and had so much fun. There was so much food and such beautiful desserts. I think that's when I began collecting tea accessories and recipes...I don't think one can ever have enough recipes for tea sandwiches, cookies, cakes and other desserts. Chocolate is so good, but I think some of the fruit desserts are my favorites...oh, and little shortbread cookies with frosting. I use the recipe from the BHG cookbook (but tint the frosting different pastel colors) and they're wonderful!

  • 14 years ago

    What a wonderful thread! I just brewed a pot of Irish Breakfast and sat down to read this thread. I have several teas that I keep on hand year round, my favorite is from Ahmad Tea Company and is called English Afternoon, very heavy on the bergamot and very aromatic. I am also a fan of Scottish Breakfast. Always have green tea available as well as good old Tetley. Baltimore Tea and Coffee Company has a great website for an amazing selection of teas and coffees. When there isn't several feet of snow outside, DH and I sit out on our deck and drink hot tea in the morning and iced tea in the afternoons and evenings when the weather warms up. I also have an extensive collection of tea pots, mostly made by Stangl that I like to serve from on the weekends. I really enjoyed this thread, now I have to try and find a scone to have with my cup of tea.


  • 14 years ago

    My early teacups are Royal Albert, I used to buy a new one every payday in my younger days. Lately, the Royal Albert I find isn't as nice I don't think, in fact the shop I used to buy them doesn't even carry Royal Albert anymore. One of my favorite pots is the white one on the middle shelf of the cupboard (in second photo above), it has a ceramic infuser that sits right down in with the lid on and can be lifted out. No chain,ect.

    Some "cottage ware":

    A favorite, but used very seldom since it's purchase many years ago from a catalog. Stamped "Made in England" "Cottage Ware" on the bottom.

    A favorite tea cup that DOES get used all the time,you can tell by the stubborn stains, due to "improper washing of the tea things". Ha, I remember this from the wonderful series All Creatures Great and Small when James and Helen, before they were married, washing up tea cups together after a social at the grange hall(?). Helen mentioned they shouldn't let the tea cups sit too long without washing. Something I'm very guilty of. (Sorry for blurry pic!)

    A delightful potpourri pot I bought from Lillian Vernon many many moons ago.

    Not exactly cottage ware but my breakfast set, reserved for special mornings in the garden when "it just feels right".
    I had one once before that was a blue and white pattern,but one by one the pieces broke and my heart,too. So when I saw this in an antique shop several years ago I bought it, it's not old tho.

  • 14 years ago

    I know, I'm getting carried away, hope you don't mind!

    Better photo of teacup:

  • 14 years ago

    Funny you should mention this - I've been hoping to plan a garden tea party for our Daisy Girl Scout troop this summer, and have been wrestling with how to do it. They are a pretty active bunch, so I can't really picture them sedately sipping tea for very long, lol, even if they all dressed up in pretty sundresses. Dd does like to play tea party with me sometimes - she has both a fancy miniature porcelain set and a really cute fabric set, but I'm not sure the logistics on tea for 22 girls!

    Myself, I drink coffee in the mornings as a rule, but sometimes I drink Earl Grey or English Breakfast (esp if I am feeling under the weather). I also love herbal tea on winter afternoons - mostly Celestial Seasonings stuff like Raspberry Zinger. I do have some proper teacups, but never actually use them, I have to admit.

  • 14 years ago

    Irene- How old are the girls? Dressing up and drinking tea (or juice) and having the little sandwiches and treats will keep them busy for a little while.

    If you want to do some activities, there are a lot of great ideas on the internet under theme parties. You can make something as a craft, or break the girls into a few groups and do something as simple as "pin the rose on the stem" or something like that...obviously a Pin the Tail on the Donkey type of game. If they're older, maybe listing how many flowers or teas start with a certain letter, or take kinds of teas and guess what they are by the look and fragrance. The first type is for younger kids, more like a birthday party, but the second is for older kids, more like bridal shower games.

    When I was looking for ideas for the fairy garden, it was difficult to find garden ideas, but there are all kinds of ideas for fairy theme parties. I don't see why you couldn't change them into tea party ideas :)

  • 14 years ago

    I'm glad I stopped in to this thread again and really glad you got 'carried away' Schoolhouse! Love to see your beautiful tea things. Your cup/saucer and breakfast set are really lovely. I don't have CottageWare but do like it. I buy bone china teacups/saucers whenever I find them for $1 or $2 at yard sales, just to rescue them! I think so few value them. I really don't need more as have dozens packed away that were my shower gifts or from DH's DM and DGM as well as my DM. Just wish I could think of a way to display them all. I have occasionally used them for ladies' group meetings.

  • 14 years ago

    Schoolhouse- I've enjoyed ALL your photos! I hope you post more :)

    I love looking at everyones pictures, especially the tea cups, and all the wonderful garden spaces. Is that white shrub in your second photo spirea? It's so pretty.

  • 14 years ago

    I know this is a little off topic (I'm sorry), but ever since I started gardenweb a bunch of years ago, I have wondered if the "D" in DH means dear. Please enlighten me.

    LL, sorry for interrupting the tea talk. However, I raise my teacup to you for being the hostess of such a fun tea discussion party! :)

    Neverenoughflowers, You are so right about Ahmad tea. I had some a long time ago and remember it very fondly. I think I'll be looking for a online seller in a little while.

    Schoolhouse, you have a very charming collection of teaware.

  • 14 years ago

    Well I enjoy the Chinese teas - because I'm asian. I enjoy tea right after a good meal because it is said tea is good for your digestives. I prefer Japanese green teas, jasmine and a regular chinese black tea. I also like bubble teas.. I know - this is unusual. There are many forms. I love lychee lush tea with tapioca balls. Yes - quite unusual but this stuff is all over Toronto. Also there are the Taiwanese tea snacks that go with your drinks. I also like ginger tea with honey which is great for a cold or for an upset tummy.

    I've never tried CHAI but I understand it's delicious.

  • 14 years ago

    ianna, I've been drinking bubble tea since before it had an English name! There was this great cafeteria type place on Spadina just south of College, upstairs, in the late 70's-mid 80's. The food was fabulous and they had a small area where they served tapioca style desserts and bubble teas. Mmmm, good!

  • 14 years ago

    GGG - if you are ever in Toronto again, you must try the Ten Ren Tea shops or there's Bubble Teas.

    Mind you bubble tea was an invented drink by the Taiwanese. Before that (and still continuing), we Asians had many forms of drinks using tapioca balls. It was just the addition of tea to this beverage which made it very unique. Ten Ren Tea Shops are all over, one on Dundas & near Spadina.

  • 14 years ago

    I collect old postcards and photographs,too. Here is an old stereotype(?); they are put into special viewers - thus the double image. I've never found another tea scene in postcard or photograph except this one. (I'm assuming it's afternoon tea) I keep it on the teapot shelf of the cupboard.


  • 14 years ago

    One of my favorites. Not exactly tea, but a wonderful picnic scene. Hurry Spring and sunny days of Summer, please! How sad most old photos are never labeled, not even with a date. Was this a birthday? a school graduation? or church picnic? only her mischievous smile is here.


  • 14 years ago

    LL - I actually googled tea party ideas after I finished posting, lol. These girls will be going into 1st grade in the fall, so still fairly young. After looking at some of the ideas, I may do a few alternate drinks, like lemonade, since I doubt many would drink actual tea. ;) We may also combine it with some camping theme stuff, like setting up the big tent and doing a campfire in the fire pit with smores.

    Floweryearth - Traditionally, the d in dh (or dw, ds, dd) is for dear. However, it can stand for other words if the person in question is being particularly annoying. ;)

  • 14 years ago


    Why not do it as a Mad Hatters tea party theme? Ala Alice in Wonderland. Lawn croquet anyone? or how about a treasure hunt as well? (Since Alice was always searching for a way back).


  • 14 years ago

    Oh, I think the Alice in Wonderland tea is the perfect idea! with the croquet and a treasure hunt.

  • 14 years ago

    Ah tea-time, one of my favorite pastimes!:)

    I've enjoyed reading this thread, catching up and seeing all the lovely tea time photos.

    XXXXX Becky

    Here are a few photos of teas I've made recently, some using herbs from my garden...









  • 14 years ago

    Tea and cookies, anyone? Here are a few pics of the cookies that I baked and shared with my granddaughters for our Valentine's Day Tea!





  • 14 years ago

    And,here are some dainty & elegant tea-time sandwiches that I made last summer for an Anne of Green Gables Tea! Delectable little sammies, with an accent of freshly picked mint from my garden!!



  • 14 years ago

    beckr, you put a big grin on my face! and all I have to say is, "YUM!" to the tea,cookies and little egg salad sandwiches. Oh, how wonderful. You definitely have the touch.

    An Ann of Green Gables tea, it sounds - I have to use the word, "wonderful" again. The second pic, "How to make the perfect cup or pot of tea" is my favorite. Could be on the cover of a book or magazine. The china is beautiful. Thanks for posting all the photos.

    I've always loved the ritual of setting the tea tray. One time I put a bib on the spout of my teapot, and my then SO laughed and laughed at the sight. Then he realized it caught the drips and he was impressed! I have another friend who is very uncomfortable about using a fancy teacup and has been known to declare "Give me a mug". And this is my best girlfriend, not a guy. ha.

  • 14 years ago

    hehehe thanks Irene :)

    becr, gorgeous pix

    I have found myself drinking A LOT MORE tea since the start of this thread! I'm going to go have some gunpowder green right now. Yesterday I had the best-ever sugar plum spice with cream and agave.

    You all are fun

    My white and blue cabbage rose tea pot awaits...


  • 14 years ago

    Just came back from a foodie trip in Monterey/Carmel CA for three days. Just before we left, we had a fun lunch at the Culinary Academy of Monterey, on Cannery Row. They were doing "soup day" with 11 different soups and a basket of bread, 'bottomless bowl' (you could have as many/as often as you wanted) for a mere $10/person.

    They have a lovely outdoor patio overlooking the Bay. The day was sunny but the wind was cold, so I asked for hot tea instead of my usual iced tea. They brought the usual basket of pre-bagged teas, and there was one I had never seen before. The brand was Ambiance, and it was an Orange Jasmine Green Tea. I don't usually care for green teas, but this was very strongly flavored with orange and very nice! My DH who does like all kinds of tea, also liked it.

    If you ever run across it I recommend trying it. It reminded me of a variant on the old standby Constant Comment tea.

  • 14 years ago

    schoolhouse - a tip for teapot purchasers. Never buy a teapot until you have tried it out. Ask the shop assistant to fill it with water for you and show you it doesn't drip. If they refuse don't give them your custom! Dribbling teapots are a pain.

    Also no sign on this thread yet of tea cosies... they can cause much hilarity to foreign guests. As a child my husband occasionally had to resort to the tea cosy when his winter woolly hat went missing.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Tea cosies

  • 14 years ago

    But fora, those little tea spout bibs are SO cute. :) Thanks for the advice, some of the prettiest pots are not very practical.

    Yes, I use cosies usually when I make tea for one in a large pot; and sometimes when I carry a tray outside. I have one my grandmother gave me years ago (modern) and a small vintage one that barely fits any of my pots but I like its quaintness. But I have never seen such a variety of cosies as on the site you posted! I love it. I'm going to browse right now. Thanks for sharing.

  • 14 years ago

    I want the cottage shaped tea cosie and the one with the bird on page 3, and the sheep on page 4! Ooo, they look expensive, I never knew they would be. I'll have to choose only one for right now.

    This thread has been so much fun for me. I get to talk tea and fancies with people at last! Here are my ordinary looking cosies. The little vintage one on the left, the modern on the right. Both are very heavily insulated,too.

  • 14 years ago

    Thank you for all the wonderful responses!

    I'm drinking tea right now (Earl Grey, of course) and it's so much fun to know so many of you share my love of tea and of gardening :)

  • 14 years ago

    Strangely enough we don't seem to have tea pot 'bibs' at all here. I've never heard of them before. And yes, those tea cosies are pretty pricey, being hand-made, but I should think a half-way competent knitter or sewer could copy them without too much trouble.

    I am also drinking tea - my after work cuppa - sorry, it's a bag in a mug but it IS Fair Trade.

  • 14 years ago

    MaryJean Teapot Drip Catcher: "Place on the Tea Pot Spout to catch drips before they fall on either Guests or Fine Linens' says MaryJean.

    One of my pots dressed for a photo:

  • 14 years ago

    flora, coincidentally I found this link to a pattern on a site after browsing yours and sent it to my sister-in-law. She knits and crochets. I told her I'd buy the materials and pay her labor!

    Here is a link that might be useful: tea cosy pattern

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