A Message from Ruth at Antiques And Teacups

Welcome to the blog of Antiques And Teacups! Let's share a cup of tea and talk about the things we love...like teacups, antiques, collectibles, visiting England, antiquing and learning about victoriana and quirky gadgets. Fun!

Friday, July 29, 2011

Pink Saturday, Victorian Souvenir Jug, Pinks, Chocolate Orange Scones

It's time to enjoy an orgy of pink goodies for Pink Saturday with How Sweet The Sound.

Being in a lavender area, these are the only pinks in my garden since the rhododendrons and azaleas have quit. I have lots of lavender, but just these pink flowers which are indeed "Pinks" and are a type of carnations with a lovely, spicy scent. I love them with their velvety petals and gorgeous scent.

This is what I found that was pink this week. This is a Victorian souvenir jug from the 1980s. The jug or pitcher was made in Germany to be sold in the north Yorkshire, England seaside town of Scarborough. Remember the Simon & Garfunkel line from Parsely, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme.../Are You going to Scarborough fair....? Well, this was made to be taken back to someone as a present. Sorta like the current "My parents (grandparents, friends...) went to ....(Paris, London, Disneyland, whatever) And all I got was this lousy T shirt!"

I love the hand colored over transfer design with a luster finish. And the antique calligraphy is so cool!

For more info about the Victorian Scarborough souvenir jug at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

At the Lavender Festival last week I bought some scone mixes from a vendor at a street market. The scone mixes are from Papa Ray's Marketplace in Spokane, WA. Yesterday we tried our first of 5 packets...buy 4 get one free! The kind we tried was teh Orange Dark Chocolate Scone mix. The woman was German and said the scones would be slightly moister than traditional English scones so I was looking forward to trying them.

I had to cut in 2 tbs of butter & add a small amount of orange juice and sour cream. I had low fat on hand. The dough was sticky, so I added a bit of flour.  I formed it into a 9 inch round, scored it and baked it. The smell was wonderful! We removed them, cooled them for 15 minutes, cut them and had one with our afternoon cup of tea. Absolutely divine! They used really good quality dark chocolate chips. Scrumptious!

So...if you are looking to try something different, click on their name above and visit their website. I also got Chocolate Hazelnut and...don't remember what else. They had other mixes as well like pancake and waffle mixes, biscuits...lots of good looking stuff. Too bad we had just finished our afternoon tea at the lavender festival because they were giving out warm samples of everything!

Well, have a wonderful time visiting all the Pink Saturday participants. We are actually having summer here which is so exciting!

A Day For Weddings Zara's Wedding, Anniversary Of Charles And Diana's Wedding

On July 29th, 1981 Prince Charles and Princess Diana were wed at St. Paul's Cathedral in London.  Their son Prince William married his Catherine on April 29, 2011.

And tomorrow, July 30, 2011 Zara Phillips, thirteenth in line to the throne, will marry footballer Mike Tindall.

photo Scottish Hello! online magazine

Zara, here shown at William and Kate's wedding, with her husband-to-be Mike, is the daughter of the Princess Royal Princess Anne and Mark Phillips.

The wedding will be quite different than William and Kate's. The couple will be wed privately at  at the Canongate Kirk on Edinburgh's Royal Mile with most of the royals in attendance. 

The Queen is at Balmoral and will attend the wedding but will miss tonight's party for the couple and 150 guests on the Britannia which used to be the Royal Yacht. Queen Elizabeth II shed tears when she was decommissioned as she had spent so much time on it and felt it to be her haven.

There is a definite informality to the couple. Below are their official engagement photo  followed by William and Kate's.

For more visit: http://news.sky.com/home/uk-news/article/16039925

Thursday, July 28, 2011

Blue Willow Teacup, Earl Grey Tea Cookies

The story behind Blue Willow... always interesting!

I am sharing a perennial favorite today...a version of the Blue Willow pattern by Woods & Sons, England in the line called Woods Ware in ironstone. The Woods are part of a famous potting family from Staffordshire, England with a long history back to 1865.

The history of the pattern, Blue Willow and all it's variations goes much farther back...actually the 1770s.  Blue Willow comes from a Chinese legend of 2 lovers, forbidden to marry who elope and are chased by the emperor. At the end, the boy is killed defending his fiance and the girl commits suicide. Sigh...not too cheerful.  There are some elements that usually turn up are the bridge they crossed to elude pursuers...often with the lovers or with 3 people being variously the lovers and a helper or the lovers and the emperor, a house they took refuge in and always includes 2 birds, doves flying together representing the 2 lovers which has become a symbol of undying love.

This is a Royal Grafton, England version from the 1940s in bone china.

And this, a very thin porcelain version from Occupied Japan which dates it from 1945-1954.

Willow has always been popular and therefore was frequently made by various potters. Because of it's long life as a pattern and relative abundance of pieces, it is often overlooked as an important part of pottery design.  It is fun to compare the elements of the design. For more info on Willow design teacups at Antiques And Teacups, just click on the photos.

Our PBS station, KCTS9 in Seattle is hosting some of the cast of Downton Abbey in August to drum up interest for series 2. The actors attending will be those that played Lady Mary, Cora, Countess Grantham and Matthew. As part of the promotion, they cooked up an Earl Greay Tea Cookie that was posted in our program guide.

Earl Grey Tea Cookies
Program: KCTS 9 Cooks
Presented by: Paula Nemzek, KCTS 9 Cooks
Cook's Note: Try these delectable slice-and-bake cookies with your own favorite blend of tea. Delicious! We created these sophisticated cookies in honor of our August 2 event with Downton Abbey Cast members. We think Cora, Countess of Grantham, would approve!
makes 18 to 24 cookies
  • 3/4 cup confectioners’ sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 cup (2 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 2 tablespoons loose Earl Grey tea leaves, crushed, or 1 1/2 tablespoons from tea bags (about 5 bags)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
In a large bowl, cream together butter, confectioners’ sugar and vanilla. In a separate bowl, blend flour, tea and salt. Add half of flour mixture to butter mixture and stir together. Add remaining flour mixture and mix together until just combined.
Place dough on a sheet of plastic wrap. Roll into a firm log about 2 1/2 inches in diameter. Seal with plastic, twisting both ends tightly, and refrigerate at least 30 minutes.
Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Line 2 cookie sheets with parchment.
Slice the cookies into 1/3-inch thick rounds and place on the parchment at least 2 inches apart. Bake about 14 minutes, until the edges begin to brown. Let cool on sheets for 5 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to cool. These are best served freshly baked.
The comments by the chef also said that they pack a buzz so use decaf if that would be a problem. Several of my friends have made them experimenting with other blends of tea including matcha & licorice spice and basically say any tea is great.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Teacup Tuesday, Colclough Cornflowers Teacup, Tea Tin Bull Ring Birmingham, Bird Napkin Rings

Welcome to Teacup Tuesday with these great Tea Time Blogs. I love visiting them on Tuesday!

Teacup Tuesday

                                                    Pamela for Teapot and Tea Things Tuesday

I am sharing another blue and white teacup today...can you tell I love blue and white? I have since I was a baby. Anyway, this is a pretty shape with a great design of cornflowers that I love. The teacup was made in the early 1950s by Colclough, England and I just love it!

Colclough began life in the Potteries around Stoke-on-Trent as Stanley, became Colclough in 1918 and then in 1955 became Ridgway Potteries.

And here is a blue and white vintage tablecloth for the tea table. The tea cloth is an English hand made from the 1930s and features embroidery and faggoting. I love old linens. The tablecloth measures 34 inches square so was made card or tea table size.

And for the cloth napkins sure to be used at tea, here is a set of the cutest bone china napkin rings with birds I brought back from England in the 1980s.

And as we are speaking about England, here is a toffee tin to use as a tea tin that is really fun. The design is an Edwardian view of a place in England close to where my husband was born and only a few streets away from where he served his 6 year apprentice ship from age 15 as a diamond setter in the jewellry district of Birmingham, England.  The tin depicts the Bull Ring market area, which actually started life as a bull ring or livestock market in midieval times and was the retail center of the town. The tin is made for and advertises Blue Bird Toffee from nearby Worcester.

To give you an idea how the area has changed, this next photo is the church, St. Martins-in-the-field...it was built when it WAS in a field by the market...taken a few years ago at Christmas. While the church remains the same, notice the strange silver building behind it. That's the remodeled Selfridge's Department store...the Birmingham equivalent of Harrod's in London. Were...to use the British expression...gob smacked when we saw what they had done with it when we saw it during the Bull Ring re-opening after a major area renovation. See it again in the photo below. Well, all I can say is it's memorable.

So much for progress.  Have a fun time visiting all the Teacup Tuesday blogs. If you want more info on the teacup, tablecloth, tin or napkin rings at Antiques And Teacups, just click on the photos.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Finally! Sequim Lavender Farm Fair Afternoon Tea At George Washington Inn B&B

Well I am finally going to get my post done of  last Saturday's afternoon tea at the George Washington Inn B&B which was part of the Sequim Lavender Farm Fair

This first photo is courtesy of the George Washington Inn, all the rest were taken by me.

As I reported earlier in the week, the weather had been typical for this La Nina year. This Lavender Festival was the first time it has rained on the proceedings in 15 years. And Friday from 3 pm and through most of the night it poured!  Usually if we have anything this time of year it's sort of a misty rain.  We wondered about our farm tour, but there was some sun attempting a come back and we headed on our tour. At the George Washington Inn, which lies right on the coast of the Strait Of Juan de Fuca, fog prevailed. You can acyually look out behind the house, and the sun porch where we tea was planned and see Victoria, BC Canada across the Strait. No shuch luck on Saturday. We were sad for the folks who didn't even know the coast, beach or Victoria were even there!

This was the view of the barn which houses the coffee shop, gift shop and plant nursery through the fog.

Approaching the Inn up the curved drive. The house is an exact replica outside of George Washington's Mount Vernon, although the inside is more open and modern.  Above the door was a bunting flag and a plaque put there by the owners: 
The George Washington Inn
Dedicated to The Glory Of God And The Faith of George Washington
February 16, 2008

Here are the tables set for the tea before we entered. There were several seatings, we were at the 12:30 pm, 2nd seating. The location is along the entire of the back of the house in an enclosed sun porch overlooking the coast and the Strait....which you couldn't see!

The china was patterned with purple and white, the flowers were lavender and calla lilies and there was a card with info about the Inn, the menu and a recipe for Washington Lavender Tea Biscuits and a packet of culinary lavender to make them.

The first course 

English Lavender Raspberry Black tea

Black Forest Ham & Lavender Cheddar Scones
Dried Cherry & Orange Biscuits
Fresh Lavender Tea Biscuits
Apricot Butter
Honey Lemon Butter
Raspberry Lavender Butter

The Second Course

Petite Spinach & Swiss Quiche
Smoked Salmon Mousse Filled Cucumber Cups
Lavender Cream Cheese Turkey Finger Sandwiches

The Third Course

Chocolate Dipped Strawberries
Assorted Petit Fours
Raspberry/Lemon Lavender Cheesecake

The catering for the tea was done by a local caterer, Cameron's Custom Catering in Sequim and was very nicely done. My Honey felt there should have been another sandwich added, but.... I spoke to the owners of the Inn Dan & Janet and we discovered we had mutual friends, which was fun. The tea for the Festival was a one off, but it has caused them to consider adding a monthly afternoon tea. There aren't too many places in our area for tea, so we would certainly welcome that.

Altogether a lovely time in a lovely location...if only the fog had lifted. But...not to worry, we are going back to just check the Inn out and visit soon.


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