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!

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Thursday Tea Things And Talk, Victoria Tea Festival

Hello dear friends and welcome to Thursday Tea Things And Talk. I would love it if you would link up your tea related post at the bottom...tea parties, tea ware, teas, whatever!

I promised some highlights of last weekend's visit to Victoria, BC Canada for the 7th Annual Victoria Tea Festival. We caught the 8:20 am Coho ferry from Port Angeles, Wa, about 15 miles from our house for the 90 minute trip across the Strait of Juan de Fuca to Victoria. The Coho just emerged from it;s annual 3 week drydock, all spruced up and freshly painted.

The coho moored behind the Undersea Gardens exhibit, across the street from the Hotel Grand Pacific where we stayed. We were able to get into our room and had a quick breakfast before walking to the festival. This is 1/2 of the Canadian Breakfast we always split...each of us has 1 poached egg, roast potatoes, an English banger sausage and a piece of whole grain toast. It's the best breakfast in town in our opinion.

Then we walked 2 blocks to the tea festival, located at the Crystal Gardens, a Victorian era glass house than once contained a lush garden and a large swimming pool, the first built in Victoria, in fact in all of Vancouver Island which is just across the street behind the Fairmont Empress Hotel.

This year, one of the sponsors was Tea Time magazine, one of my favorite magazines. 

They had a booth giving away the current issue of Tea Time magazine and selling copies of their other publication. 

The booths including local tea companies and the 2 major hotels that serve afternoon tea: The Fairmont Empress:

And the Hotel Grand Pacific who were offering smoked salmon crostini:

There were tea samples everywhere and lots of varieties available for sale. Amazing amounts! I bought a package of 3 flowering tea balls from MayYip tea to send to my daughter-in-law. My favorite booth this year was hand thrown and decorated porcelain tea ware by The Clay Chimera from Kamloops. I thought it was gorgeous! The potter/sculptor was there so I was able to tell her how much I loved her ware. She was about 24. Talented:

There was a schedule of presentations during the afternoon:

They included Planning The Perfect Tea Celebration by the editor of Tea Time Magazine Lorna Reeves,
Tasty Teas for Home health
Cooking With Tea
Korean Tea Ceremony
Coffee From Field To Cup.

I really enjoyed Lorna Reeves presentation especially. She used the Tea Celebrations book as her thematic powerpoint presentation. I chatted with her after and she graciously posed for a photo.

Lorna Reeves was an excellent speaker and communicator and did a wonderful job of explaining how they set up and photographed for an issue as well as how these things could be adapted easily to a home tea party. She passed on several simple pearls of wisdom:

Don't make the centerpiece or floral focus too big. You want to be able to talk to everyone at the table.

Food is basically brown...pep it up with color...herbs and citrus zests are wonderful for that.

Never serve something at your tea party that you haven't tested before hand. Check timing and taste, see how long it can stand, etc. Dry runs encouraged.

Vary your colors, textures and tastes and even the shapes of things. 

Choose one complicated item, but keep everything else simple.

Use favors and place cards to make your guests feel welcomed and treasured.

Remember to check about allergies or foods people don't like. It's terrible to go to a lot of trouble to make things that people can't or won't eat.

Test tea prep time as well, and taste test each tea served with the food it will be served with. Her tea parties have a different tea with each course, but...

It was interesting because the ladies behind me, a group of 4 were talking before the presentation about their desire to do tea parties, but thinking they couldn't...too complicated. At the end, they were deciding what to celebrate first and one had volunteered to host a tea for St. Patricks Day.

So...there you have it. We had a visit to Murchie's Teas later which I will share at another time, but these are the heart shaped macarons they were serving for Valentine's Day:

And a Happy Valentine's Day to you! We are off to a Valentine's Tea Lunch at the Tea Room at Port Gamble. I'll be taking my camera!

And here is the linky! Have a great day and have a cuppa with someone you love!


  1. oh what a great time you must have had. Been to seattle and many times to Vancouver, but never Victoria. Do you have it there every year?? Can't wait to see more. Would love to go next year. I have had two teas and love doing them so much, that's my dream to open one. Thank you for sharing. God bless.

  2. I am so jealous, a trip to a city my husband & I honeymooned in AND all things tea. Well, I am not really jealous, but have decided my husband & I will again visit this lovely city and I will learn from your blog the important and helpful things you are sharing.

    I especially appreciate the tips on hosting a tea party.What a wonderful time you had!

  3. Lovely post! Thank you for taking us along!

  4. A wonderful experience and I also enjoyed it through your pictures and words. Thank you.

  5. Thank you for sharing this! So interesting!

  6. I just finished a mystery book where this event was the setting. As I will never travel to Canada due to their slaughter of baby seals every year, I did enjoy seeing the trip through your eyes.

  7. This looks wonderful! Perhaps I will get to it one day soon. Thanks for sharing.

  8. What a great post about the Victoria Tea Festival. It looks like a wonderful event and I enjoyed seeing all your photos.

  9. Thanks so much for sharing your trip with us it looked fantastic, loven the blue pottery, I've never seen this magazine will have to keep an eye out for it.Big thanks again..

  10. I enjoyed reading about the Victoria Tea Festival and seeing your photos. Lorna Reeves' tea-time tips were good, and Murchie's heart-shaped macarons look delicious!

  11. What a wonderful and informative post. So wonderful you could attend this and inspire us!

  12. Also the tea room was incredible - thanks for sharing that too!


Thanks for visiting and we love to hear from you! We read every comment. If my husband's health permits, I love to visit andreply. Have a wonderful day and a cuppa tea always at hand! :)


Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...