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!

Sunday, July 26, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, 1930s Tea, Royal Albert History, Eccles Cakes

Hi and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! Well, the heat has passed for the moment and we are back to normal tems in the 60s and 70s with occasional rain...what a relief!  

I thought I'd have a simple tea in the sunroom today, with a sort of 1930s theme....and I am starting with a favorite tea quote....

I had found this lovely 1930s hand colored and enameled on grey transfer tea cup a few weeks ago...love at first sight! So planned this tea around it...

As usual, I am using my sunroom tea table and a family embroidered tea table cloth. The jar is an oh-so-1930s art deco ceramic flower vase with flower frog in the top, that I dearly love...from family as well, and made by New Hall Pottery. 

You will notice...no flowers! I have had emails asking why I don't add in flowers to my teas and the answer is...I am allergic to most of them, and can't have them in the house. I have one Hoya Carnos plant...with plenty of charcoal on the top of the soil because I am allergic to molds, and one African Violet. When we have been given flowers by friends, they immediately go to the neighbors and are hopefully stopped at the front door! But I do love flowers! Sigh...

Isn't this Royal Albert Crown China, England tea cup a beauty? If you have followed my blog, you know I have a soft spot for these hand colored on transfer beauties...each is different, because of the artist's input on the design. This has raised red enamel added to the design.  

Royal Albert Crown China dropped the Crown from the name in 1935, and there was supposedly a reason...rumour has it that there was a row over a china design with a royal personage that ended with their retaining the Royal because of royal patronage, but dropped the Crown from the name. Royal Albert was a trade name used by Thomas Wild & Sons, Co which started in 1896. They were acquired by the Pearson Group in the 1960s, Royal Doulton group in 1972, sliced and diced again in 1992 in to the WWRD...or Wedgwood, Waterford, Royal Doulton group LTD, and ceased manufacturing in the UK in 2002 and considered defunct by pottery enthusiasts. 

HOWEVER Royal Albert still manufacturers it's wares...with lesser quality, in Indonesia and Thailland . And, WWRD ltd...you remember... Wedgwood, Waterford, Royal Doulton group LTD...was acquired by Fiskars of Finland a bit earlier this month....the scissors makers? really? Fiskars is positioning itself to be a major table top designs firm to diversify from cutlery...hopefully they will bring manufacturing back to the UK or Finland perhaps...I am waiting to see what happens...

Back to my tea! I used a Wedgwood, England plate in the molded cream ware or Queens ware shape called Patrician in the Bognor pattern from the 194os. Wedgwood is now owned by Fiskars as part of the WWRD purchase mentioned above, but has still had some manufacturing done in the UK during the years, mostly presentation pieces and specialty items...and the new Wedgwood Museum and Visitor's Center in Barlaston...a district of Stoke-on-Trent opened last week.....for more on that, see the link below at the end of the post.

For tea it was filled with cookies!

I didn't have time this week to bake, but I decided to try the local Seattle Shortbread Company's cut gluten free cookies...

They are quite good, and I thought their flower, ladybug and butterfly designs very cute...and organic too!

Lastly...the tea! I always have this on hand...a favorite! Tazo Organic Darjeeling. Darjeeling is my favorite black tea, so It's always gotta be in the tea cupboard!  I thought you might be interested in these great traditional cookies called Eccles Cakes that I dearly love, and are difficult to find in the USA. I mail order some from England, and occasionally find them at a British food store.  They are named for Eccles near Manchester, and are sometimes locally called Squashed Fly cakes...teehee...and have been in English cookery books in one form or another since the 18th century...I think I have 6 versions in mine. But this recipe comes from ChristinaCucina blog, and for a visual tutorial, check the link at the end of the recipe. They are delicious!

Eccles Cakes


puff pastry or flaky pastry 
1 tbsp good quality butter
1/4 cup brown sugar
1/2 cup  currants
zest of an organic orange, which has been washed
1/8 tsp grated nutmeg
2 pinches of allspice
1 egg white, beaten
sugar, for sprinkling on top of cakes
Preheat oven to 400°F 
Place the butter in a small saucepan over low heat until just melted, then remove from heat and add the rest of the filling ingredients, stir to combine and set aside to cool. Roll out the dough to a rectangle measuring about 6″ x 15″ (16cm x 40cm), cut lengthwise in half, then cut into 10 equal sized pieces.

Place a spoonful of filling onto the center of each square, using all of it evenly between the 10 pieces, then wet the edges of one of the squares, using your finger. Now, hold the pastry in one hand and close the edges together to seal the filling inside, forming it into a round shape when finished. Place the pastry on a lined baking sheet, with the pinched side down and press down slightly.

Repeat with the remaining 9 pastries, then make three slits on top with a very sharp knife or razor blade, brush with the beaten egg white and sprinkle with sugar. 

Pop into the preheated oven, on a lower shelf for 10 minutes. After 10 minutes, place the tray in the middle of the oven for a further 5 to 7 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from tray and place on cooling rack.

So there you have Tuesday Cuppa Tea for this week! For the BBC link to the opening of the Wedgwood Center click HERE

And it's Christmas In July for Antiques And Teacups in conjunction with Shabby Cottage Shops...click on the banner to see our CIJ section with 25% off until July 28th!

Oh! I forgot! I am announcing a giveaway next week...for my birthday month of August! Come visit and find out about it!

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

Brit Stuff - Prince George's Birthday, Swan Upping - Princess Charlotte Mugs

This is a bit of a Brit stuff potpourri today....July 20th...marks the start of the five-day ‪#‎SwanUpping‬ ceremony, 

marks the start of the five-day ‪#‎SwanUpping‬ ceremony, led by The Queen's Swan Marker.
The historic ceremony dates back to the 12th Century, when the Crown claimed ownership of all mute swans.

In the Swan Upping ceremony, the Swan Markers identify, weigh, and health check cygnets before releasing them. The Swan Upper advises organisations throughout the UK on swan welfare, and works with fishing and boating organisations, helping them work with existing wildlife and maintaining the swans' natural habitat.

Children from local schools are invited every year to watch the ceremony so they too can learn how to protect the local swan population.  We were in the area one year during the Swan-upping on one of our annual UK visits, and quite a few folks were present to see it. These photos are from the UK Press Assoc.   For more info, click on the link below:


And today, July 22, is Prince George's birthday...he is 2 years old today.

These photos of Prince George were taken at the christening of little sister Princess Charlotte by the couple's favorite photographer Mario Testino.

Brother and sister...how cute! Princess Charlotte was born on May 2, 2015

And just wanted to let you know that the Princess Charlotte baby mugs I had ordered from Adderley, England arrived yesterday and are now available at Antiques And Teacups....with a photo of Princess Charlotte with her parents and a dedication on the back in pink and lavender on English bone china.

For more info, click on the photos...

So that's it for today. The marine layer is in, it's cooler and life is so much more enjoyable without the heat we are just not used to. Have a wonderful day! Oh...we are advertising in Romantic Homes Magazine, part of a coop ad with Shabby Lane Shops that is now available at newstands...fun!

Sunday, July 19, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Geranium Teacup, It's HOT!

Hello and welcome to a HOT Tuesday Cuppa Tea in the Pacific Northwest!
Can you believe it? It's the upper 80s around here, and 90s inland by Seattle...record breaking. We are wilting and hibernating! Now don't laugh if you are more used to this...more than 70% of the folks in western Washington state have no air conditioning...wasn't needed...until recently. We do, but outside, it's hot! We had our daily walk at 8:30 pm last night, when it finally got down to 80 degrees!!!!  Hope it's nicer...or you're more used to it where you are!

I chose a teacup with a summer flower today for Teacup Tuesday, but didn't do a tea party...can't use the sunroom...and it's the only place with natural light enough for photos....

This is a 1930s tea cup and saucer made by Salisbury, England in my favorite hand colored on transferware design with hand applied red enamel paint in a design called Geranium.

Salisbury was in business from 1927 until the great and awful pottery closures and consolidations in the 1960s...closing early on in 1961 when it was taken over by Thomas Poole. Thomas Poole never used the Salisbury mark again, but continued to make china under the Royal Stafford name and only survived until 1972. Royal Stafford actually reopened in 2004 as a much smaller pottery and was in business still when last we were in the Potteries 2 years ago. Hooray!  For more info on the teacup at Antiques And Teacups, click on the photos.

Geraniums are a summer flower that is very popular here...our town, Sequim, has a flower basket cooperative agreement between local business owners and the high school botanical and agricultural students to decorate our central business district street light poles every summer with flower baskets, and geraniums are popular choices. The business owners pay for the basket materials and plants, the students make, plant and tend them until they are hung out on the lamp posts in spring. The our city takes care of keeping them watered.

I think they are lovely touch! And as a business owner, sponsor one every year...

Friday we attended the Sequim Lavender Festival street fair...which we do as soon as it opens before it gets crowded, and this year before it was too hot!

Here are a few sights of the fair...

This was a fun booth with wind chimes from silver hollow ware and flatware...

This booth had glass yard ornaments of all sorts of decorated repurposed glass objects...the sign says "Dale Chihuly...Eat Your Heart Out! referring to internationally known local Seattle glass artist Dale Chihuly who's Chihuly Garden And Glass is such a fabulous place by the Space Needle in Seattle...will post about that next week...

Loved these fun aluminum signs...middle one says "Drive Carefully...the Squirrels can't tell one nut from another"

And local potters with mugs and tea pots galore...as well as pretty well anything that could be made with lavender!

An empty dish you say? Huh?  That's because I forgot to take a before, during and done photo of a cobbler I made...I think the heat fried my brain! I had some strawberries that needed to be used, so...made a vegan, low cholesterol cobbler that you might want to try because it is so versatile and easy!

Simple Fruit Cobbler


4 cups fruit...I used cut up strawberries, frozen organic blueberries and a can of peach halves, rinsed of all juice and cut up

1 cup of flour...I used whole wheat, but you can use whatever...have used soy, almond and rice

1/2 tsp baking powder

1 cup sugar...I used organic non refined and didn't use the full amount

1 egg beaten

1/4 butter cut in cubes...I used Vegan margaine


Preheat oven to 375 degrees F

Spread the fruit mixture in an 8 or 9 inch square pan, no need to grease

In medium bowl, mix together flour, baking powder and sugar

Add the beaten egg and mix in with a fork until crumbly and everything well mixed

Spread over berries, and dot with the butter or marg cubes

Bake for 40-50 minutes until browned and bubbly. Cool slightly before serving

This is equally good warm or cool, and never lasts long at our house, as you can see by the photo. Would be good with any sort of topping, but we usually don't.  I especially like the recipe because of it's ease and versatility, and have had it since I was first married 42+ years ago.

Thanks for joining me, and I hope your summer is glorious!
Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Lavender Festival Weekend Coming UP!

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea! It's so nice to get together with my friends over a cup of tea! 

I amdoing a combo post here. As many of you know, my husband has been dealing with an infection for the last month and has had to go through 2 sets of antbiotics...one of them twice...to finally get it taken care of. Last week we spent the total of 3 1/2 days at doctor's waiting rooms, offices and labs...one lab had a wait time to even get in to the techs of 75 minutes! But...on our final doctor's visit of last week on Friday, we were told his labs had finally come back clear, so he is fully recovered! Hooray! But...wasn't able to get the post I had intended done, so I am coming up with something else.  

So...as it's our annual Sequim Lavender Festival, here is a Lavender themed English bone china botanical mug from Crown Trent....

Notice the botanical name at the bottom....I will be picking up some Lavender English Breakfast Black Tea from a local lavender farm that I like this week....now on to:

This week is Sequim's annual Lavender Festival, and this is this year's festival poster. The Lavender Festival features a farm tour, street fair, crafts, hot air balloon rides, music venues, lavender themed food of EVERY variety...if you can eat it, here it will have lavender in it! The festival opens with the street fair on Thursday and continues through the weekend.  There are 30 Lavender farms in a 10 mile radius of town, so...it is everywhere!

We go to the street fair, and then sorta hibernate...because we have to 30,000 extra residents for the Festival...even the ferry from Victoria, BC is sold out for both cars and walk ons for the Festival....

In 2011, we attended a Lavender Festival George Washington themed Lavender tea at the George Washington Inn Bed & Breakfast and Washington Lavender Farm, one of the farms on the Festival Farm tour, and this is a bit of a repeat of that post.

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

 This Lavender Festival in 2011 was the first time it had rained on the Festival 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 such 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.

So there you have it...hopefully I will have more fun Lavender Festival photos by next weekend...looking forward to the hot air balloons this year!

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of and there is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! And I love to read your comments, and can find you to visit!


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