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, February 26, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea St. David's Day, Fortnum & Mason in London

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea for St. David's Day, the national holiday of Wales.  Some of this post is a repeat of a popular post, because we are on a recuperative break of sorts and will be going to meet our son and daughter in law at the airport! WooHoo!!!!  But I love St. David's Day, so thought a repeat of a 2011 post might interest you all..

As is often the case, my teacup choice is dictated by what else I plan to share, and this is the case today...I have a Daffodil teacup...The reason I wanted to share a teacup with a Daffodil is because the Daffodil is a national symbol of Wales, and of March 1st which is the Welsh holiday St. David's Day, the patron saint of Wales. 

The teacup is a Victoria trademark teacup made by Cartwright & Edwards, England in the 1930s. The teacup and saucer has a pattern called Daffodil and I love all the applied enamel paint accents.

The pattern is black transferware that was hand colored, and there is gold trim.

Cartwright & Edwards started in 1869 andbegan using the Victoria trademark from 1912, named after their Victoria works pottery in Stoke-On-Trent.  The pottery finally closed in 1972 right at the end of that era of pottery deaths, not having found a buyer at the time.

Daffodils have always been one of my favorite flowers because of their scent, although a lot of the new hybrids aren't nearly so fragrant. The smaller cousins,  Jonquils or Narcissus, are often more fragrant.

St. David was born around the end of the 5th century, and founded a monastery in Wales, and was a beloved man to the Welsh.

On March 1, 2011, Catherine Duchess of Cambridge had her first puplic engagement with the Queen, her husband-to-be's grandmother and Camilla, Duchess of Wales, her soon-to-be Mother in law. The occasion was the reopening of the redesigned Fortnum & Mason's tea salon, renamed in honour of the Diamond Jubilee of Queen Elizabeth II. As this is a favourite spot for us to go for tea when we are in London, I had thought I'd like to remember the occasion and our visits at other times to Fortnum and Mason.

Fortnum And Mason has a long history and started as a grocer in the 1820s. It has held many Royal warrants over the years...If you will look at the photo directly above, there is a coat of arms just over the door of the current queen. If a Royal personage buys from you and you request it...(another words if they are happy with the purchase, which can be anything from tea to bespoke suits to a toothbrush) you may receive permission to use that fact as an advertising coup in the form of a coat of arms as above, or in print on ads, cards, letterhead and the like and in the case of Paragon China (as I explained to a blogging friend who asked me about it this week), with the printed logo and info that they supplied the Royal personage by name.  Royal Warrants have been going on for almost 200 years. 

The example here is for a teacup  with a Royal Warrant for Queen Elizabeth, affectionately known as the Queen Mum, the wife of King George VI and other of Queen Elizabeth II and Queen Mary, George VI's mother and grandmother of Queen Elizabeth II.   Paragon got in trouble for using the Royal warrant in 1926 after making china to celebrate the birth of the Princess Elizabeth...now Queen Elizabeth II...without actually receiving permission....naughty, naughty!  They apologized prettily for jumping the gun, and were allowed to continue after sweating it out for 6 months.  Royal warrants also could be given to potteries allowing them to add the term Royal to their pottery name: example...Grafton became Royal Grafton with a Royal warrant.  That policy has sort of lapsed since the general pottery dissolutions in the 1970s,and now anyone can say Royal in their name just because they think it sounds better!

Sorry...I got OT! It happens...anyway, back to Fortnum & Masons...this is Queen Elizabeth II unveiling the new plaque renaming the tea salon in her honour.

Here is Catherine...notice the Daffodil corsage...learning about loose leaf tea from the tea sommelier...yes, there are tea sommeliers just like wine sommeliers...

Here are the 3 ladies browsing one of Fortnum's famous baskets, or hampers as they are affectionately known,  which have been carried to stately homes, Royal Ascot, Henley and country houses and parties all over the country for 150 years...basically an expensive picnic with panache and snob appeal...

I took this photo on another visit...I can't find my even earlier photos...anyway, this has Wedgwood bone china a a choice of silver plated or sterling flatware. with everything you need. Then you order another hamper...looks just the same...filled with all the foodstuffs required....The following are photos I took of Fortnum's and their displays...

various china and tea ware including a display of my favorite Emma Bridgewater pottery below...but I had already bought from the Emma pottery in Stoke, so didn't buy any here...

a table display of coffee varieties Fortnum also supplies, although better known for their teas. When we had our antique shop and tea supply business that we closed in 2002 to go exclusively online, we stocked many of Fortnum and Mason's teas...which were wonderful!  The company has been owned by the Weston family for over 300 years. My husband is a Weston, but pretty distant relatives of the tea part of the family. Sigh...

The display for all types of potted meats, spreads and pate....hence the goose...

Some of the displays of condiments, jams, jellies, marmalades and curds available...

Turkish Delight...my husband's favorite...

And probably the best part, having tea in the tea salon...

So there is my retrospective of Fortnum & Mason brought to mind because of St. David's Day and the Royal ladies visiting in 2011...a absolute must for a tea lover in London.

And in honor of St. David's Day and Wales, I found a great tutorial and recipe on making Welsh Cakes...which I love!  Recipe from VisitWales website
Welsh cakes ingredients
  • 225g/8oz plain flour
  • 100g/4oz butter
  • 75g/3oz caster sugar
  • 50g/2oz currants
  • ½tsp baking powder
  • ¼tsp mixed spice
  • 1 egg
  • A pinch salt
  • A little milk to bind
Sift the dry ingredients (flour, baking powder, mixed spice) together into a mixing bowl. Cut up the butter and rub into the flour. Stir in the sugar and fruit, pour in the egg and mix to form a dough, use a little milk if the mixture is a little dry. Roll the dough out on a lightly floured surface to about the thickness of a biscuit. Use a pastry cutter to cut out rounds. Cook the cakes on a greased bake stone or griddle until golden. The heat should not be too high, as the cakes will cook on the outside too quickly, and not in the middle. Once cooked sprinkle with caster sugar and serve with butter.
As an alternative you can try mixed dried fruit or tropical fruit. Some grated lemon or orange rind is also good. An unusual but delicious addition is 1 teaspoon of lavender flowers with some citrus zest. Add a little orange juice, zest and icing sugar to some soft butter to serve with the Welsh cakes.

Thanks so much for joining me. I am improvong... and the kids wanted to visit to make sure! So won't be on the computer much, so won't add a linky...as I will get scolded by them and reminded I am on break! Shhh... don't tell them I posted this just before they came! Lol! Have a wonderful week...mine will be wonderful with the kids around!

Sunday, February 19, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea... No Linky Today Recovering, President's Day Cherry Scones

Hi there...no Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky this week...the nerve probems in my face necessitated a heavy duty medication with lots of side effects as I mentioned last week. The pain subsided to bearable about 3 days later...but I ended up in the hospital with a bad drug reaction. The final straw was my total loss of balance and legs collapsing and not being able to move them, let alone get up...ER here we come! It was the drug, so that the major symptoms have gradually faded as it cleared my system, but the vision problems are remaining a bit, so thought I'd take a week off...and give you a break from my tale of woes! Well...I am trying to be transparent and not whitewashing life and getting older.

So have a wonderful President's Day, enjoy some time with friends and family and I'll hope to be back raring to go next week!  And to help, here is a recipe for Cherry Scones I first posted in 2012....

And in honor of the just past President's Day, I found this recipe in our paper for Dried Cherry Scones  from relish.com.

3 cups flour
1/2 cup sugar
2 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp baking soda
1/2 tsp salt
4 oz cold butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 c milk
1/2 cup sour cream or yogurt
3/4 c dried cherries
coarse raw or turbinado sugar for garnish

1. Combine flour, sugar, baking powder, salt and baking soda in the bowl of a food processor. Pulse to combine. Add butter; pulse until the mixture is the consistency of coarse meal. Add sour cream. Pulse. Add milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, and pulse until dough comes together. Remove from processor.; divide dough in half and cover each piece with plastic wrap. Refrigerate 8 hours or over night.

2. preheat oven to 375 degrees.

3.  Place one half of dough on a floured surface.  Shape into a 12 inch long log. Place half the cherries on dough, gently pressing them into the dough. Fold in half lengthwise. Cut into triangles (but when I made them I used a heart shaped cookie/biscuit cutter) and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining half of the dough. Sprinkle the tops with the raw sugar. Bake 18 to 20 minutes, until lightly browned. Makes one and one half dozen.

Sunday, February 12, 2017

Tuesday Cuppa Tea, Valentine's Day Retrospect Due To Health

Tuesday Cuppa Tea is a Valentine repeat this week...the second trip to the dentist for pain turned into a trip to my internist with a verdict. Not a tooth problem, I have Trigeminal Neuralgia...or a damaged facial and jaw nerve on the right side of my face, probably exacerbated by the dentist visit for a crown. Have to go back on Wednsday for the permanent. In the meantime, am trying a medication that has lots of side effects and only partly deals with the pain, so...  

First, I found this great video on Facebook and wanted to post it, but can't seem to embed it. It's a fabulous time lapse collage of the life of Queen Elizabeth II  which was done for her 90th birthday and is brilliant!


I post a lot during the week on my Facebook page, and posted this the other day.  So... click here to "Like" my Antiques And Teacups Facebook page if you haven't already.

Now onto happier Valentine things from my Valentine's Day 2013 blog post...the pop up valentine below ia from Kovels.com

Hello and welcome to  my meme Tuesday Cuppa Tea looking toward upcoming Valentine's Day. So glad you could join me!

A Valentine tea in the sunroom between our chairs...we have downsized twice because of my husband's health issues, and so have few areas in our sun challenged Pacific Northwest where I can successfully photograph in the winter. But the sunroom is where we always are for morning tea, elevenses and afternoon tea, so....

I put together out tea table there with a pink and lavender theme...

The teacups, below, are all recent finds....

A Royal Albert Lavender Rose teacup from the 1980s...

I, of course, thought of Sandi from Rose Chintz Cottage who has this....I have a teapot in this pattern as well...which was made from 1982 until the early 1990s in England, production was moved to Indonesia, and then discontinued in 2008.

This next teacup is by Royal Grafton, from 1957-1961 with pretty pink and white and gold floral overlay. 

Royal Grafton is a trademark of A.B. Jones, Longton Staffordshire England. Royal Grafton and Grafton China were named for the Grafton works which was the name of the pottery.  The pottery closed during the wave of pottery closings in 1972. Their work is lovely. This teacup sold within 2 hours of listing it!

This is perhaps my favorite of the 3 teacups I have for today because it has a design mixing floral and landscape designs...See the roses? Okay, and then there is an English cottage alongside. Isn't that cute???

The cup and saucer is made by Elizabethan, England from the late 1950s and early 1960s. Elizabethan was a trade name of  Taylor & Kent, Longton which operated from 1867.  They were acquired by Churchill in the early 1990s during a potteries consolidation period but only survived a few years before being demolished....sigh...another fine pottery gone....

I love the shape and the brushed gold trim as well.

With so many potteries closing, a few newer, smaller potteries have opened making bone china again in England, and the teapot is by one of those...Springfield China. Hooray! May they last a long time!!!

The pattern is called Dot Rose Chintz and I thought it was perfect for our Valentine's Day tea!  

And this is an antique postcard dating to around 1910. The postcard says:

My Heart
Gold Is Nothing
Happiness Is All

How sweet a sentiment! This is called a Romance postcard and is a Real Photograph that has then been hand tinted. Cool!.

To see either the china shown or postcard at Antiques And Teacups, just click on the photos.

I posted this on my Facebook page yesterday and it was so popular I thought I'd add it to this post...lots of time to make these for Valentine's Day....

Mini Victoria Sponge Cakes

Mini Victorian Sponge Cakes By SUNIL VIJAYAKAR
150g (5½oz) unsalted butter, softened, plus extra for greasing
150g (5½oz) caster sugar
3 medium eggs
1tsp vanilla extract
150g (5½oz) self-raising flour
300ml (10fl oz) double cream
8-10tbsp strawberry jam
Icing sugar, for dusting
1 Preheat oven to 180°C/fan 160°C/ gas 4. Grease and line the bases of 8 spring-form cake tins 9cm (3½in) in diameter. Put on a large baking tray.
2 Using an electric hand whisk, mix the butter and sugar together in a large bowl until pale and fluffy. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with the vanilla extract, then gradually beat in to the butter mixture, adding a little of the flour. Sift over the remaining flour and
gently fold in until just combined.Divide between the prepared cake tins, smoothing the surface.
3 Bake for about 20 minutes or until risen and golden. Cool in the tins for 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack and set aside to cool.
4 Lightly whip the cream to soft peaks then spread onto 4 of the sponge bases, top with a spoonful of jam and sandwich together with the remaining sponges. Dust each with icing sugar to serve.

Lastly, from Tea Time Magazine....their Valentine table set with Rose Chintz ironstone from Johnson Brothers...

And a last teacup stack from me!   ;)    

Wishing you all a Happy Valentine's Day! We are having a combined Valentine's Day and 41st anniversary dinner on Feb. 14th. at our favorite organic fresh foods local restaurant The Alder Wood Bistro. Our anniversary is really Feb. 16th, but they aren't open, so we decided to combine occasions.

Below is the list of some of the blog parties I will be part of as my health  permits this week:

Thanks so much for joining me for tea!  Here is the linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there! Depending on my health…I am so looking forward to visiting you!


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