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!


  1. I visited F&M when my husband and I were first married and found it to be a fantasy land! I bought a few tins of their tea but we were young and poor so we didn't have afternoon tea as well-something I always wish we could have done. Your photos bring back happy memories, thank you!

  2. Another fun filled post, Ruth. Those Welsh cakes look lovely and I thought the goose standing in the centre of all those potted meats was delightful. Turkish Delight is something I was going to attempt to make for my Narnia post but I went with what I had instead. It was easier. Enjoy your family and I'm glad you're feeling better.


  3. Thank you for sharing the history and photos of Fortnum and Mason. Have a fun visit with your family, Ruth. I hope you continue to feel better!

  4. Thanks for sharing,I learn a lot!Have good moments with your Family!

  5. Oh what a lovely post. I am becoming of fan of tea and tea cups recently! What a lovely post. Beautifully written. I hope you'll come over to the new Fabulous Party. We are celebrating Spring and Easter. Your post is perfect to share! The party is over here:
    Enjoy your week!

  6. I would have loved visiting that! Especially the teaware! Thanks for sharing. Get well soon!

  7. I love how the Queen coordinated her outfit so that it matched the Fortnum & Mason colour scheme. A visit to Fortnum & Mason is now on my bucket list thanks to your fun tour! Enjoy the family visit.

  8. Oh my Ruth!
    I simply love this teacup. It is most unusual. I hope it sells quick! This post is full of so much information and loved all the Royal Trivia!

  9. Ruth, I love this post. I've always wanted a hamper from Fortnum's! I must try the Welsh cakes one day. I hope you are feeling much better and enjoying your family time.


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! :)


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