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!

Monday, January 22, 2018

Tuesday Cuppa Tea Ochs! Scottish Tea For Robert Burns

Hello and welcome to Tuesday Cuppa Tea... this week a celebration of Robert Burns, whose birthday is January 25th!

Happy Birthday to Robert Burns!

 I love this poem of his:

Then let us pray that come what may
As come it will for a' that...
That man to man the world o'er,

Shall brothers be for a'that.

Robert Burns was born January 25, 1759 and lived until only 1796 and is revered as one of the most famous poets of all time, and certainly the most revered Scottish poet and song writer.  He is called one of the founders of the Romantic era and also as a social reformer. His works were both lyrical, romantic and full of social and political plain spoken opinions.

A modern view of Edinburgh that Robert Burns would recognize, having changed little...although no longer "Auld Reekie" from the open drains and coal fog that fouled the air during his time...

This is a Burns Tea in the sunroom... with 2 friends from 2017...Scotties from a Scottish tea towel I have...

The heather is from the yard, and the Burns cottage photo in the silver frame from a visit a few years ago...

I managed to find 2 teacups with a Scottish Heather theme... this first one is by Paragon and is called Highland Queen. 

The pattern was named for, and bears the royal warrant  for Queen Elizabeth, the Queen Mum, wife of King George VI and mother of the current Queen Elizabeth II, who has Scottish roots. 

The queen grew up at the Bowes-Lyons home of Glamis Castle by Dundee Scotland...

Paragon finally went out of production in 1992 after various mergers ending with the WWRD partnership, when it was discontinued.

This teacup is by Rosina and has a wonderful pattern of different Heathers tied with tartan ribbons...it isn't named. The cup and saucer dates to the 1950s and has the wonderful brushed gold that is seldom done anymore...  

Rosina quietly was dropped in the late 1960s by Queen's China who owns the name. Queen's is still in production in a much smaller way than before, but is not using Rosina....this teacup sold last year....
Thistles, Heather and a good luck hoseshoes on the tea towel...

An English hallmarked for 1959-1960 sterling silver coffee spoon with a Scottish Thistle enamel finial by Mappin & Webb, Birmingham...

And a Shelley, England crested souvenir jam jar made as a souvenir of  the Western coast of Scotland seaside town of Largs from the 1930s.

But what's for tea??? Scottish Shortbread, of course! Small problem...my shortbread pan is a Colonial Williamsburg reproduction I had been wanting to use, as I hadn't for ages...

This year I managed to catch a few minutes of sun between wind gusts and power outages this week for a small Scottish addition...

I gathered some Heather again, but after such a cold January so far, only our white is blossoming so far, as it blooms earlier than the pink and purple. 

And my teacup besides the Paragon Highland Queen teacup, I have a Royal Stafford MacDonald Tartan teacup...

The teacup was made in the 1960s and was part of a series called the Tartan Series that included teacups with designs from many of the Scottish clans...

Royal Stafford was a trade name of Thos Poole and was used from 1951-1980, passed into Maddock who then stopped manufacturing fine bone china awent to hotel and restaurant ware in 1990. Very sad, as they made beautiful bone china items.

I have Taylor's Scottish Breakfast tea today...a nice, strong black tea with an nice flavor....

And my companion for tea today is a tartan Scottie dog tea cozy from Ulster Weavers...so cute!

Ulster is an Irish company, but it's Celtic anyway!

This is Lemon-Vanilla Shortbread from Tea Time magazine, which I shared a few weeks ago at this link HERE

but here is the recipe I made above in my shortbread mold...from the book and cookbook I have Afternoon Tea by Michael Smith from 1986, 

as I couldn't find my grandmother's one I usually make, but this is very similar!  I used a lonely Shelley Dainty Thistle saucer for a tea plate...and even with baking spray they didn't come out of the pan well...sigh...  The recipe is at the bottom of the post.

Robert Burns birthday is celebrated all over with Burns Night, where whiskey flows and haggis is eaten and generally both the poet and Scots ancestry is celebrated. 

 There are huge Scottish clubs and societies all over the world where this is celebrated, and everyone is asked to wear Tartan. An example of an invitation:

The evening will usually start with the singing or saying of what is called the Selkirk Grace, attributed to Robert Burns:

Some hae meat and canna eat,
And some wad eat that want it;
But we hae meat, and we can eat,
Ans sae let the Lord be thankit.

I have used a Victorian era handmade linen tablecloth made in the 1890s in England with a filet crocheted border with the Selkirk Grace in crochet... I hope you can see it, as it was hard to photograph...

It just fits my little tea table. I picked it up in England several years ago, and it is one of my treasures!

A traditional Burns supper...or party...or tea, has several essential ingredients. Basically those are "neeps and tatties" or turnips and potatoes, a "wee dram" of whiskey....which is where some of the all male celebrations get a bit rowdy, and last but not least, Scotland's national dish...haggis! Haggis is a sheep's intestines stuffed with...okay, you don't want to know. I tried it, and DIDN'T like it! 

Part of the dinner is the Address To The Haggis attributed to Robert Burns which is very long...I guess you need a few wee drams to appreciate it... after it is bagpiped into the room with much ceremony and toasting... Here is a sample:

Address to a Haggis

Fair and full is your honest, jolly face,
Great chieftain of the sausage race!
Above them all you take your place,
Stomach, tripe, or intestines:
Well are you worthy of a grace
As long as my arm.

You powers, who make mankind your care,
And dish them out their bill of fare,
Old Scotland wants no watery stuff,
That splashes in small wooden dishes;
But if you wish her grateful prayer, 
Give her [Scotland] a Haggis!

Walnut Shortbread

The pastry is soft and must be handled with care.  I made mine in a food processor, my first, a gift from our daughter for Christmas...so much easier!

2 1/4 cups flour
1 cup finely crushed walnuts (I prefer Pecans actually)
1 1/2 cups (3 sticks) unsalted butter, softened
generous 1/2 cup confectioner's (powdered sugar)
2 small egg yolks..or egg substitute
1 tsp vanilla

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F
Sift the flour and crushed nuts together into a bowl.  Make a well in the center. Mix the softened butter to a paste with the sugar and egg yolks and place in the well.  Gradually draw the flour into the center and mix into the butter forming a soft dough. Roll out on a floured board approximately 1/8 inch thick and cut into 2 inch squares, and transfer carefully to baking pan.

Bake for 8-10 minutes. Cool on a wire rack. Makes 16-20 shortbread biscuits. There are not too sweet, perfect with a cup of tea.

The Burns Night celebration evening is of course ended with Robert Burns famous song For Auld Lang Syne, preferably to the sound of bagpipes.  Much fun and good food is enjoyed. Sometimes even Burns teas are given, by those not overly fond of the whiskey...that would include me!

My friends and I thank you for joining me for tea! I will be joining:

 Tea Cup Tuesday 
 Bernideen’s Teatime, Cottage and Garden
Home Sweet Home

Here is the Tuesday Cuppa Tea linky for your tea related posts...please remember that it is SSSLLLOOOOOOWWWW but if you are patient...it's there!  I am so looking forward to visiting you!


  1. Dear Ruth:
    This post is just loaded with great information. Of course, that tea towel with the Scotties was the best - at least the "cutest"! All of those cups and saucers are amazing!

  2. Good morning Ruth! What an interesting post! I love the Scottie dogs, perhaps because my mother always loved them. Lovely teacups and shortbread too. It would be nice to see heather growing here in January but our world is covered in a blanket of glistening snow. My youngest son tried haggis one time and said it wasn't too bad. As adventuresome as I am when it comes to food, I flat out refuse to eat the haggis! For Auld Lang Syne sung with the music of bagpipes is lovely. Always a favourite! Thank you for your lovely post and Happy Robbie Burns Day!

  3. What a wonderful tribute to Robert Burns! My local museum had a Robbie Burns Night last week, but I was unable to attend. Your Scottish-themed teacups are lovely. Paragon is one of my favourite china makers so I was sorry that they had ceased production. The other day, I saw a cute Scottie dog pot holder/trivet that would have been perfect for your tea time. Thank you for hosting, Ruth!

  4. Your teacups are stunning and your post is awesome and interesting as ever!Thanks for this great party!Have a lovely week,hugs.

  5. Oh I love Robert Burns. Your walnut shortbread looks yummy but I think I would be partial to the lemon one.

  6. SIMPLY DELIGHTFUL... I’ve been a Robbie Burns fan since childhood...Love the poems the teacups and those darling little tea towels... You’ve definately spurred me on to pull out my Burns’ poetry collection... Thanks for the inspiration and lovely read during teatime...

  7. Ruth, I love this post! And in honour of wee Rabbie, I've linked to a Scottish treat.

  8. A very nice post and tribute to Robert Burns. I have tasted haggis. I worked in a large senior's home and we celebrated Robby Burns day. There was a nice display of tartans and a ceremony to Address The Haggis. I like your tartan cups. My sister has the thistle cup and saucer. So pretty.

  9. Ruth, I love the Scottish items. I have not bought a purple color tea cup but I may be on my list. Thanks for sharing. Sylvia D.

  10. What a fun idea! I love your tea set up. I love teas anyway and what could be a better reason? And oh, the adorable dogs! I am enchanted.
    ~ jeanie from Marmelade Gypsy

  11. Here's another tidbit of trivia for you. Scottish brides consider white heather to be lucky and try to include it in their wedding bouquets. It's also lucky for the groom to wear a sprig.

    I collect thistle cups and saucers. They at like busses you can go forever without seeing one and then a couple appear at once.

    I found a cup and saucer for my son, it has a Piper on it and the provincial tartan of Nova Scotia.

    Haggis is awesome. I've fed it to people who didn't know what it was and was told it reminded them of cabbage roll stuffing!

  12. Ruth, your teacups are so pretty. I love Heather! We have had such a mild winter that mine is blooming a bit. I love shortbread as well, and yours looks so yummy! Thanks for sharing with SYC.


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