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, December 30, 2019

Happy New Year 2020!

Just to wish you the very happiest, healthiest and most joyous New Year!

From an antique Victorian era postcard to a graphic I found on Pinterest,
2020 marks, besides the beginning of a new decade, the centennial of the Roaring 20s!

What a great year for wonderful vintage teas and art deco accoutrements!
The painting above is titled Tea With Friends and was painted by Haddon Sunblom in 1923. 

So pull out the Art Deco... like this Shelley, England very deco Queen Anne shaped teacup trio in the Red Daisy pattern, and enjoy a wonderful cup of tea!

So... wishing you again...

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Merry Christmas to you all!

May it be the merriest of Christmases!

Wishing you joy, peace, love and happiness.
A cross stitch I did several years ago...

Wishing you lots of lovely teatimes with friends and family...

And Murchie's Christmas Tea was again my favorite seasonal tea. Hope they never stop making it!
Definitely a tradition here!

Monday, December 16, 2019

Christmas Tea At George Washington Inn

Welcome indeed! 
The welcome board I painted in the 1980s is on the wall and Christmas comes apace.

My dear husband was feeling well enough to attend a Christmas tea with me on Saturday..
the venue was the George Washington Inn B and B and Lavender farm here in Sequim of a bluff overlooking the Strait of Juan de Fuca...

The inn is an exact replica of George Washington's Mount Vernon home... and was built from original plans. The photo above is from www.mountvernon.org
The only difference, is that this one was built with a port cochere...
which is a good idea as we are in Washington, a wettish state...

The inn has an occasional tea which we enjoy going to. Unfortunately there are few options for teas close in the narrower distance my husband can attempt, so we are grateful!
And the day was a lovely cool day with mostly sunny skies, and beautiful views of the Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park with fresh snow...

With the addition of en suite bathrooms to bring the design up to modern standards, the house is the same as the original. The curving stairway to the guests level is lovely.
The lady in the photo is an historical enactor for Martha Washington who is always at functions here. She makes her own clothes from period patterns and as a retired history teacher has a wealth of information about the period.

A lovely Christmas tree in the foyer where we waited for the tea room to be opened behind. The tea is in a sunroom which they call the piazza overlooking the Strait. The foyer also included several vendors of handmade gifts for shopping as we waited.

The tree was filled with thematic ornaments depicting Mount Vernon in some form or other... many by special cooperation from the original Mount Vernon.

We were seated at tables for 4.. the piazza holds 32 for tea, and this tea had originally 2 seatings of 1:30 and 4:00, but they sold out and they added a third seating at 10:00 am. We had gotten tickets for the 1:30 seating.
The tab;es were not especially Christmassy, other than red plain tablescloths. The china was lavender flowers of one kind or another. But, not a problem as far as we were concerned.
On the plate was a square of caramel cranberry and chocolate fudge to welcome us.

The tea was a holiday black with orange peel, cinnamon and vanilla and quite nice and sweet enough, and filled frequently.

The tea service itself was 3 tiered servers. We were seated with 2 sisters from Port Townsend and Tacoma, WA. The later was celebrating her birthday. She is peeking around the server. After we photographed the menu, we removed it... more fun than peeking during conversation!

The menu was:

Vanilla Glazed Gingerbread Scone
Chocolate Dipped Strawberry

Egg Salad Crostini
Carrot Craisin Canape
Smoked Salmon Tartlet (on bottom layer)
Bacon Fontina Crostini

Iced Sugar Cookie
Pecan Pie Bar
Neopolitan Holiday Cookie
Chocolate Macaroon

We certainly enjoyed and din't leave anything between us all!

As we left, I took this down the side of the building out to the Strait. You can just see Vancouver Island in the distance under the clouds.

Wishing you a wonderful week of preparation for Christmas.
And for my Jewish friends and family...
Happy Hanukkah at the end of the week!

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

It's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas! Christmas Tea, Tree and Biscuits!

Is it looking and smelling wonderfully festive at your home???
It is in mine, albeit in a mild, understated fashion...

My tree is up... decorated with crocheted snowflakes and other crocheted ornaments made over the years, hand beaded ornaments when that was the thing in the 1970s, Victorian antique blown glass ornaments, and  demitasse teacups. They make great ornaments, and I have a LOT of them!
The photo above is a Shelley Heather demi...

there are cross stitch and plastic canvas ornaments too from cross stitch ornament patterns through the years...

Spode demis, George Jones, Noritake, Limoges, Johnson Brothers, Haviland, Occupied Japan... pretty well anything I fancied or inherited...

Do you have any repurposed ornaments on your tree? I have decorated my tree with antique postcards too...

Another Shelley... this one is called Lakeland...

My little Christmas tea yesterday was prompted by both a tea I found and the arrival of a box of English biscuits... cookies to Yanks!

The tea was a boxed Christmas duo from Stash Teas.
The Christmas Morning is a mix of black and Jasmine Green Tea... a change from the usual spiced blends for Christmas teas...

The Christmas Eve tea is really a Tisane as it is herbal and is quite nice too!
It contains cinnamon, orange peel, spearmint and clove. More the spiced Christmas tea, but nice, and no caffeine.

With a Brit background, Christmas pudding, figgy pudding, etc is always lurking in our minds this time of year, so it was fun to receive this box of Christmas Pudding biscuits (cookies) from the UK.

Tey are quite nice... sort of a shortbread with currant bits, orange peel and spices. Perfect with a cuppa!
Oh... and the china is my family Royal Doulton vintage 1940s Rosebud pattern... sort of like Hyancinth's hand painted Periwinkles, only rosebuds!

Some of my Christmas cross stitches are out... they bring such memories of where we were and what was going on in our lives when they appear each holiday season...
Have a lovely day, a cup of tea with a friend and rejoice in the blessings we have... not what we lack...

Saturday, December 7, 2019

Christmas Things, Spode Christmas Tree Marks, Mary Berry Christmas Cake

Are you ready? I am still a little behind due to a bit of a setback for my Honey who just learned of the death of his oldest sister in the UK.
But he knows he will be seeing her again, and he is doing well with the news.

It is a difficult time of year for many who have lost loved ones... and we pray for those who are struggling...

A few days ago I pulled out my Christmas china and teas... such a part of the Christmas season...

Th Pacific Northwest early morning teatime photo is  a favorite Queen Anne Noel Poinsettia teacup from the 1950s with hand applied enamels. A few years ago, I acquired a set of 12, but the last... except this one that I have saved for me... sold 2 days ago.

The Christmas teas by Republic Of Tea are lovely... mine came in a 2 pack with Downt Christmas Tea and Mrs. Patmore's Pudding tea. 

A couple of days ago, another teatime in the sunroom was sort of started by my Harney and Sons Holiday tea and a package of scrumptious Ghirardelli dark chocolate peppermint bark and a seasonal teacup...

I was decorating, and came to the box with the crocheted Christmas trees my mother made me about 30 years ago that I treasure...

The teacup was a favorite Spode Christmas Tree teacup, that has become quite a popular pattern over the years. Originally made in England, it is now made elsewhere.
You can tell from the marks, when and where they were made, but I have to disagree with comments on a Facebook afternoon tea group, who felt that if the mark had just England and not Made In England, it was recent and made elsewhere, but that is not the case oftentimes.
Spode Copeland is a great example... still operating under the Spode name, but mostly not in the UK.

The pattern was a Copeland Spode design from 1938, and the first marks look like this... and notice, although long before any pottery production was moved out of England, it is just marked England, and not Made in England. From 1891, that was the only requirement if the item was to be sold in the US, and many potteries took years to do that.
Whether the item mark was England or Made In England, until recently, it made no difference, it was all made in England, and was an individual pottery's design decision.

This maek dates to the 1970s, and after various inter-pottery negotiations and money changes within management, Copeland was dropped. But the Spode Christmas Tree was still being made in England, and the mark says England.

Times have changed again in the Potteries, and after several decades of changes, pottery closures, and changes of ownership, this 1990s mark doesn't say even England, because it is made in either Indonesia or Thailand.
Something else to consider... it it says Dishwasher Microwave safe, it is recent.

But moving on... 

My tea is Harney and Sons Holiday... which is delicious! A black tea with citrus, almond, clove and cinnamon. Delicious!

And a seasonal favorite... the Ghirardelli dark Chocolate peppermint bark.
Having grown up in the San Francisco bay area where Ghirardelli came from, I fonly remember going every Christmas to the Saint Francis Hotel Garden Court for Christmas tea with my parents and Nan in gloves and hat... it was San Francisco in the 1950s, and you wouldn't be seated without them!
Then it was off to see the light at the Ghirardelli Square Chocolate factory and to their shop for peppermint bark, and on to Blums Chocolates for other seasonal goodies!

Ghirardelli Square is now a boutique shopping mall with upscale condos, but still lit at Christmas!

And the St. Francis, now a Westin Hotel, is still serving a great afternoon tea in the Garden Court...

Ahhh... the joy of sweet Christmas memories!

Making a Christmas cake was also a memory with my Nana... I don't often have time nowadays... but we have a neighborhood monthly get together next week, and I am making this...

Mary Berry's Christmas cake bites 
Makes 28
For the cakes
175g (6 oz) apricots, chopped
3 tablespoons brandy
175g (6 oz) butter, softened
175g (6 oz) light brown sugar
4 eggs, beaten
175g (6 oz) plain flour
225g (8 oz) raisins
225g (8 oz) currants
225g (8 oz) cherries, quartered, washed and dried
or the icing and decoration
A little apricot jam, warmed
500g (1 lb 2 oz) packet
Ready-prepared almond
Paste (Golden Marzipan)
500g (1 lb 2 oz) packet
Ready-to-roll white icing
Step 1
Preheat the oven to 160ºC/Fan 140º/Gas 3. Grease and line a 30 × 20cm (12 × 8 in) traybake tin with non-stick baking paper.
Step 2
Measure the apricots into a small bowl, pour over the brandy and leave to soak overnight or until all of the brandy is absorbed.
Step 3
Cream the butter and sugar together using an electric hand whisk until smooth. Add the remaining ingredients and mix well. Spoon the mixture into the prepared tin and level the top.
Step 4
Bake for 1–1¼ hours until golden brown. Insert a skewer to test – if it comes out clean the cake is cooked. Set aside to cool.
Step 5
Brush the top of the cake with apricot jam and then roll out a rectangle of marzipan the same size as the top of the cake. Lay this on top of the cake, and then brush the marzipan with a little more jam. Roll out a rectangle of icing the same size as the cake, and then cover the marzipan with the icing.
Step 6
Slice into squares and serve with a cup of tea.

Wishing you a wonderful, festive, fun, friends and tea filled week!


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