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, February 25, 2019

A Tea After An Experiment with Sticky Toffee Pudding

Hi there. A few weeks ago, I tried an experiment in my Instant Pot, trying to adapt a family recipe for the uiquitous English StickyToffee steamed pudding... and it came out quite well!
So I  set up a small tea in the sunroom to celebrate!

I was pretty happy with the cake... and adaption of a family recipe from my Nana...

I hadn't made that fo years, since the kids moved out to their families, as it made too much for just the 2 of us, and steaming the tradirional way took so long...
but I managed to find a 3 cup Bundt pan that worked on a trivet in my Instant pot...

I have my family Royal Doulton Rosebud 1930s china and  Gorham Chantilly sterling silver from my Aunt Ruth...

My teapot is a treasured Shelley China teapot in the art deco Red Daisy pattern and Queen Anne shape. Iy was professionally restoed at some time before I got it about 20 years ago. It is hard to see, but definitely there, so I have kept it.

If you follow my Facebook page, you know I am constantly sharing antique postcards and ephemers, because I love them! 
The one above is a trade card... a hand out given by busnesses around 1900. This one, at a Smith's General Store...love the flock of sheep... is also a coupon for $.05...

Another Victorian trade card...
Be Careful Willie! Don't Fall!
For Acme Soap

A Very Best Wishes greeting postcard from 1907...

A metallic gold and blossoms postcard...

And a calling card with the scripture on it..
Freely ye have received, freely give.  Matt, 10:8

And going back to the Sticky Toffee Pudding, here it is just out of the pot with the 3 cup bundt pan I cooked it in.

For tose of you not familiar with this oh-so-British dessert, it is sweet from chopped dates and syrup. You thn make a toffee sauce to serve with it...or in this case, a toffee glaze with chopped pecans.

It is really dense and heavy...but so delicious! Traditinally also served with cream or custard, but we thought that would be gilding the lily!

This lasted but a few days... now what shall I make next!
Have a lovely week!

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Our 45th Anniversary!

But...here is our vintage moment...45 years on....

Our big day, February 16th 1974. Soooo 1970s.....

I couldn't find my wedding album for more photos...We went out to dinner for our anniversary to a favorite restaurant today, at Alder Wood Bistro here in Sequim. with a Christmas gift certificate from daughter, husband, youngest grandson and oldest grandson and his wife...


We had fresh local Cedar planked Black Cod with organic local veggies and fingerling potatoes. Yumm!

We were married on the San Francisco peninsula...we worked in Menlo Park and Palo Alto, so we honeymooned in Carmel. The fun thing, was when we got out to my blue mustang (which was running better than John's car at the time) after the reception to leave for the honeymoon, the best man & friends had decorated the wrong car!  WooHoo!

Going to the Lone Pine was special, because my grandfather, who was a Listed Artist, painted it and we now have the painting in our living room...

Our favorite thing was breakfast or tea at the Tuck Box tea room. Tuck Box is an English boarding school term for the allotment of sweets you are allowed to have held and doled out to you each term, so for us Brits that was perfect. That was before everyone photographed food, so the next 2 photos are from TripAdvisor of a teapot and the Scottish scones they serve and served then....

I bought this kit to cross stitch when we visited Carmel last, about 6 years ago when John's sister and brother visited from England. The design is by painter Marty Bell, but I haven't gotten to it yet....

I hope the weather has cooperated for you wherever you are, and that you had a wonderful Valentine's Day...

Thanks for sharing our special day with us! 
We are so vintage!

Friday, February 15, 2019

Day After Valentine's Day... My Honey's Gift...

As you may have seen on my last post... we were overwhelemd with a record braking snow storm. We had to not use our sunroom for a few days until the 3 feet of snow could be cleared from a low pitch roof not built to handle that kind of snow load.

We were so happy to be back in the sunroom after the clearing and free of the fear of roof collapse. Several similar did collapse in our area, but we are a bit warmer and finally melting, so that seems to be past!

So I set up my tea tray in the sunroom to show off the lovely, lush and HUGE chocolate covered strawberries my Honey got me for Valentine's Day...

You can see how big they are in comparison with the teacups... and just 3 of them filled this George Jones Crescent China, England saucer I used as a plate.

I used a Shelley China, England teacup in the Rosebud pattern which is in the Dainty shape I was photographing for the shop... I always have Shelleys around here, which you know if you know me! Lol!

I also used a Royal Albert, England American Beauty teacup... another favorite pattern I needed to photograph. I just love the lush roses.

I added the tea we are drinking this week... Anniversary Blend from Harney and Sons Tea... because tomorrow, February 16th is our 45th anniversary.

From 1974.... tee hee!  So the tea is really appropriate for this week!

I hope you can see all the snow out the window behind the tea tray... we are still in a white world!

Have a lovely day and a cozy cuppa with a friend... I do daily, with my best friend... my husband!

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

Valentine's Day 2019, Sunroom Saved!

And a very Happy Valentine's Day to you all!

My Valentine tea today is a repeat a past post, because of the heavy snow we have dealt with. In the winter, the only room I can photo a tea in is the sunroom, because it is the only one with enough light. But for the last week until last night, there was a fear of a roof collapse with the 3 feet + of snow we had. Because we built on the sunroom by extending and enclosing a covered porch, the roof has less of a pitch and is not as strong as the rest of the house. A couple of sun porches have collapsed here, so we haven't used it for over a week. 

We finally found an available guy to clear the roof last night. It has been a real stressor for my husband who had always done all the maintenace until the Parkinson's Disease has worsened, and we lived in snow country and have seen a lot of roof collapses. So he has been having a difficult time until we found someone to do the job he knew needed to be done but could no longer do himself.

I had hoped to bake, but we have had intermottent power outages... let's hear it for the grocery store bakeries in times like that! Lol!

Valentine's Day is tomorrow, and I came across something I thought was a perfect mix of chocolate and tea that Harney & Sons tea noted. New York Chef Marcus Samuelson has a recipe on his page for Chocolate truffles with a twist...

The secret ingredient in these decadent and gorgeous chocolate truffles is a Harney & Sons variant of Earl Grey developed for Harney & Sons in conjunction with Chef Marcus called Ambessa Earl of Harlem

According to Harney & Sons, the tea has citrusy layers, bergamot and floral aromas with a lasting smoky base notes. Intriguing!   Chef Samuelson also gives a mini course on types of chocolate truffles...who knew??? I didn't. For me the darker chocolate the better, and that's as far as I've journeyed on that road!

Ambessa Earl of Harlem Truffles Recipe

  • 8 oz good quality dark chocolate
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tea bag of Ambessa Earl of Harlem
  • zest of half a medium sized orange
  • 1 vanilla bean, seeds (or 1 teaspoon vanilla extract)
  • 1 cup cocoa powder, for coating truffles


1. Heat cream with Earl of Harlem tea bag and zest and until just about to simmer. Remove tea bag and zest and add vanilla.
2. While cream is heating, roughly chop the dark chocolate and place into a heat resistant metal bowl.
3. Pour hot cream over chocolate, and allow it to sit for 1-3 minutes.
4. After 1-3 minutes, stir cream and chocolate until well blended and smooth. Cover and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight.
5. Place cocoa powder into a bowl. Using a teaspoon, make 1-inch scoops of cold chocolate and infused-cream mixture (ganache) and roll into balls. Then roll in cocoa powder, and refrigerate until served.
That is an awesome recipe!   Related websites to visit are:

Earl Of Harlem Tea at Harney & Sons

From a 2014 Valentine's Day post:
The online magazine The Metro in the Uk did a list of the Most Romantic Spots in the UK, as well as the least, and here it is:

Top ten most-romantic destinations in Britain:
1. Lake District
2. Cotswolds
3. London
4. Cornwall
5. Stratford-upon-Avon
6. York
7. Edinburgh
8. Bath
9. Isle of Wight
10. Devon
Top ten least romantic destinations:
1. Slough
2. Birmingham
3. Scunthorpe
4. Hull
5. Bradford
6. Basingstoke
7. London
8. Crewe
9. Stockton on Tees
10. Blackpool

We have been to most on the Most Romantic list, Stratford-upon-Avon being my husband's birthplace.  I think it's funny that London is on both lists...guess it depends what part...here is my most Romantic Place....Washburne Court Hotel (although I think it changed it's name in the last 2 years) in Lower laughter in the Cotswolds...

Sunday, February 10, 2019

Snow! A LOT of it!

The last 2 days have brought us lots of snow. Now that is not unusual for a lot of you, but it is here in the Pacific Northwest... and especially where we live in Sequim on the Olympic Peninsula.

Sequim is known as the Blue Hole, as most storms are split by the Olympic Mountains of Olympic National Park just to the south of us...
but this one didn't we got 2 feet!

We used to live at an altitude of 5,000 feet at a mountain lake in a National Forst and regularly got 200-350 inches of snow a year... which is actually why we finally moved down to sea level.
With my husband's health deteriorating, being isolated with that much snow was not good for us...

One of our local favorite farm-to-table restaurant Nourish posted this on Facebook this morning of the farmhouse adjacent to the restaurant....

A corner of the yard... our cherub topped fountain in the corner is under a large Maple tree,,, and has 18 inches of snow while being UNDER the tree, so we got a LOT!

So... my response...

In a shovel break... I grabbed my Brambly Hedge Winter teacup, and filled it with snow in a drift...

And the only plant I can get to at the moment... some Heather...
So... hoping you have a warm and wonderful rest of your weekend. We are forcast for a foot possible before Tuesday night...it is already the most snow since 1949 here...

Thursday, February 7, 2019

Blogger Google + Changes

Another change.... sigh...
Google + is pretty much in process of going away by April, and the effects here on Blogger started February 4th.  If you commented with a Google + identity... which I have... that is going away.
I tried changing the settings, but Margie couldn't comment at all, so have put them back to Anyone and we will see what happens with that, because it was changed to Google + ids after their last changes..
This is the text from Blogger about the changes...

Following the announcement of Google+ API deprecation scheduled for March 2019, a number of changes will be made to Blogger’s Google+ integration on 4 February 2019. 

Google+ widgets: Support for the “+1 Button”, “Google+ Followers” and “Google+ Badge” widgets in Layout will no longer be available. All instances of these widgets will be removed from your blog. 

+1 buttons: The +1/G+ buttons and Google+ share links below blog posts and in the navigation bar will be removed. 

Please note that if you have a custom template that includes Google+ features, you may need to update your template. Please contact your template supplier for advice. 

Google+ Comments: Support for Google+ comments will be turned down, and all blogs using Google+ comments will be reverted back to using Blogger comments. Unfortunately, comments posted as Google+ comments cannot be migrated to Blogger and will no longer appear on your blog. 

The saddest part for me is that all comments that have been made on our blogs with a Google + ID will disappear too... so sad!

So will just have to see what happens when you or I next go to comment on a post after April...

Wednesday, February 6, 2019

Queen Elizabeth II Ascends To The Throne February 6, 1952

My post celebrates the anniversary today, February 6, 1952, of the day the Queen Elizabeth II ascended to the throne, and some of the post is from one I did last year for her Sapphire Jubilee.

Everyone thinks about the coronation on June 2nd, 1953, but Elizabeth had officially been Queen since the death of her father King George VI sine the previous February 6th.

Elizabeth and her husband Philip had been on a diplomatic trip to Africa in place of King Geroge VI who had been recovering from a bought of pneumonia.  

The king saw his daughter off at the airport on a cold February day without a hat which scandalized many including our English families at the time.

George VI and Elizabeth, the parents of Queen Elizabeth II,  had been on the throne since 1937 and done a stellar job through the second World War.

This is a teacup made by Sutherland, England for the coronation in 1937 which was sold recently.

Philip had to break it to Elizabeth in Kenya that her father had died and that she was now queen. They immediately returned to England.  Below is one of their engagement photos from 1946.

The official coronation, which needless to say takes a bit of organizing, especially in post war Britain,  followed the next year in 1953.

The photo above I have used is an offical coronation portrait by Cecil Beaton, and the one of the Shelley China coronation teacup below is the more informal one by Anthony Armstrong-Jones who later married Elizabeth's younger sister Princess Margaret...

This is an original programme for the coronation from 1953, that was made for the Canadian market...note the price is $1 rather the shillings and pence the UK ones cost.

And every tea needs a teapot, so I have a wonderful Arthur Wood fancy one that I love. It holds lots of tea, so there is plenty!

And we have some Champagne Strawberry jam to celebrate the ascension from a favorite maker from Cornwall, Thursday Cottage. We discovered them in Cornwal 25 years ago and imported and stocked them when we had our bricks-and-mortar antiques and tea items stoes. They quality is wonderful! I happened to find this at an online British foods purveyor and got in with our Christmas goodies order we do each year...

And I found a jar of clotted cream locally so this will really be a cream tea!

And for the tea...we are having Jubilee Tea from Fortnum & Mason that I mail order every so often. It was originally created for the Diamond Jubilee. I love it! We used to stock Fortnum & Mason teas in our shop as well.

And... we must have atreat for tea too!  The scones  are Oatmeal Pear Ginger Scones from a very old Victoria magazine issue. I unfortunately can't tell you which one, because when I found a duplicate old issue I cannabalized them for recipes for my subject files...you know, when you actually cut out recipes and saved them...I still use them, but I didn't always note done what issue, and didn't on this one...

I used a lonesome Shelley coronation saucer I have in my spares stack as a plate....

Queen Elizabeth arriving at the Sandringham WI... or Women's Institute meeting on January 29, 2019
And I bet they had scones!

The recipe:  
Oatmeal-Pear Scones

1 cup all purpose flour (I used 1/3 whole wheat pastry flour)
1 cup old fashioned oatmeal, uncooked
1/2 cup sugar
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
2 tsp ginger ( I chopped very fine 2 tsp candied ginger instead)
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/4 tsp salt
3 tbs butter chilled cut in pieces
3/4 cup plain yogurt (I used vanilla coconut milk yogurt)
1 egg, lightly beaten
1 tsp vanilla
3/4 cup unpeeled finely chopped fresh pear

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Lightly grease a cookie sheet.

In a large bowl (I used a food processor) combine flour, oats sugar baking powder, ginger, baking soda, nutmeg and salt. Cut in or add butter until mixture resembles coarse crumbs.

In a small bowl combine yogurt, egg and vanilla. Add to dry ingredients. until moistened. Gently stir in pear bits.

Place dough, 1/4 cup at a time, 2 inches apart on prepared cookie sheet.

Bake 15-17 minutes or until golden brown. Serve warm.


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